Child advocates see advances, failures in N.J.

    The “Kids Count” report card issued by Advocates for Children of New Jersey shows a drop over five years in child immunizations, more young people without jobs, and an increase in repeat child abuse.

    Still, Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of the advocacy group, said there have been some improvements.

    “The positives around access to health insurance, to preschool, the reduction in juvenile arrests really reflect the state making a concerted investment in improvement,” she said. “I think that’s the message for me. When we make that investment it works.”

    Even with the state’s fiscal constraints, Zalkind said more needs to be done to help the nearly one-third of the state’s children who live in low-income families.

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