Agenda for Children

KIDS COUNT Publications

Paid Leave is the Foundation of a Stronger Louisiana

Paid Leave is the Foundation of a Stronger Louisiana, our latest policy brief provides a detailed analysis of how paid sick days and paid leave policies would benefit Louisiana’s workers, families, children, and employers. As Louisiana works to recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, statewide paid leave policies could form the foundation upon which our state builds a more equitable, resilient and thriving economy.

The brief also provides recommendations on how legislators, local governments, businesses and voters can work to make paid leave and paid sick days a reality for every worker in Louisiana.

Watch our panel on Paid Leave

We held a panel on October 1st that featuring state and national partners, including Caitlin Berni (Berni Consulting), Whitney Pesek, (Paid Leave for the United States), Stacey Roussel (Louisiana Budget Project) and Rep. Matthew Willard (Louisiana House of Representatives). A recording of the webinar and slides are available.

Kids, Families and COVID-19

Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond

This KIDS COUNT policy report (December 2020) examines how households with children are faring during the pandemic. Its findings are primarily based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It finds that Louisiana adults with children in their households are facing many challenges, including:

The report also includes a series of recommendations for meeting the needs of children and families now and following the pandemic.

It’s Time for Pandemic Pay for Louisiana’s Child Care Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the reality that child care is the foundation of our economic prosperity. Without stable, quality child care, parents are unable to work outside the home. The child care industry is in a crisis due to widespread temporary closures and lower enrollment as a result of the pandemic, and maintaining a stable workforce has become a major challenge for child care centers. Providing child care workers with a temporary wage supplement of $5 per hour would help centers maintain staffing, which in turn, would help more parents return to the workforce, putting Louisiana on a strong path to recovery. Learn more in our latest policy brief or the one-page overview.

Louisiana Ranks 48th in Overall Child Well-Being in 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The 31st edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before the coronavirus pandemic began. It ranked Louisiana 48th in overall child well-being.

This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It also identifies multi-year trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2018. The Casey Foundation plans to explore the effects of the pandemic on child well-being in a future report but is releasing the annual Data Book as usual to ensure legislators and other policymakers, researchers and advocates for children have the information they are customarily able to access at this time of year.

For more details, visit the Louisiana profile and the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site. The Interactive Data Book allows you to easily see data disaggregated by race. Louisiana's disaggregated data makes it clear that any plan to improve outcomes for Louisiana's children must begin with a focus on equity and inclusion.

A Roadmap to Improve Child Well-Being in Louisiana

Charting a path to prosperity for Louisiana

A Roadmap to Improve Child Well-Being in Louisiana examines what it would take to move Louisiana from the bottom of national rankings in child well-being. It builds upon the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 30-year KIDS COUNT effort to measure the well-being of children in every state, from birth through young adulthood. 

Every year, the Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks states on 16 different indicators of child well-being. Agenda for Children used that data to show what it would take for Louisiana to improve by one ranking, by five rankings, and what it would take to tie with the best-ranked state(s). For each measure, the Roadmap provides several evidence-based policy recommendations that state and local governments can use to fast-track Louisiana’s progress on key measures of child well-being. 

You can download a copy of the report here, or contact Teresa Falgoust or Kenny Francis for a hard copy. 

Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods

20% of Louisiana children live in high-poverty neighborhoods 

KIDS COUNT's latest data snapshot, Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods examines where concentrated poverty has worsened across the country despite a long period of national economic expansion. The report, which analyzes the latest U.S. Census data available, finds that between 2008–2012 and 2013–2017, Louisiana was one of 10 states that saw increases in the percentage of children living in concentrated poverty. By contrast, 29 states and the District of Columbia saw decreases in the share of children in concentrated poverty, and 11 states experienced no change.

Growing up in a community of concentrated poverty — that is, a neighborhood where 30 percent or more of the population is living in poverty — is one of the greatest risks to child development. Download the data snapshot from the Casey Foundation's web site.

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Louisiana lost nearly 100,000 children since 1990 but made headway in children’s health, education and economic security

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States, ranking states on overall child well-being and in the domains of economic well-being, education, health and family and community. This edition also looks at how the U.S. child population has changed since the publication of the first Data Book in 1990.

