Children’s Health report reveals hunger issues for North Texas children


Children’s Health released on November 14 the 15th edition of Beyond ABC: Assessing the Well-Being of Children in North Texas, a 98-page report examining the quality of life for children in Dallas, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin and Grayson counties.

Produced in collaboration with the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, Beyond ABC is a comprehensive assessment of the four factors – pediatric health, economic security, safety and education – that shape children’s lives across the region and influence their opportunities for the future.

“The strength of a community can be measured by how well it cares for its youngest and most vulnerable residents,” said Christopher J. Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health. “The insights gleaned from this report emphasize that while we’ve seen some improvements and successes, much work remains. Armed with this powerful data, we implore everyone to treat our mission—to make life better for children—as a call to action.”

Highlights from the report show:
Rates of uninsured children in Dallas, Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties are still twice the national average. More than half a million children in Texas are uninsured overall;

One in 5 children in North Texas lives in poverty. Children living in poverty are seven times more likely to be in poor or fair health;

Food insecurity has consistently declined in the region since 2013, but all six counties still exceed the national average;

One in 10 homeless children lives in Texas. Unstable housing and homelessness among youths have long-term impacts that include higher risks of behavioral health problems, criminal behavior and victimization, and poor education outcomes;

Nearly 30,000 North Texas third graders—more than half—are reading below grade level, a powerful predictor of future high school graduation;

Cultural competency plays a role; nearly 1 in 3 Dallas County students is an English-language learner (Limited English Proficiency), compared with 1 in 20 in Fannin County.

Children’s Health has produced Beyond ABC since 1996. Whereas previous versions of the report have been published annually and focused on Dallas County and the Northern Corridor, the format was updated in 2015 to feature a single report covering six counties in the Children’s Health service area: Dallas, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin and Grayson.

For the full report, please click here.