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2015 National KIDS COUNT® Data Book Released

About 1.7 million more children live in low-income working families today than during the Great Recession, according to the 2015 KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation released on July 21.

In 2013, one in four children, 18.7 million, lived in a low-income working family in the United States. Nearly a third of children are living in families where no parent has full-time employment. And even when parents are working full time, wages and benefits are often not sufficient to adequately support a family.

View Missouri's 2015 State Profile

The 2015 Data Book, which focuses on key trends in child well-being in the post-recession years, measures child well-being in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The Casey Foundation report finds that the rising tide of recovery, with both increased employment and more concentrated wealth, has left stagnant pockets of low-income, struggling communities and families, where a child's future is anchored in scarcity and hardship.

Read more: 2015 National KIDS COUNT® Data Book Released

Culinary Arts Program Graduates 12

ARCHS' Culinary Arts Program graduated 12 female ex-offenders on June 25, after they completed an eight-week class at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park. ARCHS' program has prepared the female participants for access to traditionally male career paths such as chef, head cook, line cook, institutional cook, and more in the culinary field.  Good jobs that pay a living wage can stabilize families.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women ex-offenders are more likely to live with their minor children than men and the number of incarcerated women has skyrocketed, at rates exceeding men.

Women in the program are currently under state or federal supervision with probation and parole officers in St. Louis City or County.

Their academic culinary training has led to certification with the National Restaurant Association for 100% of the graduates. Plus 50% of the graduates have already earned the more rigorous "ServSafe" certification. All of the graduates are eligible to continue their career studies at the college in the fall semester or whenever they so choose. 

Read more: Culinary Arts Program Graduates 12

USDA Summer Food Partnership Continues

ARCHS' partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State of Missouri is set to provide about 6,000 St. Louis children in the Saint Louis Public School District (SLPS) with access to healthy meals this summer.

The partnership’s activities address the food needs of children when school is out of session for the summer and children do not have access to school meals. The program is not open to the general public.

This is the third time ARCHS has been asked to manage this program. A total of nearly 10,000 SLPS children have benefitted from ARCHS’ previous two program cycles, which operated during the summers of 2012 and 2013.  Because this is a federal demonstration project, the program is not able to serve all children in need nor operate every summer.

Read more: USDA Summer Food Partnership Continues

Kids Vision for Life Expands With New Mobile Eye Clinic

Kids Vision for Life-St. Louis (KVFL) has added a new state-of-the-art mobile eye clinic just in time for the 2015-16 school year.

The new van will increase access to students in need of these services at more schools than presently served. KVFL will continue to partner with the UMSL School of Optometry in using their mobile eye clinic on a part-time basis.

KVFL has served un/underinsured students at local elementary schools during the past six years through an effective school-based model that delivers free comprehensive vision care.

During the 2014-2015 school year KVFL screened 23,500 students, which resulted in KVFL examining 3,400 students and prescribing/fitting 2,750 eyeglasses. KVFL and its vision health partners, including ARCHS, expect to permanently increase KVFL’s annual service capacity with the new mobile clinic.

Read more: Kids Vision for Life Expands With New Mobile Eye Clinic

New KIDS COUNT® Report on Families

On any given night, about 57,000 children under the care of our nation’s child welfare systems are going to bed without the care and comfort of a family. In its May 19, 2015 KIDS COUNT® policy report, Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success, the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights this and other sobering statistics that point to the urgent need to ensure, through sound policies and proven practices, that everything possible is being done to find loving, nurturing, and supported families to help raise more of these children. 

Specifically, Every Kid Needs a Family emphasizes making and keeping a lifelong connection to a family. The report also highlights the promising ways that state and local government leaders as well as policymakers, judges, and private providers can work together as they strive to help these 57,000 children who are living in group placements – and overall, the more than 400,000 children in the care of child welfare systems.

Read more: New KIDS COUNT® Report on Families