The nation’s population of children has grown by 9.5 million since 1990, while Louisiana has seen its child population shrink by 100,000. Positive trends in children’s health, education and economic security were noted while the states’ overall rank remains near bottom at 49th.

Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to see Louisiana's data for all 16 measures or download the full report.

Keeping Kids in Families

Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement

In this data snapshot, the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines how placements for young people in foster care have changed from 2007 to 2017. Using data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Casey finds that child welfare systems are doing a better job of placing kids in families. At the same time, racial disparities persist for kids of all ages and progress eludes teens in care.

To push for further progress, the four-page snapshot tells how states can leverage the federal Family First Prevention Services Act to prioritize family placement and high-quality, family-centered settings to support even better outcomes — and a brighter future — for kids in care. 

Key Louisiana findings from “Keeping Kids in Families” include:

 Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to download the report and learn more.

2017 KIDS COUNT Race for Results

New Report Exposes Persistent Inequities in Services, Opportunities for Children of Color

Louisiana’s future prosperity and ability to compete with other states depends on ensuring opportunities for our children and young adults today. Yet, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children report reveals that, for far too many children of color, living in Louisiana means facing more challenges than children in other states, from being born at low birthweight to living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

The Casey Foundation‘s 2017 report is the second edition of the Race for Results report, which was first published in 2014. The ongoing series reflects the Foundation’s commitment to examining data and offering data-informed policy recommendations on issues of racial and ethnic equity. Race for Results measures children’s progress on the national and state levels on key education, health and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups. The report’s index uses a composite score of these milestones on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) to make comparisons. This allows readers to not only compare outcomes for children of various races and ethnicities within Louisiana, but also see how Louisiana compares to other states and the nation.

The report is available at the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site. You can also learn more about how well children in Louisiana are faring in the Louisiana news release.


Early Reading Report

Early Reading Proficiency: KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot Finds that 77% of LA Fourth Graders Are Not on the Path to Success

Children who are proficient readers by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school and to be economically successful in adulthood. This KIDS COUNT data snapshot finds 85 percent of Louisiana fourth-graders from low-income families and 77 percent of all Louisiana fourth-graders are not reading at grade level. While improvements have been made in the past decade, reading proficiency levels remain low. Given the critical nature of reading to children’s individual achievement and the nation’s future economic success, the Casey Foundation offers recommendations for communities and policymakers to support early reading. Early reading proficiency rates for the nation and each state are provided. Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to learn more and see how Louisiana compares to other states on this important measure of child well-being.

First 8 Years Report

The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success

This KIDS COUNT policy report details how a child’s early development from birth through age 8 is essential to making an effective transition into elementary school and for long-term academic achievement. To prepare all of America’s children to succeed, this document sets forth broad policy recommendations. This policy report also features data on early childhood development for every state, the District of Columbia and the nation. Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to read the report.


Youth IncarcerationKIDS COUNT Data Snapshot Looks at Safe Drop in Youth Incarceration

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's latest KIDS COUNT data snapshot finds that the rate of young people locked up because of trouble with the law dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety. Louisiana's youth incarceration rate declined by 56% between 1997 and 2010-—only Tennessee, Connecticut and Arizona experienced larger declines in this time period. The snapshot indicates that the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 70,792 in 2010, from a high of 107,637 in 1995. The publication also recommends ways to continue reducing reliance on incarceration and improve the odds for young people involved in the justice system. Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to read the report.

Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Policy Report on Youth and Work

22% of Young People in Louisiana Not in School, Not Working

In this KIDS COUNT policy report, the Casey Foundation finds that ne

arly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce. With employment among young people at its lowest levels since the 1950s, these youth are veering toward chronic unemployment as adults and failing to gain the skills employers need in the 21st century. In addition to new national and state data on the issue, the report offers recommendations to support youth in gaining a stronger foothold in the economy. In Louisiana, 22% of young people ages 16-24 are neither in school nor working--a higher proportion than any other state except for West Virginia.

Visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation's web site to download a copy of the report or contact Teresa Falgoust at (504) 586-8509 to request a hard copy of the report.

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