Think About It: Kids Count… Kinda - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

August 4, 2014

Think About It: Kids Count… Kinda

According to the Annie B. Casey Foundation's 2014 State Trends in Child Well-Being, Hawaii ranks right in the middle, at #25, in overall well-being of our keiki. This calculation was derived from looking at each state and their kids' economic well-being, education, health, and family & community. Only in family & community did Hawaii rank in the top 30% of all states. If you draw a straight line from central California straight through to South Carolina, every one of the mainland states south of that line rank in the bottom 12 state for children's well-being. 

This Kids Count survey found that in 2012, 17% of the kids in Hawaii live in poverty. That's 4% worse than our 13% figure in 2005. That's one in six kids here. Nationally, it's estimated that 23% of children live in poverty. How can it be that the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind is doing a worse job year after year of raising the bar for those in need? We can blame the government, we can blame the parent or parents, but the bottom line is we need to do a better job of getting kids fed, housed, schooled, and raised in safe environments. While Hawaii ranked 25th in overall well-being for kids, we were 33rd in economic well-being, 31st in education, 22nd in health, and 13th in family & community care.

If we're going to take pride about Hawaii being a paradise, then we certainly need to do a better job proving it to those who are most vulnerable. We need to put public and private resources together with great ideas, better education, and a sense of urgency if we don't want to see a lost generation down the bumpy road. We need to stress achievement while providing tools and opportunity to help encourage successful, happy and healthy human beings right here. We need to move up this chart, quickly. Think about it…

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