Voices director presents Kids Count data to Brewton
By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
According to the 2003 Alabama Kids Count Data Book, Escambia County ranks 51st of Alabama's 67 counties, in terms of its children's well-being.
Voices for Alabama's Children executive director Linda Tilly met with members of the community on Monday, July 19, to discuss that ranking, other data reflecting the well-being of children in this county and strategies that can help improve the lives of Escambia's children.
Voices for Alabama's Children is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan lobbyist group that works for the needs of children in four ways -- research, communication, advocacy and collaboration.
For its ranking of Alabama's counties, Voices uses 19 indicators in the categories of health, education, safety and security. Some of those indicators include infant mortality, low-weight births, first grade retention, juvenile arrests and children in poverty.
Another indicator -- for which Escambia County ranks 58th in the state -- is births to unmarried teens.
Though Escambia County ranks in the bottom 17 counties in infant mortality rate, low-weight births, births to unmarried teens and vulnerable families, the county has shown progress in some areas. For example, the rate of children in poverty has decreased in recent years, as has the rate of vulnerable families, the rate of children with indications of abuse and neglect and the dropout rate.
As part of Voices' commitment to alleviating these problems, Tilly visits other counties in the state to spread information about the well-being needs of children and makes connections between concerned groups to increase the ideas and resources available to everyone.