The Sycamore Institute to Serve as Tennessee’s New Home for KIDS COUNT®

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 9, 2024) — Starting this year, the Sycamore Institute will serve as the new home in Tennessee for KIDS COUNT®, an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation with one partner organization serving every state. This partnership will allow Sycamore to devote additional capacity to providing data-driven insights and analysis on issues that affect children and youth in our state.

“KIDS COUNT is a natural fit for the Sycamore Institute’s work to equip civic leaders across Tennessee with impartial, data-driven resources that advance more informed and productive public discourse,” said Sycamore’s Executive Director Brian Straessle. “We look forward to offering even more insights, analyses, and context around policy challenges and opportunities for young people in Tennessee.”

Sycamore will work closely with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, which previously served as the state’s KIDS COUNT organization, to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing collaboration.

“The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is ready to support the Sycamore Institute as it drives data-driven conversations about policies to uplift and empower Tennessee’s children and youth,” said the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth’s Executive Director Richard Kennedy. “The legacy of years of collaboration and impact established by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth will undoubtedly continue to flourish under Sycamore’s leadership.”

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a Baltimore-based national philanthropy devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children and young people with respect to their educational, economic, social and health outcomes. KIDS COUNT is a Casey Foundation program that provides public officials, advocates, journalists, and engaged citizens with reliable data and tools to inform the development of public policies related to children and youth. Every state, along with Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is represented by an organization in the KIDS COUNT network.

“We are pleased to welcome the Sycamore Institute as a KIDS COUNT partner,” said Casey Foundation president and CEO Lisa Hamilton. “The Casey Foundation leads with data and evidence and so does Sycamore, and we look forward to working together to ensure brighter futures for young people, families and communities in Tennessee.”

As a KIDS COUNT grantee, the Sycamore Institute will publish research and analyses on topics related to the health and well-being of Tennessee youth. For example, in 2024, Sycamore will continue to shed light on the state of children’s mental health in Tennessee, current prevention and treatment efforts, and challenges and opportunities for improvement. Each year, Sycamore staff will also ensure that metrics related the health and well-being of children in Tennessee are being tracked in the national KIDS COUNT database. For more information on the KIDS COUNT initiative, please visit

The Sycamore Institute is an independent, nonpartisan organization that helps Tennesseans identify, understand, and solve big challenges with impartial analysis of data and evidence. With leadership and staff from across the political spectrum, Sycamore provides accessible, reliable information in pursuit of sound, sustainable policies that improve the lives of all Tennesseans.


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