"Kids Count" finds Indiana children still facing big obstacles
New information released Monday shows Indiana children are growing up healthier, but there are areas where the state continues to struggle. Child poverty is still a big concern.
The data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation is called "Kids Count" and it ranks states based on health, education, family environment and economic well being.
Indiana's overall rank was 30 in this year's report. The state ranked 26th in economic well-being, 34th in education, 21st in health and 30th in family and community.
The foundation reports that Indiana's child poverty rate is 23 percent - the same for the country overall.
"Some of the reasons in Indiana has been the changing economy. The manufacturing sector is still strong but we can just make a lot more stuff with a lot fewer people because of technology, so we have not as much economic opportunity for as many people in manufacturing," said Bill Stanczykiewicz, Indiana Youth Institute.
Short term, solutions include something as simple as donating to places like food pantries, or donating your time to act as mentors to young children.
But it's not just the physical needs of kids in poverty that need to change to make the numbers change. Other solutions include education - starting with preschool. Sixty percent of children from low-income families don't attend preschool, putting them at a disadvantage right out of the gate.