California Home to 39 Percent of Nation’s Whooping Cough Cases

This guest post was written by Beth Jarosz, Research Associate, Population Reference Bureau.

Don’t miss our July 8 webinar, Vaccination and Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases: Data and Trends. Register today!

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications. The risk is highest for infants and young children. Half of infants who get pertussis are hospitalized. For every 100 infants hospitalized for pertussis, one to two will die.

In June 2014, the California Department of Public Health announced that California was experiencing a pertussis epidemic. By the end of 2014, there were more than 11,000 reported cases of pertussis in the state.

For nearly fifty years, the number of pertussis cases in the United States remained steady: about 10,000 cases every year. During the last decade however, the number has steadily grown. In 2012, the outbreak peaked at 48,000 cases. Some say the rise can be attributed to improved diagnostic techniques, lower vaccination rates, or possibly, a less-effective vaccine that was introduced in 1991.

By 2014, the national number had dropped to 28,000 cases, though California, with 11,000 cases, was home to 39 percent of this figure—a vastly disproportionate share considering California’s population represents only 12 percent of the total U.S. population. Pertussis follows a predictable three-year cycle but the timing of those cycles doesn’t necessarily match up for California and the United States. Even accounting for this mismatch, California comprised a disproportionate share. Between 2006 and 2014, California accounted for about 12 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for an average of 15 percent of pertussis cases.

On kidsdata.org, data on pertussis and other vaccine-preventable diseases can be found for each county in California, the state, and for the nation as a whole. The data are available through a partnership between the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

Vaccines are one of the simplest, most cost-effective tools to improve public health. Vaccine-preventable diseases lead to illness, disfigurement, and disability. Globally, vaccine-preventable diseases remain a substantial cause of death, particularly for young children. Vaccines not only protect individuals, but with high rates of coverage, can also provide “herd” immunity: when many children within a community are immunized, infectious diseases are less likely to spread to those who cannot be immunized, for example, very young infants, or those for whom vaccines are not recommended due to certain illnesses, allergies, or immune problems.

Across counties and school districts in California vaccination coverage varies widely. For example, the proportion of kindergarten students in 2015 who received all state-required immunization ranges from 100 percent (Sierra County) to 72 percent (Nevada County). School district coverage rates vary even more. To put it into context, vaccination coverage across school districts in California varies as widely as it does between developed and developing regions around the world.

Low rates of vaccination and high rates of vaccination exemptions tend to be geographically clustered. As a result, vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks can, and do, occur where unvaccinated people cluster in schools and communities, even within countries with high overall vaccination coverage. And some diseases considered to be eliminated can reappear. In 2014, for example, the United States experienced a record 668 measles cases across 27 states, despite the fact that measles elimination was documented in the United States in 2000.

Researchers have identified the need for more effective vaccines to ward off future pertussis outbreaks. In the meantime, they stress that vaccination is essential for people of all ages.

For more information, see the two-part series from PRB: Progress Stalls On Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Solutions to Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases.

And join us for Vaccination and Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases: Data and Trends, a webinar on July 8th that will explore global, national, and California trends in vaccination and vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.

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Making Data Actionable: Words from Our Web Manager

SClinton_2015.06.23In a world increasingly full of clunky, confusing data sites, kidsdata.org is the go-to destination for finding data on children’s health and well-being in California and putting it to use in your work.

Kidsdata.org recently caught the attention of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) as it compiled the Data-Informed Nonprofits issue of its newsletter. Stacy Clinton, web manager at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which operates kidsdata, was asked to contribute a guest article.

Check out Stacy’s post, Accessible, Portable, and Actionable Data, for her perspective on kidsdata’s many useful features and what differentiates kidsdata from other data sites.

NTEN aims to help nonprofits use technology more effectively, a goal that resonates with us. The technology is evolving, but the need for kidsdata still exists. We’re here to help nonprofit organizations and public agencies spend less time hunting down data sets and creating their own graphs, and more time completing a grant proposal or advocating for change.

Don’t forget to let us know how you’ve put data to work for California kids for a chance to be featured on our Data in Action page.

PS – check out the Nonprofit Technology Network for additional expert articles, trainings, and updates on the latest in nonprofit tech.

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WEBINAR: How State Policies Can Promote a Lifetime of Health and Well-Being for California’s Children

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST

Tune in on June 2 for a webinar focused on the strengths and limitations of California’s current health care system for children and families. Experts will discuss a recent report from the California Budget & Policy Center and review the report’s recommendations for how public policy can bolster support for healthy kids.

Child poverty, health care coverage, adequate investment in public health services, and quality care for children with special health care needs are among the issues California must address to create a comprehensive and well-coordinated health care system for children and families, according to the study.

The report, funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, also includes an accompanying piece that provides a breakdown of major policy decisions over the last several years that have shaped today’s health system for children in California.

Expert speakers include:

  • Edward L. Schor, MD, Senior Vice President, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
  • Timothy T. Brown, Associate Adjunct Professor of Health Economics, University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health
  • Kristin Schumacher, Policy Analyst, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Scott Graves, Director of Research, California Budget & Policy Center


Register for the webinar.

