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Eastern Region Statistics

The purpose of the Child Well-Being Needs Assessment (CWBNA) is to learn about the well-being of the child and family population, identify contributing factors or higher risk contributors to poorer outcomes for children, and determine what assets and resources are available to improve child-wellbeing in Ohio.

As part of the planning process each region must inform the development of a comprehensive needs assessment that communicates the needs identified in the region’s respective counties. This report represents the culmination of numerous data collection efforts to develop a comprehensive needs assessment for the Eastern Ohio region.

Collaborative Process for Sharing and Analyzing Data

This needs assessment was developed through a collaborative process of collecting and analyzing data, involving many sectors of the community – state and local government, non-profits, community foundations, health care providers, academia, the state health department, ensuring representation of populations that are at higher risk or have poorer outcomes including kinship care providers and young parents.

The intent of the needs assessment process was to identify significant trends, issues, and developments in the area of child well-being, identifying current strategies and gaps in service throughout the region. Sources of data for this report include the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Education, the Bureau of the Census’ American Community Survey, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Feeding America in partnership with the USDA Economic Research Service. The most current data and five-year trend data were obtained wherever possible. Additional effort was made to standardize key indicators by county for comparison purposes and to enable targeted strategy implementation.

The Eastern Ohio prevention planning process relied on data from multiple sources, both qualitative and quantitative, to identify child abuse and neglect prevention priorities. This task generated hundreds of data points for consideration. More than 160 caregivers and community members participated in an online survey and 39 representatives from the region’s service providers and prevention specialists participated in an online survey and a community forum; secondary quantitative data analysis used data sources related to child maltreatment and well-being from federal, state, and local sources. As a result of these efforts, three priority focus areas identified by the Eastern Ohio Prevention Council are as follows:

  • Grandparents raising grandchildren, families within kinship situations
  • Early child education
  • Students with disabilities

This analysis of population trends and projections in the Eastern Region indicates that the priorities found in the 2016 assessment are still priorities today. One in five family risk assessments indicate parental emotional/mental health functioning is a risk contributor to child abuse and neglect over the past three years, while one-quarter of family risk assessments indicate substance use over this same period. Grandparents and other relatives, both in formal and informal arrangements, are caring for the children affected by these factors. In addition, the Region’s youth population will continue to grow over the next twenty years. More specifically, so will the number of children under the age of five. Young children, children under the age of 4, are at higher risk for child abuse and neglect.

Review of the data from these sources also results in the identification of the following challenges of child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in the region.

  • There were approximately 5,000 allegations of child abuse and neglect reported annually from 2016-2019 in the Eastern Region.
  • The rate of reports per 1,000 children of child abuse and neglect in Guernsey and Harrison Counties far outpace the State of Ohio and the region.
  • Total substantiated allegations of child abuse and neglect have increased over the four-year period from 2016-2019.
  • Three out of every ten family risk assessments indicate substance use or emotional/mental functioning are a risk contributor to child abuse and neglect reports.
  • In the Eastern Region, over 4,000 children are being raised by their grandparents and their grandparents are responsible for the care.
  • The percentage of 3- and 4-year olds not enrolled in early education in the Eastern region is higher than the state and nation.
  • The percentage of students demonstrating readiness for kindergarten in Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, and Monroe counties is considerably lower than the state.
  • K-12 enrollment of children with disabilities has steadily increased from SY2015 through SY2019. Higher rates of disability are reported in six of the ten counties in the region when compared the region as a whole – Coshocton, Carroll, Guernsey, Harrison, Muskingum, and Monroe Counties.
  • In focus groups and surveys, service providers and caregivers agree there is a lack of concrete supports including affordable childcare, food and housing assistance, and referral services to address depression, substance abuse, and/or other mental health issues.

Service Provider Focus Group Participants noted:

  • Organizations are taking small steps to make large impacts on the community, like maintaining a strong kinship program to support kinship caregivers. The service links caregivers to resources, services, and medical care for families.
  • Participants stated the region is very collaborative and looks for methods to offer complementary services.

Access the full Needs Assessment for a comprehensive view of the scope of the child abuse and neglect issue in Eastern Ohio.