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Home > Advocacy > State Fact Sheets for 2009 > Alaska

 
 

ALASKA'S CHILDREN 2009

Alaska's Children At a Glance

 
 State Population. 1  683,478 
 Population, Children Under 18. 2  182,218 
 State Poverty Rate. 3  7.6% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Under 18. 4  8.5% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Ages 5-17. 5  7.3% 
 Poverty Rate, Children Under 5. 6  17.0% 
All statistics are for 2007.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

  • In 2006, Alaska had 10,038 total referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of those, 5,755 reports were referred for investigation. 7
  • In 2006, 3,481 children were substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected in Alaska, a rate of 19.2 per 1,000 children, representing a 29.3% increase from 2005. Of these children, 2,007 were neglected, 496 were physically abused, and 158 were sexually abused. 8
  • In 2006, two children in Alaska died as a result of abuse or neglect. 9
  • In 2006, 2,017 children in Alaska lived apart from their families in out-of-home care, compared with 1,791 children in 2005. In 2006, 36.4% of the children living apart from their families were age 5 or younger, and 13.8% were 16 or older. 10
  • Of Alaska children in out-of-home care in 2006, 26.9% were white, 5.4% black, 4.3% Hispanic, 49.8% American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 13.6% children of other races and ethnicities. 11

ADOPTION, KINSHIPCARE, AND PERMANENT FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN

  • Of the 689 children exiting out-of-home care in Alaska in 2006, 57% were reunited with their parents or other family members. 12
  • In 2006, 212 children were legally adopted through the public child welfare agency in Alaska, a 4% increase from 204 in 2005. 13
  • Of the 2,017 children in out-of-home care in 2006, 797 or 39.5% were waiting to be adopted. 14
  • In 2007, approximately 5,953 Alaska grandparents had primary responsibility caring for their grandchildren. 15
  • Of the 2,017 children in out-of-home care in 2006, 29.1% were living with relatives while in care. 16
  • Of all Alaska children in kinship care in 2006, 23.2% were white, 5.6% were black, 3.1% were Hispanic, 53.2% were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 14.9% were other races. 17

CHILD POVERTY AND INCOME SUPPORT

  • The total number of individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Alaska decreased from 8,996 in March 2007 to 8,466 in March 2008, a decrease of 5.9%. The number of families receiving TANF in March 2008 was 3,203, a 5.1% decrease from March 2007. 18
  • In 2003, a family of three receiving only TANF and food stamp benefits in Alaska was at 61.8% of the federal poverty guideline. 19
  • In 2006, Alaska spent $69,846,279 in TANF funds, including 52.1% on basic assistance, 8.41% on child care, 1.0% on transportation, and 38.5% on nonassistance. 20
  • In 2007, Alaska spent $14,830,199 on WIC (the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), serving 25,205 participants. 21
  • In 2007, Alaska collected and distributed $90,888,031 in child support funds, a 5.2% increase from 2006. 22
  • In 2008, the fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Alaska was $970 per month. The wage needed to afford this rent was $18.65 per hour, working a 40-hour week. 23

CHILD CARE AND HEAD START

  • In 2006, Alaska had a monthly average of 4,900 children served by subsidized child care; 4,700 children received subsidized child care in 2005, and 4,400 in 2004. 24
  • In 2008, to be eligible for subsidized child care in Alaska, a family of three could make no more than $46,243, which is equivalent to 72% of the state's median income. 25
  • As of early 2008, Alaska had no children on its waiting list for child care assistance. 26
  • In 2007, Head Start served 1,583 Alaska children, a 0.2% decrease from 2001. 27

HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

  • In 2005, 80,400 children younger than 19 were enrolled in Medicaid in Alaska-61.8% of the total number of enrollees. 28
  • In 2005, 2,844 children were enrolled in Medicaid in Alaska on the basis of being in foster care. 29
  • In 2005, of the 2,844 children enrolled in Medicaid on the basis of being in foster care, 20 received Targeted Case Management services, and 338 received Rehabilitative Services. 30
  • In 2007, Alaska had 7,793 children enrolled in its State Children's Health Insurance Program, an 18.7% decrease from 2006, when 9,582 children were enrolled. 31
  • In 2007, Alaska had 21,000 uninsured children, representing 11.4% of its child population. 32
  • In 2005, 635 babies were born weighing less than 2,500 grams, giving Alaska a rank of 4 nationally in percent of low-weight births (1 being the best, and 50 the worst). 33
  • In 2005, 62 infants under age 1 died in Alaska, giving it a rank of 4 nationally in terms of infant mortality rates (a rank of 1 being the best and 50 the worst). 34
  • In 2005, the birth rate for teens 15-17 in Alaska was 17 births per 1,000 girls; for teens 18-19, the rate was 69. This reflects a total rate of 37 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19. 35
  • Cumulative through 2006, 648 adults and adolescents, as well as 7 children younger than 13, were reported as having HIV/AIDS in Alaska. 36
  • In 2006, an estimated 6,000 children ages 12-17, and 46,000 adults age 26 and older, were dependent on or abusing illicit drugs or alcohol in Alaska. 37

