A new national report on child well-being shows that Michigan has the lowest index score in the country for African-American kids, and Latino kids also lag behind. The 2017 Race for Results: Building A Path to Opportunity for All Children report produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows children of color in Michigan are doing worse in nearly all indicators across education, health, family and community, and economic security than their White peers. With a particular focus on children in immigrant families, the report shows that Michigan children in immigrant families are doing relatively well, but uncertainty and outright hostility in state and federal policies continue to pose threats to their well-being and the stability of their families.
The report measures children’s progress on the national and state levels on key education, health and economic milestones by racial and ethnic groups and uses a composite index score of these milestones on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) to make comparisons.
Michigan policies must create opportunity and remove barriers for kids of color and children in immigrant families. Michigan policymakers in Lansing and Washington should embrace the following policy recommendations to address the low child well-being scores and drastic racial disparities for kids of color identified in this report:
- Use a racial and ethnic equity lens in evaluating and developing public policies, supporting changes like the Raise the Age to keep kids out of adult prisons;
- Keep families together and in their communities;
- Increase economic opportunity for all parents, especially immigrants and people of color; and
- Provide a quality education to help all children meet key developmental measures.
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