Report: Children’s well-being in Minnesota's rural areas lags behind citiesNortheastern Minnesota has a higher percentage of abused or neglected children and children in out-of-home placement than any other part of the state, according to an annual report.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Northeastern Minnesota has a higher percentage of abused or neglected children and children in out-of-home placement than any other part of the state, according to an annual report.
The 2012 Kids Count data book also found that obtaining critical basic needs can be extremely stressful for families in nonmetro Minnesota, and doing so can keep them from achieving economic stability.
“Access to health care, food, jobs and child care is limited in many regions throughout the state,” said a news release from Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, a sponsor of the report. “When these resources do exist, many families are unable to afford them because their jobs do not pay sufficient wages or offer critical benefits.”
The report noted that the state has areas of health-care shortages in 62 counties for primary care, 67 counties for dental care and 77 counties for mental-health care.
Moreover, about 75,000 Minnesota children are without health insurance, with the highest percentages of children without health insurance residing in nonmetro Minnesota, the report said.
The report breaks the state into 13 geographic areas. Region 3 consists of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties and the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage and Leech Lake Indian reservations.
In this region, 18.5 of every 1,000 children live in out-of-home placement, such as foster care, group homes or residential treatment facilities. That’s the highest number in the state and more than twice the statewide average of 8.7 per 1,000 children, according to data from the report.
The region also has the highest rate of abused or neglected children, 6.4 out of every 1,000. That compares to 3.5 out of every 1,000 statewide.
The entire data book is available online at www.cdf-mn.org/research-library/kids-count/.