Elizabeth Burke-Bryant

Rhode Island’s ranking for child well-being has dropped from last year, according to a new report from the child advocacy group Kids Count. 

The number of babies born with exposure to opioid drugs and alcohol nearly doubled in Rhode Island between 2006 and 2013. 

That’s one of the more startling facts in the new Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook. Executive Director Elizabeth Burke-Bryant said unlike earlier drug problems, this one is not concentrated in urban areas.

“90 percent of babies born with drugs in their system, were born to white mothers and 32 percent lived in the four core cities, which means the majority of these cases are spread to the rest of Rhode Island,” said Bryant.

RIPR FILE

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rhode Island Monday. It’s part of his work on drafting legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

“It’s at this point a listening and learning exercise to hear from the people who work in the field of juvenile justice and determine what changes would be advisable in the law,” said Whitehouse.  

The latest Kids Count Fact Book comes out Monday. That’s an annual report about the health and well-being of children in Rhode Island. Researchers find many of the state’s minority children are still disproportionately at risk.

The latest round of test scores come out today for students in Rhode Island public schools. The annual exam known as the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, covers reading, writing and math.  The results are closely watched by education advocates and policy-makers. One of them is Elizabeth Burke-Bryant from Rhode Island Kids Count.