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Western 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 Western 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 Western Ohio prevention planning process relied on data from multiple sources, both qualitative and quantitative, to identify child abuse and neglect prevention priorities. 45 service providers and prevention specialists participated in an online survey and a focus group session, and 53 caregivers and community members participated in an online survey. Secondary quantitative data analysis used data sources related to child maltreatment and well-being from federal, state, and local sources.

The intent of the needs assessment process was to identify significant trends, issues, and developments in 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. Please refer to the appendices for the survey, focus group, and secondary data summaries.

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 over 15,000 allegations of child abuse and neglect reported annually from 2016-2018 and 16,451 allegations in 2019 in the Western Region.
  • The rate of reports per 1,000 children of child abuse and neglect in Hardin, Logan, Montgomery, and Shelby Counties outpace the Region. 
  • One out of every five allegations of child abuse and neglect are substantiated allegations in the region.
  • 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. Family assessments where substance use is indicated are considerably higher in Clark and Hardin counties, while assessments where emotional/mental health functioning is a risk contributor are higher in Auglaize and Preble Counties.
  • In 2018, approximately 54% of 3- and 4-year-olds were not enrolled in early education in the region. 
  • There are approximately 12 births per 1,000 teenage females in the Western Region. In Clark County, the 5-year rate is 60% higher than the State of Ohio.
  • While the percentage of students demonstrating kindergarten readiness in the region is comparable to the state, only 30.2% of students demonstrated kindergarten readiness in Preble County compared to 42.3% in the Western Region. 
  • Enrollment of students who have one or more disabilities has remained consistent over the past five reported school years – one in seven students has one or more reported disabilities.
  • In focus groups and surveys, service providers and caregivers agree there is a lack of concrete supports like childcare and substance abuse/mental health treatment. 
  • Respondents indicated that long waitlists, lack of transportation to service locations, and a general lack of knowledge of available services are the primary reasons that caregivers in need cannot access these services. 
  • Service providers feel that limited funding and restrictive funding streams negatively impacts service providers’ ability to assist families.

Service Provider Focus Group Participants noted:

  • A variety of parent education programs are a need in Western Ohio.
  • Childcare at the same site as the community-based parent support program would positively impact attendance.
  • A more convenient time of day or location would also influence caregivers to participate in parent skill-building programs.

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