Last year, Venture Philanthropy Partners commissioned Child Trends, a nonprofit research center that studies children at all stages of development, to conduct baseline research and benchmarking on the status of children and youth from low-income families living in the Washington metropolitan region.
Today VPP released Capital Kids: Shared Responsibility, Shared Future, which reveals that despite the overall affluence of the region, an enormous opportunity gap exists between the children who have what they need to lead healthy, productive lives and those who don’t. The launch event, which was attended by more 150 nonprofit, philanthropy, government, and business leaders, included a panel discussion on the implications of the report for our region. The panel featured Meyer President and CEO Julie Rogers, Uma Ahluwalia, Director of Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Carolyn Berowitz, Vice President for Community Affairs and President of the Capital One Foundation, and Lori Kaplan, President and CEO of the Latin American Youth Center.
To build the report, Child Trends used 2010 census data to gather and analyze demographic, social, and economic characteristics of youth and their families in each jurisdiction of the region. Particular attention was given to family composition, racial disparities, employment patterns, use of public benefits, and economic trends.
The initial goal of this research was to build on available geographic-specific research and offer a regional snapshot of the overall well-being low-income children and youth ages 0-24. It is hoped that the report will drive a “call to action” across the region by setting a standard for progress.
VPP received funding support for this research from the Meyer Foundation and other local funders, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Capital One Bank, and Freddie Mac, as well as from the United Way, Montgomery County and Fairfax County.
In addition to the report, the study’s dedicated website, capitalkidsreport.org, has a wealth of data and infographics on poverty, immigration, the educational achievement gap, and the opportunity divide for youth across the region.