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(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Youth Institute on Monday released its annual Kids Count data for Wayne County..  In the last year, the teen birth rate in Wayne County has held steady.  For every 1000 babies born locally, about 17 are born to girls between the ages of 15 and 17.  For all mothers, regardless of age, 22% admit that they smoked during pregnancy.  That’s an increase of more than a full percentage point.  Wayne County is also continuing with a trend it started about a decade ago.  More than half of the babies born locally – 54% - are born to unmarried parents.  That figure has never been that high.  There are two very disturbing figures where the safety of Wayne County children is concerned.  In the last year that numbers have been available, the number of children in need of services is up 123%.  The number had held steady for the previous three years but skyrocketed this year.  Even more disturbing…the number of adults who have had their parental right terminated is up 300%.  There are some positive numbers for Wayne County kids and economics.  In the most recent figures, the percentage of kids living in poverty is down to 28%.  That’s down from 33% four years ago.  The number of Wayne County residents on food stamps has dropped substantially in the last year.  800 fewer people are receiving help in that area.  On the downside, though, median household income has dropped.  It’s down to $38,500.  Last year, it was $41,000.

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