VULNERABLE YOUTH

  • In 2006, 52 children aged out of out-of-home care in Alaska. 38
  • In 2007, 3,000 Alaska teens ages 16-19 were high-school dropouts. 39
  • In 2007, 11% of teens ages 16-19 were not enrolled in school and were not working. 40
  • In 2006, 18% of people ages 18-24 were not enrolled in school, were not working, and had no degree beyond high school. 41
  • In 2006, approximately 3,000 children ages 12-17 in Alaska needed but had not received treatment for illicit drug use in the past year. 42
  • In 2006, approximately 4,000 children ages 12-17 needed but had not received treatment for alcohol use in the past year. 43
  • In 2005, 18 Alaska children younger than 20 committed suicide, a rate of 8.47 per 100,000 children. 44

JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION

  • In 2005, four children under age 18 were killed in firearm homicides in Alaska, a 33% decrease from six in 2004. 45
  • In 2007, 4,161 children younger than 18 were arrested in Alaska, a 0.6% increase from 4,136 arrests in 2006. Of those arrests, 182 were for violent crimes and 56 were for possession of a weapon. 46
  • A 2006 census of juvenile offenders showed 363 children in juvenile correction facilities in Alaska. 47

FUNDING CHILD WELFARE SERVICES FOR ALASKA'S CHILDREN

  • In 2006, Alaska spent $107,202,991 for child welfare services. Child welfare services are all direct and administrative services the state agency provides to children and families. Of this amount, 43% was from federal funds, and 57% from state funds. 48
  • In 2006, of the $46,037,391 in federal funds received for child welfare, 52% came from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, 4% from Title IV-B Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families, 18% from Medicaid, 20% from the Social Services Block Grant, and 7% from other federal sources. 49
  • Out of 2,017 children in out-of-home care in Alaska in 2006, only 719, or 35.6%, received Title IV-E federal foster care assistance. 50

ALASKA'S CHILD WELFARE WORKFORCE

  • A 2003 General Accounting Office (GAO) report documented that staff shortages, high caseloads, high worker turnover and low salaries impinge on delivering services to achieve safety, permanence, and well being for children. 51
  • The federal Child and Family Service Reviews have clearly demonstrated that the more time a caseworker spends with a child and family, the better the outcomes for those children and families. 52
  • According to the 2003 GAO report, the average caseload for child welfare/foster care caseworkers is 24-31 children; these high caseloads contribute to high worker turnover and insufficient services being provided to children and families. CWLA recommends that foster care caseworkers have caseloads of 12-15 children. 53
  • In 2004, the minimum annual salary for a caseworker responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect in Alaska was $36,969; the median income for a family of four in Alaska was $72,110. 54

