Child advocates rate Nevada a D-

When it comes to the welfare of Nevada's children, the state continues to do a barely passable job compared to the nation, a child advocacy group reports.

In its 2010 Nevada Children's Report Card released Friday, the Children's Advocacy Alliance gave the state a D-minus overall grade, down from the D-plus of two years ago.

"The state of Nevada will never be better than the state of our families," said Gard Jameson, the group's president.

The report card assigns letter grades based on the state's national ranking in 20 categories covering child health, safety, education and teen years.

Nevada received one B for its ranking in child mortality. Four categories received C's, five received D's and the rest were F's. The lowest grade indicates a bottom-10 national ranking.

"Although the grades seem pretty much the same, I see a lot of sprouts of hope," Jameson said.

He pointed to community groups that are working to address larger problems affecting children, such as hunger, homelessness and health care. Those community efforts are especially important when state and local budgets are tight, he said.

Volunteers can also play an important part in improving children's lives by becoming foster parents or court-appointed special advocates for children in the child welfare system, he said.

"We need human capital because we don't have much financial capital," Jameson said.


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