Newly released data from an Alabama children's advocacy group is shedding a light on the overall well-being of North Alabama children and how coronavirus might affect them.
The data from Voices for Alabama's Children's Alabama Kids Count Data Book was collected before the pandemic started. That means it'll serve as a bench-mark to compare with data collecting during the pandemic. For overall well-being for children, North Alabama counties rank from the middle to high compared to other Alabama counties.
For overall well-being Limestone County is ranked #2 and Madison #9. As a state, Alabama ranked 47 out of 50. Because of when this data was collected it shows how prepared North Alabama's kids were for the pandemic. It says there are 41,000 kids without health insurance in the state which is actually an improvement over years' past. The executive director said one of his biggest concerns is mental health care. In Madison County there is 1 mental health provider for every almost 700 people! He said that's just not enough.
"That was pre-COVID what happens when mom and dad lose their jobs, and then security gets tied to that, all the other issues that are tied to that so we're concerned about the families and the children that are facing these challenges and how do we support them?" Stephen Woerner, the Executive Director of Voices for Alabama’s Children
Because of the way the data for the report is compiled we might start seeing the effects of Coronavirus in some of the 2021 report and in the 2022 report.