Click on the questions below to view more information.

Where does Vision For Children At Risk get the data?

Research staff collects data from multiple sources. A large portion of data is provided by local agencies and organizations that collect it as a part of their work for children and families. Local data sources very generously prepare reports, free of charge, for the specific indicators and geographies that affect metropolitan St. Louis and forward them to Vision for Children at Risk, where research staff synthesizes and calculates the data for the final report.

Local contributing agencies include:

  • Child Day Care Association
  • Children’s Home +Aid of Illinois
  • Illinois Department of Children and Families
  • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois State Police Department
  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Missouri Department of Social Services
  • Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Vision For Children At Risk also collects data from online databases, federal agencies, annual reports, and nationally distributed publications and policy briefs.

For several economic and demographic indicators, Vision for Children at Risk purchases data from Nielson Claritas. These data are current-year estimates derived from the most current decennial census. For these indicators, all calculations are made by Claritas, Inc.

Who funds the research?

Vision For Children At Risk, a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 funds the staff support and the collection of data. VCR receives generous support for printing the CMSL publication from:

  • The Saint Louis Mental Health Board, Title Sponsor
  • SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, Gold Sponsor
  • Children’s Hospital, St. Louis (BJC Healthcare) and First Bank, Silver Sponsors

The development of the InfoCenter online database is funded in large part by

  • SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center

The InfoCenter mapping capabilities are made possible by a large in-kind donation by the local web developer

  • Paradigm New Media Group, Inc. (PNMG)

What is the InfoCenter?

The InfoCenter is an outgrowth of the work of Vision For Children At Risk’s research staff. The searchable online database reports data that was initially collected for the Children of Metropolitan St. Louis Report, the agency’s main research publication.

What is the “Children of Metropolitan St. Louis Report (CMSL)?”

The Children of Metropolitan St. Louis Report or the “CMSL,” is reference publication that has been produced by Vision For Children At Risk since 1991. Initially reporting on just ten indicators of child wellbeing, the report has grown to incorporate full color maps and data on over 30 indicators for 5 central counties that make up the St. Louis metropolitan area.

What indicators are reported?

The CMSL groups its 33 indicators into one of six “Fundamental Needs Area” – the six most fundamental and undeniable needs of children and families.

Family Support

  • Children Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Children Receiving SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • Children Receiving Medicaid/SCHIP
  • Children Living in Alternative Care
  • Child Abuse/Neglect Reports that Required Follow-up Services (Missouri)
  • Indicated Child Abuse/Neglect Reports (Illinois)
  • Children At Risk of Abuse/Neglect (Missouri)
  • Indicated Child Abuse/Neglect (Illinois)
  • Families with Children Under 18 Living Below the Federal Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income
  • Households Headed by Single Mothers
  • Unemployment Rate

Early Childhood Development

  • Average Weekly Market Rate of Child Care
  • Total Licensed Child Care Capacity

Maternal & Child Health

  • Low Birth Weight
  • Births with No or Inadequate Prenatal Care
  • Births that are Premature
  • Five-Year Infant Mortality Rate
  • Percent of Children Tested who are Lead Poisoned

Quality Education

  • Four-Year Graduation Rate
  • Pupil to Teacher Ratio
  • Average Expenditure per Pupil
  • Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch
  • Disabled Students
  • Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
  • Mobility Rate

Youth Development

  • Dropout Rate
  • Births to Teenage Mothers

Safe Neighborhoods & Strong Communities

  • Crime Rate
  • Violent Crime Rate

In addition to the Fundamental Needs Area categories, there are three additional indicators reported under “Population & Demographics.”

  • Population Under Age 18
  • Population Under Age 5
  • Population Classified As a Minority

How often are the data updated?

The CMSL is published every two years. The InfoCenter is updated with the new data at the time the publication is made available for purchase.

The CMSL has been printed biennially for almost 20 years. Publications were printed and made available to the public in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009-10. The 1997 publication was the first to have been produced in the style of the current implementation: large format, wire bound copy with maps and tabular data accompanying each indicators. With data collection methodologies remaining similar or identical to 1997 methods, trend data analysis is available through that year.

What geographies are represented in the InfoCenter and the CMSL?

The data contain…

  • ZIP code-level data for 21 indicators
  • School District-level data for 8 indicators
  • Neighborhood/Municipality-level data for 2 crime-related indicators.

In addition to the local geographies listed above, Vision For Children At Risk reports county-, state- and national-level data when available for the following geographies:

  • United States
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • St. Clair County, IL
  • Madison County, IL
  • St. Charles County, MO
  • St. Louis County, MO
  • St. Louis City, MO