Children's welfare report examines state spending

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Children's advocates say a new report on the welfare of children in Tennessee supports their belief that more preventive care programs will benefit youth long term, as well as save the state money.

The Kids Count report released Monday focused on children's well-being, but also examined how the state spends funds to improve the lives of children.

Linda O'Neal is executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, which compiled the report partially funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

O'Neal said universal prevention services have the lowest per child cost and the greatest cost-benefit potential because of their ability to prevent downstream costs.

However, according to the report, they received the least funding.

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