A volunteer committee of proven leaders and advocates has joined together to address the potential undercount of children in the 2020 Census. Organized by American Children’s Campaign, a statewide nonpartisan child advocacy organization, the group aims to engage media and augment the work of the more than 300 Local Complete Count Committees and grassroots organizations throughout Florida with a special emphasis on hard-to-count areas.

“If Florida does not improve its count of children or, worse, dips, the state will lose more than a BILLION dollars in revenue to support vital children’s services. With gaps and waiting lists existing in nearly all areas of care, which has contributed to Florida’s Kids Count declining ranking over several years, any loss of revenue will have harmful effects,” said Roy Miller, president of American Children’s Campaign. “Every system of care will be impacted, ranging from prenatal care, early learning and child care, special needs, health, education, child well-being, social justice and more.”

The Count All Kids State Committee will stress that one intentional action by all individuals and families living in Florida will improve the future of children – fill out the census and count every person and child living in your home.

2010 Census Undercount Hurt Florida’s Children – A LOT  

Even with Florida’s improved census metrics in 2010, that improved on the undercount experienced in 2000, Florida lost federal funds for 300 programs that Floridians depend on. Due to the undercount of children in the 2010 Census, the Partnership for America’s Children, a national trade association of child advocacy groups of which American Children’s Campaign is a member, estimates Florida lost over $670 million dollars conservatively in just five Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage programs alone – Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, foster care, adoption and child care. The tab of total losses exceeded a billion dollars.

Florida Count All Kids Census Committee Members

• Alan Abramowitz, Guardian ad Litem Program, Tallahassee
• Linda Alexionok, Voices for Florida, Tallahassee
• Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Lauderhill
• Josie Bacallao, Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc., Hollywood
• Dr. Robert Bradley, Florida State University, Tallahassee
• Lakesha Burton, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville
• Dominic Calabro, Florida TaxWatch, Tallahassee
• Scott Clemons, The Clemons Company, Panama City
• Hon Nancy Daniels (ret), Florida Public Defender Association, Tallahassee
• Allison DeFoor, Episcopal Diocese of Florida, Jacksonville
• Hon. Nancy Detert, Sarasota County Commission, Sarasota
• Dr. Norin Dollard, Florida Kids Count, Tampa
• Marsha Ellison, Florida State Conference – NAACP, Ft. Lauderdale
• Lise Everly, Child Advocate, Jacksonville
• Isabel Garcia, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Immokalee
• Hon. Karen Gievers (ret), Child Advocate, Tallahassee
• Stacy Gromatski, Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, Tallahassee
• Richard Herring, Richard Herring LLC, Tallahassee
• Jane Johnson, Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living, Tallahassee
• Kurt Kelly, Florida Coalition for Children, Tallahassee
• Hon. Cindy Lederman (ret), Child Advocate, Miami
• Cindy Lerner, Child Advocate, Pinecrest
• Joanne Lighter, Preserve Vision Florida, Seminole
• Pam MacDill, Florida State University, Tallahassee
• Hon. Carlos Martinez, Miami-Dade Public Defender, Miami
• Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida, Tallahassee
• Margie Menzel, Florida Guardian ad Litem, Tallahassee
• Roy Miller, American Children’s Campaign, Tallahassee
• Hon. Sandy Murman, Hillsborough County Commission, Tampa
• Adora Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference, Ft. Lauderdale
• Hon. Sallie Parks (ret), Child Advocate, Palm Harbor
• Sabeen Perwaiz, Florida Nonprofit Alliance, Jacksonville
• Maria Pinzon, Hispanic Services Council, Tampa
• Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, Jacksonville
• Hon. Nan Rich, Broward County Commission, Weston
• Katie Ross, Child Advocate, Fernandina Beach
• Leon Russell, Chairman, American Children’s Campaign, Tampa
• Samantha Sexton, Junior League, Tallahassee
• Hon. Ashley Smith Juarez, Duval School Board, Jacksonville
• Dawn Steward, Child Advocate, Winter Park
• Linda Sutherland, Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County, Orlando
• Dr. Shairi Turner, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee
• Carol Wick, Sharity, Inc., Maitland

Florida’s Hardest to Count Children

Children are traditionally one of the hardest groups to count accurately in the census. According to national estimates, more than two million children under age 5 were undercounted in the 2010 Census, over 71,000 in Florida alone according to Partnership for America’s Children calculations.

Children that are most likely to be uncounted are under age five, live in linguistically isolated households or in complex family structures, rental properties and transitional housing or with very young parents.

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This Top Story is brought to you by Roy Miller and Karen Bonsignori

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