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Annual 'Kids Count' Report Shows A Decline In Support For Underserved Children

Kids-Count-2016.jpg
Child Start
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A new report shows a steady decline in overall support for Kansas' poorest children and their families.

Kansas Kids Count is an annual report that provides a look at how children are doing in the state. It's distributed by Child Start, a nonprofit focused on early learning to help children succeed.

Child Start's director of development Anne Sixkiller says she's not surprised by the numbers, due to cuts in food and cash assistance and administrative policy changes including welfare reform.

"With the HOPE Act of 2015 and 2016, there are 15,000 fewer Kansas children receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families today over what they did in 2011, and the child poverty rate has remained relatively stagnant," she says.

In Sedgwick County nearly 20 percent of children live below the poverty line--higher than the overall state rate. About 60 percent of public school children in the county participate in the free and reduced lunch program.

Sixkiller says Child Start is committed to partnering with Wichita businesses to meet the needs of young families by creating projects such as vegetable gardens on their playgrounds.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

 
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