A new study on the well-being of kids in Illinois is a mixed bag. The 2014 edition of the Kids Count Data Book says while there are positive trends in the teen birth rate, the mortality rate for children and teenagers, and the number of children covered by health insurance in Illinois, the child poverty rate in the state is not falling to its pre-recession level.
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“In 2005, the rate was 16 percent. In 2012, it was 21 percent,” said Larry Joseph, research director for Voices for Illinois Children. Joseph says the state has already taken some action to reverse this trend, such as increasing the earned income tax credit. But other assistance programs should also be strengthened at the federal level, according to Joseph, such as food stamps.