The “End of Childhood Report” from the advocacy group Save the Children ranks South Carolina near the bottom in the five categories it used.
The group’s national director of policy and advocacy Rich Bland told South Carolina Radio Network the state has plenty of room for improvement.
“South Carolina, the overall ranking is 38th, which unfortunately is in the bottom quarter of the country,” he said.
The categories examined in the study are infant mortality, malnutrition, dropout rates, violence against children and adolescent births.
Bland said the study is constructed on the premise that the factors harm a child’s “innocence.” “This report is based on the concept that there are events in children’s lives that cause them to lose their childhood,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
The report also provides some potential solutions to the problems. “We believe that investing in early childhood education would also prevent some of these childhood enders,” said Bland.
Some of those efforts to improve a child’s life are being used. “Thankfully you have a great program in ‘First Steps’ in South Carolina that we in Save the Children have partnered with for a number of years,” Bland said.
The report ranks children in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont as far more likely to experience safe, secure and healthy childhoods than children in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Each state’s rank was determined by averaging its ranking for the five childhood enders considered in this review.