 

RELATED CONTENT:
Children’s Health Programs in California: Promoting a Lifetime of Health and Well-Being
California Budget and Policy Center, 5/12/15

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California’s Homeless Students: Nearly 300,000 and Growing

Nearly 300,000 California public school students were homeless at some point during the 2013-2014 school year, according to newly released data. That equates to about 5% of all California’s public school students, up from 3.6% in 2010-2011.

HYP_Logo_2015 NAEHCY_Logo_2015

The data are now available online through a partnership among the California Homeless Youth Project, an initiative of the California Research Bureau, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), and kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

At kidsdata.org, the data can be viewed by county and school district, and by state and US legislative district. Also on kidsdata.org are the number and percentage of homeless public school students by grade level and nighttime residence. View the summary page for an overall view of the data. These indicators are the most recent, local, and legislatively relevant data currently available.

A student is considered homeless if he or she lacks a “fixed, regular, and adequate” nighttime residence at any point during the school year. This includes temporary or unstable housing arrangements such as staying in motels, homeless shelters or with others due to loss of housing.

“Children and youth experiencing homelessness encounter many obstacles to receiving an education,” said Shahera Hyatt, Director of the California Homeless Youth Project. “A variety of factors can make it difficult to stay in school and thrive in an educational environment: moving from shelter to hotel or couch to car; lack of access to basic necessities such as showers, transportation, and food; family conflict; poverty; and stigma about their living situation.”

Patricia Julianelle, NAEHCY’s Director of State Projects and Legal Affairs, added, “As state and federal policymakers pursue solutions to homelessness, we hope these numbers illustrate the gravity of the problem and provide additional motivation to prioritize these children and youth.”

Key Findings

The five California counties with the highest incidence of homelessness in 2013-2014 are:
Homeless_Data_by_County_2015
Explore data by county and school district.

California assembly districts with highest number of homeless students:
Homeless_Data_by_Assembly_District_2015
Explore data by assembly district.

California senate districts with highest number of homeless students:
Homeless_Data_by_Senate_District_2015
Explore data by senate district.

US Congressional Districts with the highest number of homeless students:
Homeless_Data_by_US_Congressional_District_2015
Explore data by congressional district.

For more information and context to this data, see the California Homeless Youth Project’s recent report, California’s Homeless Students: A Growing Population (PDF).

The California Homeless Youth Project is a research and policy initiative of the California Research Bureau supported by funding from the California Wellness Foundation and dedicated to educating local and state policymakers about young people experiencing homelessness.

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Influencing Public Policy through an Open Data Alliance

open_data_alliance_2015California legislators currently are considering 11 bills related to homeless youth, and a recent article in California Healthline suggests that this attention is due in part to an innovative “open data” partnership that included kidsdata.org.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which operates kidsdata, joined forces in 2014 with the California Homeless Youth Project (HYP) and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) to mine data collected by the California Department of Education on the numbers and percentages of homeless public school students in California.

Nearly 270,000 public school students were homeless at some point in the 2012-2013 school year, which equates to about 4 percent of all California’s public school students—double the national average. The data, sorted by county, school district, and legislative district, were made available only on kidsdata.org.

The partners released an issue brief (PDF), posted the data on kidsdata.org, and conducted a webinar on the findings. A press release (PDF) and phone briefing led to extensive media coverage. The partners also delivered the brief and customized data packets to all legislators, making it easy for them to assess the extent of homelessness among public school students in their own district, and to consider the suggested policy solutions to address the problem.

“This project illustrates the potential for open data to have an impact on legislation and policymaking,” said Regan Foust, senior manager for data and research at the foundation. “The partners’ goal was to highlight a significant child health issue by uncovering data and making it easy to find, understand and share, and then bring the data to the attention of individuals who have the power to effect change.”

The partnership members expect to jointly release new 2013-2014 homelessness student data later this month.

RELATED CONTENT:
How Open Data Can Shape Public Policy
California Healthline

See the data:

Posted by Olivia Kirkland

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How One Nonprofit Uses Kidsdata.org

UWBA

“There’s absolutely no doubt that kidsdata.org has helped us get several grants and start lots of conversations in the community.”

So says India Swearingen, the evaluation and insight director for United Way of the Bay Area. Her agency is creating a movement to cut poverty in the region, and uses kidsdata.org to bolster grant proposals and to enhance the information in its community library.

Swearingen notes that she frequently uses the narrative context that accompanies every indicator on kidsdata. “I like the text that explains why the data is important—too often, we put out metrics and don’t explain their significance,” she says. While she also uses other data sites, she says that kidsdata is particularly easy to navigate, and it provides data at the county level that other sites may not have.

A recent survey of Kidsdata.org users showed that over one-third of site users are nonprofit service providers. Please help your nonprofit colleagues by sharing your story of how you use kidsdata.org in your work, and check out how other organizations have used data on our Data in Action page. Contact us at kidsdata@lpfch.org or post your story on our Facebook page.

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Addressing Millennial Morbidities: Accentuate the Positive

“Millennial morbidities” are those chronic and sometimes intractable medical problems—such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and family violence—that originate at the interface between biological, psychological, social, and environmental dimensions.

