KIDS COUNT: Ingham, Jackson and Clinton Counties ranked in child well-being

There were 455,357 kids in poverty in 2008 compared with 481,421 in 2015. More than 1 in 5 MI children, or about 22 percent, lived in poverty in 2015, which is up 15 percent since 2008.

The report looks at indicators in economic security, health, education, family and community, access to health care, family support programs, economic climate, and family and community. Jackson County (54th) is slightly ahead of that with 21 percent.

"Those are also indications that we have a lot of people maybe not living at the poverty line, but in families with low income", Guevara Warren said.

In Ingham County more than 45 percent of students receive free or reduced school lunches.

WKAR's Kevin Lavery spoke with Alicia Guevarra Warren, the Kids Count project director for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

"Forty percent of births in Kalamazoo County were to mothers without adequate prenatal care", Guevara Warren said.

- Promote comprehensive strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect, including the expansion of home visitation programs.

Ottawa County is in first place out of 82 counties as the best in MI for child well-being according to the annual Kids Count Report.

According to the report, race, income, and community are some of the biggest indicators of the well-being of MI children.

- "Raise the Age" of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18 years old. The top three counties for child well-being are Ottawa (1st), Clinton (2nd) and Oakland (3rd) counties, with each of these counties moving up one rank from a year ago. The bottom three are Oceana, Iosco and Lake.

  • Joanne Flowers