Children Health/Education Needs Assessment for Prowers County


Kristy Adams Addresses Gathering on Child Health Statistics

Kristy Adams, Development Director of kids Count in Colorado explained the latest assessment results for children under 18 in Prowers County this past Tuesday, September 18.  Physical and mental health care providers and education representatives were in attendance at the Cultural Events Center to hear the results from this non profit group that conducts annual in-depth assessments on the well-being of Colorado children. 

Available Services and various health assessments for each of the counties in Colorado are compared against state and national averages.  Such topics include vulnerable families, children born to single mothers, mothers without high school education, mothers under 18, families in poverty, using WIC assistance, mothers who smoke, have been subject to abusive home situations, CSAP scores, infant mortality, children with and without health insurance or those receiving free or low priced lunches at school. 

Adams stated that as of 2010, there were 1,227,901 children under 18 in Colorado, an 11% growth rate since 2000.  The U.S. growth rate was only 2.6% for the same timeframe. 

Since 2000, 15 counties in Colorado have kid populations in which children of color make up 50% of those county’s children, of which Prowers is one.  Otero and Las Animas are also counted within the 15 counties.  In 2010, 358,000 or 30% of all Colorado children lived in a single parent household.  Those numbers have been increasing in the past years and studies have shown that condition increases likelihood of living in poverty.  Of that 30%, 38,000 lived with grandparents.  Prowers, Ben, Otero and Crowley Counties are listed among 10 counties with highest poverty rates for children, between 28.4% and 37.1% of all children in Colorado under 18 years. 

Courtney Holt Rogers, director of the Prowers County Welcome Home Child Care Center, provided local statistics on a needs survey for local children.  (Ranked responses selected by 20% or more of respondents) 

Top Concerns regarding Education & Child Development:
1.  School Funding
2.  Teacher Effectiveness
3.  Drop-out Rate
4.  School Nutrition
5.  Access to quality preschool/childcare
6.  Early childhood development 

Ideas for Making the Health Care System Work for Families:
1.  Affordable Health Care
2.  Quality Health Care, choice of doctor or other provider
3.  Sensible Health Care Costs with no hidden charges
4.  Consistent Health Care
5.  Health Care focused on prevention
6.  Access to physicians
7.  Safe places for kids to play/exercise
8.  Access to health insurance 

Most Pressing Issues Facing Prowers Community:
1.  K-12 education
2.  Early Childhood development
3.  Other
4.  Child Mental Health
5.  Child Health 

Resources to Reduce Barriers: (those listed were mentioned by more than 1 respondent)
Social Services
Civic Clubs
Head Start
Early Childhood Council
High Plains Community Health Center
LIveWell Prowers County 

How are People Working Together to Address Kids’ Issues: (No set Consensus on this)

Citizens believe that community providers offer valuable services, but lament that programs are disjointed and the community is not doing enough to collaborate on a shared message of access and options.  Some responses indicate that “normal school channels” and health providers are in the best position to sort out and recommend appropriate program options.  Some feel that their community is not working tougher to address kids’ issues. 

The role in the community of those responding to the survey:
6%   K-12 Education
12% Social/Human Services
12%  Early Childhood
15%  Healthcare
17%  Higher Education
25% Parents
13%  Other



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