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Annual Report on D.C. Children's Well-Being is Mixed Bag

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By Jonathan Wilson

An annual report evaluating the well-being of children in D.C. shows the District is making progress in fighting child abuse, but has work to do in other areas.

Kinaya Sokoya is the executive director of the D.C. Children's Trust Fund, which oversees the Kids Count study. She says the city's Child and Family Services Agency dealt with 1580 child abuse and neglect cases between June of 2008 and June of this year.

That's a 5 percent decrease compared with the previous year. "I'm excited about that, particularly that the numbers have gone down in a time of economic stress," Sokoya says.

But Sokoya says there were concerning increases in areas such as juvenile crime -- which saw a 16 percent increase from 2007 to 2008.

She says these are trends bound to have lasting effects on the city's children.

"When you're dealing with those basic life issues, it's hard to attend to things like achieving in school," she says.

This is the 16th year the D.C. Kids Count Collaborative has compiled the report.

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