GaFCP Updates List of Georgia KIDS COUNT Indicators

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Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) recently released an updated list of the Georgia KIDS COUNT indicators of child well-being, cutting the number of indicators from 49 to 45.

After the Annie E. Casey Foundation designated GaFCP as the state KIDS COUNT grantee in 2003, GaFCP spent a year reviewing the indicators the state tracks from year to year. In 2005 we committed to reviewing, modifying, and refining Georgia indicators and our framework for improving results every five years. In 2010, it was time for second review.

“This review process is so critical,” said Rebekah Hudgins, GaFCP evaluator and KIDS COUNT Data Team member, who led the process in 2005 and in 2010. “It lets us check the usefulness of our current indicators, look at emerging indicators, and make changes so we can better capture the data we need to inform program, policy, and budget decisions at the state and local levels.”

When GaFCP convened 25 state and community partners in December to review and update the indicators of child and family well-being, the partners recommended we delete indicators when data for the indicator is no longer available, or policy changes make the data no longer meaningful. Gone from the list are:

•    Healthy Start Index:

  • Baby born at healthy birthweight (2,500 grams or more)
  • Mother receiving prenatal care in first trimester
  • Mother not smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy

•    TANF recipients who:

  • are employed when they exit the program,
  • have earnings in all four quarters of the first year after leaving the program, and
  • earn wages above the federal poverty threshold.

A new indicator we’ve added is the number of GED graduates in each county. In 2011, 117 counties identified this indicator as a key benchmark. The Technical College System of Georgia provides this source of information. The GaFCP board of directors adopted this finalized list of Georgia KIDS COUNT Indicators in June.

The 45 indicators we track are rooted in five result areas:

“The data highlights, trends, and disparities we report for each county in Georgia every year come from reliable state and national partners,” said Julie Sharpe, Georgia KIDS COUNT data manager. “It allows us to measure change in community, family, and child outcomes over time and across multiple populations.”

Data partners include state departments of Education, Human Services, Community Health, Public Health, Labor, Early Care and Learning, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Secretary of State and U.S. Census data.

Dr. John T. Carter of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health has witnessed some interesting changes during his two decades working with KIDS COUNT indicators.

“I’ve seen a huge increase in the application of research and use of data,” said Carter. “We do a better job of educating the user and communicating how to intelligently use the data in our decision-making to improve lives for children and families in Georgia.”

Download the 45 Georgia KIDS COUNT indicators of child well-being.

Georgia KIDS COUNT trends and data are available at gafcp.org.

Contact:
Naja Williamson
Georgia KIDS COUNT coordinator
404-527-7394 (x133)
[email protected]

William Valladares
GaFCP Communications Manager
404-527-7394 (x114)
[email protected]