A state survey that tracks eight health and education issues indicates the well-being of Iowa’s children increased slightly from 1996 to 1998. Michael Crawford directed the “Iowa Kids Count Survey” for the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines. He says 80 percent of the kids do “quite well.”Crawford says there’s been improvement in seven of the eight indicators and no change in the eighth. Even with the improvement, Crawford says there are a couple of areas that still need attention. The child abuse rate is still quite high as are the number of unmarried teenage women having babies. Crawford says it’s disappointing the well-being of kids hasn’t prospered at the same rate as the state’s economy. He says the Iowa group does not compare its survey to other states, but the National Kids Count organization does make the comparison and Iowa usually does very well. Crawford says the state is a good place to raise kids, but state officials must target the areas of concern.
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