August 16, 2021

KIDS COUNT comes to Florida Policy Institute

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

For 30 years, the University of South Florida (USF) has been Florida’s partner in the KIDS COUNT® network, a leading voice on issues relating to child and family well-being in the Sunshine State. Over the years, USF, under the leadership of Dr. Norin Dollard, has disseminated national, state, and local data on key indicators and has produced analyses of child-well being for the state. These research publications have been indispensable for organizations, advocates, lawmakers, and everyday Floridians to understand the landscape of child and family well-being in Florida. 

FPI and USF have worked hand-in-hand over the past few years, amplifying the KIDS COUNT data and analyses to inform the dialogue and decision-making on what Florida can do to improve the quality of life for children and families. With such synergy between the work that USF has done using KIDS COUNT data and FPI’s mission, we are excited to take up the mantle and become Florida’s partner in the KIDS COUNT network, with Dr. Dollard continuing to lead this important work as part of the FPI team.

USF has laid a strong foundation of research and analysis on how children and youth in Florida fare on a number of indicators. As FPI takes on this new area, our goal is to continue to serve as a leading source of data and analysis on indicators of child well-being. We also hope that by becoming the KIDS COUNT partner in Florida, we can deepen our capacity, partner engagement, and advocacy on issues facing children and young adults.

FPI’s vision for shared prosperity includes building nurturing and inclusive communities, in which families have access to supports such as nutrition, housing, health care, and income supports. Our vision includes fully funding early learning, education, and job training to ensure all Floridians can achieve economic security. All of these things are necessary for children to thrive and grow into successful adults, and achieving this vision requires us to understand the unique needs and challenges children and families face.

KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has raised the profile of child well-being nationally. Florida Policy Institute looks forward to continuing and growing this important work for KIDS COUNT in Florida.

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