NOTES AND REFERENCES

  1. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2007). Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States and States, and for Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (NST-EST2007-01). Retrieved online October 15, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). Annual State Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics with 6 Race Groups (5 Race Alone Groups and One Group with Two or more Race Groups): April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  3. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). Current Population Survey, 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  4. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). Current Population Survey, 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2007: People Under 18 Years of Age. Retrieved October 15, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  5. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). Current Population Survey, 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Poverty Status by State: 2007: Related Children 5 to 17 Years of Age. Retrieved October 15, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  6. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). 2007 American Community Survey, Data Profile. Selected Population Profiles: 2007. Retrieved October 29, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  7. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2008). Child Maltreatment 2006: Reports From the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved October 16, 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). back
  8. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2008). Child Maltreatment 2006: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Retrieved October 16, 2008 online here and here. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  9. Ibid., retrieved October 16, 2008back
  10. CWLA. (2008). Special tabulation from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS). Arlington, VA: Author. back
  11. Other races and ethnicities includes Asian, Pacific Islander, Hawaiian Native, unknown or unable to determine, missing data, and two or more races. CWLA, special tabulation from AFCARS. back
  12. Ibid. back
  13. Ibid. back
  14. Ibid. back
  15. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008). 2007 American Community Survey, Data Profile. Selected Social Characteristics: 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  16. CWLA, special tabulation from AFCARS. back
  17. Ibid. back
  18. U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. (2008). Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Separate State Program-Maintenance of Effort Aid to Families with Dependant Children: Caseload Data. Retrieved October 16, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  19. Calculations by CWLA, based on HHS. (2006). Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program: Sixth Annual Report to Congress. Retrieved February 2, 2009. Washington, DC: Author.
    U.S. Food and Nutrition Service. (2005). Food Stamp Program-Annual State Level Data-State Level Participation. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: FY 2003. Retrieved February 2, 2009. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (2003). The 2003 HHS Poverty Guidelines. Retrieved February 2, 2009. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  20. Nonassistance is benefits provided to TANF recipients that are not considered assistance as defined by law and thus do not trigger the clock for lifetime limits on TANF benefits. Administration for Children and Families. (2007). Combined Spending of Federal and State Funds Expended in FY 2006. Retrieved October 21, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  21. Food and Nutrition Service. (2008). WIC Program Participation and Cost. Retrieved November 24, 2008. Washington, DC: USDA. back
  22. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement. (2008). Preliminary Data Report FY 2007 (Preliminary). Retrieved October 21, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  23. National Low Income Housing Coalition. (2008). Out of Reach. Retrieved, October 21, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  24. Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2008). FFY 2006 CCDF Data Tables (Final, July 2008); Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS.
    Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2007). FFY 2005 CCDF Data Tables and Charts; Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved November 22, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS.
    Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2006). FFY 2004 CCDF Data Tables and Charts; Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Children and Families Served. Retrieved November 22, 2008. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  25. Schulman, K. & Blank, H. (2008). State Child Care Assistance Policies 2008: Too Little Progress for Children & Families. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Washington, DC: National Women's Law Center. back
  26. Ibid. back
  27. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start. (2008). Head Start Program Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2008. Washington, D.C.: HHS. back
  28. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (n.d.). State Medicaid Fact Sheets. Retrieved October 6, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  29. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medicaid Statistical Information System. Retrieved November 21, 2007. Washington, DC: HHS. back
  30. Ibid. back
  31. Smith, V.; Rousseau, D.; Marks, C.; & Rudowitz, R. (2008) SCHIP Enrollment in June 2007: An Update on Current Enrollment and SCHIP Policy Directions. Retrieved December 3, 2008. Washington, DC: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. back
  32. U.S. Census Bureau. (2008.) Current Population Survey, 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Retrieved October 27, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  33. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Low birthweight babies: Number: 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2008. Baltimore: Author.
    Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Low birthweight babies: Percent: 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2008. Baltimore: Author. back
  34. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Infant Mortality: Number: 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2008. Baltimore: Author.
    Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Infant Mortality: Rate: 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2008. Baltimore, MD: Author. back
  35. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Teen Births, by Age Group, Rate per 1,000: 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2008. Baltimore: Author. back
  36. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2006. Vol. 17. Retrieved October 6, 2008. Atlanta: Author. back
  37. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office of Applied Studies. (2008). State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2005-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Rockville, MD: Author. back
  38. Children who age out of foster care are captured by the AFCARS emancipation data element. Children who exit care to emancipation are those who reach the age of majority according to state law by virtue of age, marriage, etc. CWLA, Special AFCARS tabulation. back
  39. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Teens who are high school dropouts: Number: 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Baltimore: Author. back
  40. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Teens not attending school and not working: Percent: 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Baltimore: Author. back
  41. Annie E. Casey Foundation (2008). Kids Count. State Level Data Online: Comparisons by Topic: Persons Age 18-24 not attending school, not working, and no degree beyond High School: Percent 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Baltimore: Author. back
  42. SAMHSA, State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2005-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Healthback
  43. Ibid. back
  44. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2008). Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2005. Retrieved November 5, 2008. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. back
  45. Ibid. back
  46. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2008). Crime in the United States 2007 (Table 69). Retrieved November 5, 2008. Washington, DC: Author.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2007). Crime in the United States 2006 (Table 69). Retrieved November 5, 2008. Washington, DC: Author. back
  47. Sickmund, M.; Sladky, T.J., & Kang, W. (2008). Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook. Retrieved November 5, 2008. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. back
  48. Examples of direct services include child abuse/neglect investigations, foster care, community-based programs, case management, and all such services required for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Examples of administrative services include management information systems, training programs, eligibility determination processes, and all services that provide the infrastructure supports for the public agency. DeVooght, K.; Allen, T.; & Geen, R. (2008). Federal, State, and Local Spending to Address Child Abuse and Neglect in SFY 2006. Washington, DC: Child Trends. back
  49. Ibid. back
  50. CWLA, Special AFCARS tabulation. back
  51. U.S. General Accounting Office. (2003). Child Welfare: HHS Could Play a Greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff. Retrieved January 27, 2009. Washington, DC: Author. back
  52. Ibid. back
  53. Ibid. back
  54. CWLA. (2006). State Child Welfare Agency Survey. Washington, DC: Author.
    U.S. Census Bureau. (2005). Median Income for 4-Person Families, by State. Retrieved, October 3, 2006. Washington, DC: Author. back




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