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When it comes to state assistance for Missouri's 1.3 million children,
Citizens for Missouri's Children in two recent reports appears to see
the glass as half empty. Others, however, may perceive it as half full,
with progress being made in education, foster care and other areas that
impact young lives.
Either way, the glass is definitely not full.
In its annual Kids Count report about the status of children in the
state, the St. Louis-based Citizens for Missouri's Children points out
that progress in improving children's lives has been made in several
But other trends are disappointingly headed upward. ...
In comparison to other states in the overall well-being of children,
Missouri continues to rank in the bottom third. Its numbers of children
who are poor children and teen-agers who die, teen-agers who give birth,
and juvenile offenders are higher than average.
The point about Missouri's low ranking among the states also was brought
home in a second study released this month by the same group. The
Children's Budget Watch Project zeroed in on the fiscal commitment of
the state to areas of the budget dealing with children's services, and
found, overall, that the commitment was not sufficient. ...
While Missouri recently has been innovative in its use of limited
resources in many children's areas, such as child protection services,
it is clearly going to have to do much more of that in the wake of
welfare reform. Otherwise, the Kids Count and Children's Budget Watch
Project reports may be very dismal in the future.
--The Kansas City Star
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