Nevada ranks near the bottom nationwide in overall child well-being. That’s according to a study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The annual KIDS COUNT study measures a variety of factors across four categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
Louise Helton is spokeswoman for Nevada KIDS COUNT and says the most critical issue is childhood poverty.
“Poverty is the greatest risk factor that children face. If something goes off into throwing the family off—whether it be losing a job or insurance going up—I mean it can really throw a family into a tailspin.”
According to the data, 22 percent of Nevada children live in poverty. Helton says the only way to improve that is through long-term investments.
“Children are not an investment you can make just for one quarter or one year,” she says. “You have to invest every single year, with high expectations and a good support system along the line.”
Helton says even with its challenges, the state is seeing some progress, with teen pregnancies and teen deaths declining from last year.