Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
January 6, 2009
Health Insurance
Hearings on Global Medicaid Waiver
Rhode Island Flag
Rhode Island's application for a Global Medicaid Waiver was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services on December 19, 2008. The terms of the Waiver are subject to the RI General Assembly's approval. The General Assembly has 30 days to reject the terms of the waiver or it will become binding. There will be a hearing on the waiver in the RI House Finance Committee on Friday, January 9, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. and if necessary, to be continued on Monday, January 12, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 35 at the State House. For more information about the CMS offer, view the Special Terms and Conditions of the Waiver.

The legislative session begins today. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT tracks legislation related to many areas of child well-being. We compile action taken on specific bills as well as summaries and analysis. To find the latest information on legislation in the State's General Assembly affecting children and families bookmark our Current Legislation page that will be updated daily throughout the session. 
Early Care and Education
Satellite Conference Highlights Pre-K Opportunities   
Diverse Delivery of Pre-K: Opportunities and Challenges was the topic of a national Pre-K Now satellite conference hosted by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and attended by policymakers and child care providers from across the state. The conference included a panel discussion with leaders from the New Jersey Abbott Pre-K System about the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing high-quality preschool in child care centers, Head Start and public schools. Panelists included Cynthia Rice of the Association for Children New Jersey and Lorraine Cooke of the Egenolf Early Childhood Center in Elizabeth, NJ and New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children. View pictures from the event.
Children's Mental Health
Bryant Highlights Progress and Challenges in Behavioral Health Care   
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Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of     Rhode Island KIDS COUNT participated in a panel on behavioral health care as part of a luncheon sponsored by Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island's (NHPRI) and Beacon Health Strategies. Elizabeth urged support for a connected and comprehensive continuum of community services that allows children to receive treatment at appropriate levels of care in their communities. She highlighted the special needs of children of incarcerated parents, children in foster care and incarcerated youth.
For more information on mental health and behavioral care in Rhode Island, read the NHPRI report, Identifying the Value of Medicaid Managed Care, and the Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's Children's Mental Health Indicator.
Child Well-Being
The State of America's Children
The Children's Defense Fund has released its annual State of America's Children 2008 report showing an increase in children and youth at risk. Rhode Island had a 13% youth unemployment rate, compared to the national rate of 15.7%. Nationally, the rate of children and teens killed by firearms increased for the first time since 1994. 
The report is a compilation of national and state-by-state data on poverty, health, child welfare, youth at risk, early childhood development, education, nutrition and housing.
Visit us at www.rikidscount.org
In This Issue
star Hearings on Global Medicaid Waiver
star Satellite Conference Highlights Pre-K Opportunities
star Bryant Highlights Progress and Challenges in Behavioral Health Care
star The State of America's Children
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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.