Reaching Children At Risk with a New Look at State Data


In this new era of data-based decision making, a few states and the District of Columbia are using a unique strategy for mapping both the need and use of services designed to reach vulnerable young children and their families.

This type of “Risk and Reach” assessment looks geographically at the needs of young children and their families in relation to available resources. Using child- and family-level indicators of “risk” such as poverty status, low birth weight, and low maternal education at the regional- or county-level helps policymakers identify geographic pockets of high need. These findings are then compared with “reach” data that may include the type and location of selected early childhood programs, capacity, and utilization rates, which can also be tracked over time in order to identity trends or emerging patterns.

Source: Child Trends

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Chronic conditions for low birth weight babies don’t worsen in adolescence


Children who are born at a very low birth weight typically have more chronic health problems than normal birth weight children. While those issues don’t appear to get worse as they become teenagers, a study finds, they may be at higher risk for obesity.

The study, released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., focused on 181 extremely low birth weight children (whose weight at birth was less than 2.2 pounds on average) and 115 normal birth weight children born between 1992 and 1995. Between age 8 and 14 the low birth weight children in general didn’t experience a change in rates of their chronic conditions, remaining at about 75%. At age 14 their rates exceeded those of normal birth weight kids: 74% compared with 47%.

Source: LA Times

Available at:,0,5828233.story