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Well-being of Kentucky children stalled at 41st

Kentucky remains among the bottom 10 states for child well-being.

For the second year in a row, Kentucky ranked 41st in the nation for overall child well-being, according to the national 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Kentucky improved on four of the 10 indicators affecting child well-being, but worsened on five and remained the same on one.

Showing improvement were Kentucky's child death rate, teen death rate, the percent of teens who are high school dropouts, and the percent of teens not attending school and not working.

The state remained the same on the teen birth rate indicator, and worsened on the percent of low-birth weight babies, the infant mortality rate, the percent of children living in poverty, the percent of children living in single-parent families and the percent of children living in families where no parent has full time, year-round employment.

"Timely and accurate data collection is essential for policy makers to have an accurate picture of the strengths and of the challenges facing Kentucky children and families," said Terry Brooks, executive director for Kentucky Youth Advocates. "Improving data collection as a state will enhance our capacity to invest tax dollars wisely in needed areas."

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