Civic Institute releases guide on well-being of children in Erie County

The Mercyhurst College Civic Institute has released Directions, II, a comprehensive guide to understanding the well-being of children and families in Erie County.

Did you know, for instance, that more than 5 percent of Erie County children live with their grandparents? Or that in 2001 the Erie County rate of births to single teens was 27.3 percent higher than the state rate? How about the fact that Erie County’s percentage of juvenile arrests decreased 13.8 percent between 1998 and 2002?

While making no policy recommendations of its own, Directions, II, provides a detailed compilation of information that individuals and groups can use in providing services to children and families in the 39 municipalities that comprise Erie County.

“Under the assumption that one cannot solve a problem until one understands it, the Institute provides research, evaluation, analysis, planning and educational services to support informed and enlightened social policy and programming,” writes Institute Director Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., in the publication’s forward. “We sincerely hope Directions, II, furthers the Institute’s mission of improving the lives of children.”

The resource includes information on a broad spectrum of topics, from infant mortality to single parent households to poverty indicators, which can be referenced in writing grant applications and proposals and in presenting workshops and conferences.

Directions, II, is the Institute’s second edition since it debuted five years ago. Besides serving as a guide to understanding the well-being of children and families in Erie County, it provides a comparison between Erie and Pennsylvania counties with similar demographics.

Copies of Directions, II, are available now and can be ordered at $15 each by contacting Sue Johnson, Mercyhurst College Civic Institute, 501 E. 38th St., Erie, PA 16546; phone, 824-2327; or e-mail,
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