Washington County Results for Child Well-Being

This scorecard tracks the county-level results and indicators for Washington County.

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Story Behind the Curve

While there has been a downward trend in the teen birth rate, Washington County has historically had a significantly higher teen birth rate than the State of Maryland. In 2013, the teen birth rate in Washington County ranked 28.2 whereas the State of Maryland ranked 19.3. Lower educational levels and higher rates of poverty are the two most significant socioeconomic issues correlated with teen pregnancy. Other factors include absent parents, lack of knowledge, media influence, teenage drinking and substance abuse, as well as lack of contraception. The LMB remains concerned with this data and desires to continue collaborative efforts in providing clinical services to teens and comprehensive education.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Clinical Services & Community Outreach to Reduce Teen Pregnancy & Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County teens, female and male ages 13 to 19, are provided free confidential clinical services to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

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Story Behind the Curve

Health Insurance Coverage – In 2012, 4.3% of children under the age of 19 in Washington County were uninsured. While this indicator is improving, the LMB remains concerned with this data, citing that all children should have access to healthcare.

Substance Abuse – While there has been a downward trend in the percentage of twelfth graders reporting having smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days, Washington County has historically had a significantly higher percentage than the average for the State of Maryland. The trend for the percentage of twelfth graders reporting having drunk alcohol in the last 30 days has been flat with nearly half of those surveyed indicating that they had drank alcohol in the last 30 days. Finally, there has been a downward trend in the percentage of twelfth graders reporting having smoked marijuana in the last 30 days, which may be attributed to a significant national effort to abate the use of illegal substances.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Tomorrow's Leaders

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children and youth are insured and are equipped with the knowledge to make healthy decisions regarding drugs, alcohol, sex, and other risk-taking behaviors. Youth will learn positive ways to deal with peer pressure, mental health issues, bullying, interpersonal conflicts and other negative influences. Ultimately, this generation of youth will end the cycle of poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse and teen pregnancy.

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The rate of juvenile offense arrests per 10,000 youth ages 10 - 17 - Societal and systemic factors impact this indicator as well as poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues, resistive parents, funding (lack of continuity), length of service constraints (from funding sources), inconsistency in consequences or lack of consequences in the judicial system, inadequate resources in community to treat sexual offenders, inadequate research to show what is effective (for sexual offenders) inadequate number of providers to work with the sexual offender population, location of services (centralized in Hagerstown), transportation issues, inadequate numbers of staff to manage current caseloads, confidentiality barriers related to data sharing, lack of sufficient resources to provide a holistic wrap-around approach in order to keep the youth in the County, complexity of dual diagnoses.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Juvenile Delinquency Prevention & Diversion Initiative, Rural Out of School Time Initiative, Tomorrow's Leaders and School Based Mental Health Services

Why Is This Important?

Children are born and raised in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment, parented by caring adults capable of meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs. Ultimately, children will be free from child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency and the destabilizing effects of domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health concerns within their homes and communities.

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Story Behind the Curve

While Washington County adults, 25 years and older, rank in the top third in the State of Maryland for graduating from high school, they rank in the bottom quarter for those attaining a post-secondary education. There is a strong correlation between the level of education an individual attains and the economic stability he/she will experience. The more education an individual attains, the more likely he/she is to be economically stable. Studies have noted the dramatic difference in income between individuals with no high school diploma and individuals possessing high school diplomas and post-secondary degrees and training certificates. Low prioritization of educational attainment contributes to generational poverty.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Family Centered Support Services

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children live in households headed by an adult or adults who have attained a level of educational attainment and/or specialized training that affords them the opportunity to meet their financial obligations and provide for the necessities of their children without undue reliance on public supports. Such households facilitate the child's opportunity to live a productive, developmentally appropriate childhood in their respective household.

Data Discussion
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Story Behind the Curve

For the 2014-2015 school year 43% of kindergarteners in Washington County were assessed as being fully ready for school. This was below the average for the State of Maryland, which was 47%. Washington County had the 4th lowest percentage of kindergartener's who were assessed as being fully ready for school in the State of Maryland. A variety of dynamics can influence a child's school readiness including parental education level, lack of awareness in a child's development and learning, relationship between parent and child, access to quality of early child care and prekindergarten, as well as low-income households.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Family Centered Support Services, School Readiness Program - Early Childhood Advisory Council Coordinator & Healthy Families

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children, who are birth through age five, are provided with an enriching pre-school experience that equips them with the social and emotional developmental skills, physical skills, language and literacy skills, mathematical thinking skills, scientific thinking skills, social studies skills and artistic skills that are needed to meet kindergarten expectations successfully.

