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Report: 'Life And Death' Differences in U.S. Child Well-Being Exist Between Top and Bottom States, Youths Up to Three Times More Likely to Die Before Adulthood in Some Parts of U.S.
Date:4/2/2008

42); Nevada (43); Arkansas (44); South Carolina (45); Texas (46); Oklahoma (47); New Mexico (48); Mississippi (49); and Louisiana (50). The 10 top states for children by the same measures are: Maine (10); Washington (9); Minnesota (8); Iowa (7); Hawaii (6); New Hampshire (5); Rhode Island (4); Connecticut (3); Massachusetts (2); Vermont (1).

Michael R. Petit, author of "Geography Matters; Child Well-Being in the States," and founder of Every Child Matters, said: "Every Presidential candidate and state-office seeker should be asked to speak to these stark findings. Some of us may live in pockets of relative affluence, but that does not mean that there are entire segments of this nation with crushing circumstances for children. Nearly 13 million American children live in poverty today. Over eight million U.S. children have no health insurance. Nearly three million children nationwide each year are reported abused and neglected. As Americans, we need to ask ourselves: Does every child in the U.S. deserve an equal opportunity to be healthy and survive to adulthood? Is there a floor below which no American child should fall, regardless of the accident of geography that accounts for where they are born and raised? It should no longer be politically acceptable to permit - or simply ignore -- the vast differences in life chances that exist for children today."

Elizabeth J. Clark, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH, executive director, National Association of Social Workers, Washington, D.C., said: "As social workers working with the most troubled children and families across the country, we have always known about the disparate treatment of children from state to state. We look forward to a national commitment to protect all children, to create equal opportunities, and to strengthen families and communities. We know that more can be done to ensure that our children have the supports they need to thrive, no matter what state they call home."

KEY REPORT FINDINGS


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SOURCE Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECMEF), Washington,D.C.
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