Michigan League for Public Policy

10:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Growing up in poverty and pollution

Nurse Brittany Puhl and Zariah Reed.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Listen to the full documentary here.

In Michigan, thousands of kids suffer with diseases that are worsened by poverty and pollution. It's a combination that's costing society far more than most people know. 

What issues do health experts think are causing these problems? Why haven't policy-makers come up with the money to fix these problems? What is the price of allowing these problems go ignored? We'll answer these questions in this hour long documentary, Growing Up in Poverty and Pollution. 

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Families & Community
6:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

New report says outcomes for African-American kids in Michigan are among the worst in the country

The Annie E. Casey Foundation created an index of child-well being indicators, broke the results down by race, then ranked each state. This chart represents scores for African-American child well-being. Michigan is all the way on the right, third worst in the nation.
Credit Annie E. Casey Foundation, Race for Results report


This week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a national report that caught our eye. 

The report is part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count series. Kids Count tracks a number of indicators – things like birthweight, school test scores, poverty level, and college attendance.

This new report includes 12 indicators in all, and they’ve been combined to come up with an index score for overall child outcomes. Those scores were then broken down by race, and each state was ranked.

For Michigan, there was a surprise. 

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Families & Community
7:00 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Michigan's rate of child abuse and neglect: bad and getting worse

Most of the new abuse and neglect cases in Michigan affect children under the age of one, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Credit Michigan League for Public Policy

Child abuse and neglect appear to be increasing in Michigan. A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy says more than 33,000 children in Michigan were victims of abuse or neglect in 2011. That’s an 18 percent increase compared to 2005.

There is a dispute over the exact size of the increase. 

"We’re not saying that there isn’t an uptick," says Dave Akerly, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Human Services. "We’re saying that from our standpoint, we believe that the uptick isn’t as dramatic as it would appear to be."

He says the numbers in the Michigan League report are a little misleading because a lot changed at DHS between 2005 and 2011. One of the things that changed is how cases get reported.

So, Akerly says instead of there being a huge increase in abuse and neglect, we may just be seeing a more accurate picture of abuse and neglect.

And no matter how you look at that, it’s an ugly picture.

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