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Youth who encounter bullying or harassment have wide ranging effects that are experienced such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, decreased academic achievement, decreased school attendance, health complaints, mental health issues, substance abuse and suicide. Bullying affects everyone whether it is those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. In 2013, 45.1% of middle school youth and 21% of high school youth within Washington County admitted to being bullied on school property. During the 2013-2014 school year, 1,316 middle school youth and 2,685 high school youth admitted to being electronically bullied. The evolution of mobile communication and social media has made it easier for youth to create an inescapable and more harmful way to bully others. Lack of attention from friends, family or teachers can cause the onset of bullying. Some youth learn bullying from others while some bully so they do not become victims themselves. There was a slight downward trend for 2013-2014 school year which may be attributed to the awareness of bullying and harassment on the part of students, school staff and parents.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Chain Reaction Presentation

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children attending school will have an experience that is free from bullying, intimidation or harassment incidents. Youth will learn positive ways to combat negative student to student interactions, bullying, peer pressure, personal conflicts and other negative influences. Ultimately, this generation of youth will be taught kindness, compassion, optimism, generosity and forgiveness which will impact the way youth co-exist in the future.

Data Discussion
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Story Behind the Curve

While Washington County adults, 25 years and older, rank in the top third in the State of Maryland for graduating from high school, they rank in the bottom quarter for those attaining a post-secondary education. There is a strong correlation between the level of education an individual attains and the economic stability he/she will experience. The more education an individual attains, the more likely he/she is to be economically stable. Studies have noted the dramatic difference in income between individuals with no high school diploma and individuals possessing high school diplomas and post-secondary degrees and training certificates. Low prioritization of educational attainment contributes to generational poverty.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Post-Secondary Education and Training Coordination and Family Centered Support Services

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children live in households headed by an adult or adults who have attained a level of educational attainment and/or specialized training that affords them the opportunity to meet their financial obligations and provide for the necessities of their children without undue reliance on public supports. Such households facilitate the child’s opportunity to live a productive, developmentally appropriate childhood in their respective household.

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Story Behind the Curve

Percentage of Washington County children and youth, birth to age 17 living in poverty: There is a correlation between limited educational attainment and poverty. Children who are raised in generational poverty often inherit the low prioritization of educational attainment and other life skill choices associated with poverty. Factors include: lack of education, inadequate skill sets, lack of employment, decline in neighborhoods, big government, decline in social morality, urbanization, suburbanization of manufacturing, inadequate regional planning, immigration, eligibility and funding limitations of social services, absence of worker skills, absence of intellectual capital, absence of social capital, lack of career ladder between knowledge and service sectors, speed of economic transformation at local level, colonial exploitation (e.g. minimum wage vs. living wage, temporary jobs, less than 30 hours per week, lack of benefits, disposable employees, debt bondage, global outsourcing, payday lenders, lease/purchase, drug trade, exploitation for markets, exploitation of resources and raw materials), race, gender, transportation, inability to break the poverty cycle, substance abuse, mental illness, and homelessness. According to the September 2008 Needs Assessment, under valuing the importance of education in some of the outlying areas continues to be a generational issue. There continues to be a lack of motivation for students to move onto higher education, an issue that the local school system has been trying to change.

Rate of out-of-home placements per 1000 children and youth, birth to age 17: Families who lack resources are less able to provide for the necessities of their children, which may result in the placement of the child outside the home to meet his/her needs. Factors include: poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues, resistive parents, lac of awareness in community of issues, lack of funding to provide services, length of service restraints (from funding source), inconsistent response/consequences from the judicial system, insufficient resources in the community as well as location of services (centered in Hagerstown rather than throughout the County), transportation issues, lack of in-home services, lack of communication/collaboration between agencies (partly the result of confidentiality barriers), funding (lack of continuity), juveniles lack accountability, inconsistency in consequences or lack of consequences in the judicial system, inadequate number of resources in the community to treat sexual offenders, inadequate research to show what is effective (for sexual offenders), inadequate number of providers to work with the sexual offender population, high burn out or turnover of front line staff, inadequate number of staff to manage current caseloads, lack of community based wrap around services necessary to keep youth in the County, changes in population demographics and complexity of dual diagnoses.

Strategies to improve these indicators

Regional Family Navigation Program

Why Is This Important?

All Washington County children live in households headed by an adult or adults who have attained a level of educational attainment and/or specialized training that affords them the opportunity to meet their financial obligations and provide for the necessities of their children without undue reliance on public supports. Such households facilitate the child’s opportunity to live a productive, developmentally appropriate childhood in their respective household.

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy