Kids in Washington state experience disparities in well-being based on their racial backgrounds, as highlighted in the Race for Results report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Despite these inequities, the report shows improvements in six out of eleven indicators nationally compared to a decade ago.
Stephan Blanford, Ph.D, who serves as the executive director of the Washington state-based Children’s Alliance, acknowledges that the state is starting to see positive outcomes from the 2021 Fair Start for Kids initiative, which aimed to expand access to child care and early learning.
However, Blanford emphasizes that affordability gaps still exist, and it is crucial to provide equal access to high-quality child care experiences for all children, especially those facing significant challenges.
In addition to affordability concerns, Washington state also grapples with a crisis in access to behavioral health services for children. The Race for Results report evaluated the well-being of children across racial groups, including Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, and White communities.
To address these disparities, Congress recently reached an agreement to reinstate the pandemic-era Child Tax Credit, a universal policy that benefits all children and families. Leslie Boissiere, vice president for external affairs at Annie E. Casey, acknowledges the importance of such universal policies but also emphasizes the need for targeted approaches to support each subgroup.
While there was a surge in efforts to address racial gaps immediately after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Blanford expresses concern that the momentum has since diminished. He believes it is essential to keep equity issues at the forefront and continue working towards a more equitable future for all children.
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A new report reveals that racial disparities among children in Oregon are still prevalent. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race for Results report highlights the inequities in well-being for children of color across the country, although there have been improvements in six out of the eleven indicators since the initial analysis ten years ago.
Jenifer Wagley, Executive Director of Our Children Oregon, emphasized that literacy is an area where all kids in the state are struggling.
She acknowledged the efforts of the governor and state legislators to address this issue but stressed the need for targeted strategies and intense focus on the most disadvantaged children and schools in order to make progress.
The report assessed the well-being of children from different racial groups, including Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, and white.
A recent deal reached by Congress reinstated the pandemic-era Child Tax Credit, a program that benefits everyone. Leslie Boissiere, the Vice President of External Affairs at Annie E. Casey, praised the effectiveness of universal policies for all kids and families and stressed the importance of targeted approaches for each subgroup.
Wagley mentioned some positive developments, such as the Oregon Kids Credit for low-income families, which filled the gap left by the end of the federal child tax credit.
She also highlighted the significance of policy decisions in improving the lives of all children in the state. Wagley urged policymakers to prioritize the needs of Native youth, Black children, and Latino children by implementing policies that provide them with the necessary resources to thrive and reach their full potential.
Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a contributor to our fund for reporting on Children’s Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, please consider making a contribution.