Providing tools to assess the needs of Florida's children and their families.

Providing tools to assess the needs of Florida's children and their families.

Counting For Kids Blog

Welcome to the Florida KIDS COUNT Counting for Kids blog.

Florida Legislative Session Opens this Week!

As you all know, the Florida Legislative session opens this week. For those of you visiting Tallahassee virtually or in person, I wanted to let you know what our policy priorities are this year and what resources we have to help you with your work to improve the well-being of Florida’s children and families.

With our fabulous Florida KIDS COUNT Advisory Council, we identified two areas to focus on for our publications to inform the conversation in Tallahassee in the coming 60 days. One area we will focus on is Affordable Housing. Did you know that in 2015, 40% of Florida’s children lived in households where more than 30% of monthly income was devoted to paying for rent or making mortgage payments.

With families relocating in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the need for affordable housing is likely to become even more acute.

Another area of focus is Juvenile Justice Reform, in particular focusing our investments in prevention and diversion, such as civil citations, as well as providing meaningful investments in community-based alternatives to incarceration that we know work.

In the next coming weeks, we will be focusing on these two areas in our publications and social media. We also have the state and county Child Well-Being Index as well as district profiles for each of the 120 House and 40 Senate districts. Please use these data to tell your state legislators that you know they can do better for the kids in their district. Let people know what we can do better for all of Florida’s kids and that we know what works:

  • ensure access to quality healthcare, early childhood education and housing,
  • support prevention programs beginning with prenatal mothers and extending through teen years in preventing contacts with and promoting diversion from juvenile justice, and,
  • support families to get better job skills and education.

Please visit our website frequently, like us on Facebook @FloridaKIDSCOUNT and follow us on Twitter @FlKidsCount. We will be in Tallahassee for Children’s Week, so visit us in person on Tuesday 1/23/2018. I hope to see you there.

Reflections on Our 2017 Accomplishments