As public interest in the social determinants of health is increasing, the associations among these dimensions are getting more attention within pediatrics and other child- and family-serving professions. Unfortunately, this attention tends toward emphasizing the toxicity of challenging social circumstances rather than broadly considering how practice and policies can support the healthy development of children.

In a new piece published in JAMA Pediatrics, Ed Schor, MD, senior vice president at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, argues that while all stakeholders should work for social change and the reduction of poverty and inequality, pediatric practitioners should focus in particular on promoting child health and well-being by engaging with and supporting family members around the strengths they have individually and as a group. Read more.

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New Methodology Suggests Higher Rates of Child Maltreatment in California

Child Abuse
New research from the Children’s Data Network has the potential to transform our understanding of the scope of child maltreatment in California.

Typically, child abuse and neglect data are tracked at a single point in time—for example, when an allegation of abuse or neglect is reported to social workers, or when an abuse complaint is investigated and substantiated.

But researchers with the Network, based at the University of Southern California, linked vital birth records with California’s child protection system records to uncover higher rates of suspected maltreatment than had previously been known.

The researchers noted:

“Of the more than 500,000 children born in California each year, approximately 25,000 babies are reported for maltreatment during the first year of life. By age 5, the cumulative count of children reported grows to more than 80,000—or roughly 1 in 7 children born statewide.”

The research has helped identify children’s risk factors associated with the potential for maltreatment, including no paternity established at birth, a mother under age 30, or being part of families on public medical assistance.

See an interactive visualization of the data>>

Kidsdata.org offers data on both reported and substantiated cases of child neglect and abuse as well as on foster care.

See county-level data on child abuse and neglect>>
See county-level data on foster care>>

 

RELATED CONTENT:

Cumulative Risk of Child Protective Service Involvement before Age 5: A Population-Based Examination
Children’s Data Network

USC study challenges traditional data: points to higher rates of child abuse
KPCC news story, 12/3/14

Posted by Barbara Feder Ostrov

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ARCHIVED WEBINAR: Using Student Homelessness Data to Advocate on Behalf of Children and Families

If you missed our November webinar, Using Student Homelessness Data to Advocate on Behalf of Children and Families, the recording is now available!

The story of California’s homeless students is largely a hidden one—many are doubled up with family and friends, while others live in shelters.

New data, however, show the extent of homelessness of California’s pre-K-12 students enrolled in public schools. Nearly 270,000 public school students in the state were homeless at some point in the 2012-2013 school year. That equates to about 4% of all California’s public school students, double the national average. The data, from the California Homeless Youth Project and available only on kidsdata.org, are sorted by county, school district and legislative district. The data include information by grade level and nighttime residence.

In this webinar, you’ll learn more about this important new dataset and how to use it in your work.

Presenters include:

Shahera Hyatt, MSW, Project Director, California Homeless Youth Project
See presentation

Patricia Julianelle, JD, Director of State Projects and Legal Affairs, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
See presentation

Regan Foust, PhD, Data Manager, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

Brenda Dowdy, Homeless Education Program Specialist, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Sign up for announcements of upcoming webinars, data alerts and other news from kidsdata.org.

Questions? Email us at info@lpfch.org.

 

RELATED CONTENT:

See the data:

Homeless Public School Students

by Grade Level

by Nighttime Residence

by Legislative District

Learn more about the scope of student homelessness:

Issue Brief: California’s Homeless Students: A Growing Population (PDF)
California Homeless Youth Project

Posted by Barbara Feder Ostrov

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WEBINAR: Using Student Homelessness Data to Advocate on Behalf of Children and Families

homelessness-webinar

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST

If you work on behalf of children and families who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless, this one-hour webinar is for you.

The story of California’s homeless students is largely a hidden one—many are doubled up with family and friends, while others live in shelters.

New data, however, show the extent of homelessness of California’s pre-K-12 students enrolled in public schools. Nearly 270,000 public school students in the state were homeless at some point in the 2012-2013 school year. That equates to about 4% of all California’s public school students, double the national average. The data, from the California Homeless Youth Project and available only on kidsdata.org, are sorted by county, school district and legislative district. The data include information by grade level and nighttime residence.

In this webinar, you’ll learn more about this important new dataset and how to use it in your work.

REGISTER NOW>>

Who should participate:

Anyone who works on children’s issues related to poverty and homelessness: legislative staffers, grant writers, educators, advocates, policy analysts, health providers, consultants, communications professionals and others.

Presenters:

Shahera Hyatt, MSW, Project Director, California Homeless Youth Project

Patricia Julianelle, JD, Director of State Projects and Legal Affairs, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Regan Foust, PhD, Data Manager, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

Brenda Dowdy, Homeless Education Program Specialist, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Can’t attend? Don’t worry! The session will be recorded and posted on the foundation’s website after the webinar.

Questions? Email info@lpfch.org.

 

RELATED CONTENT

See the data:

Learn more about the scope of student homelessness:

Issue Brief: California’s Homeless Students: A Growing Population (PDF)
California Homeless Youth Project

Posted by Barbara Feder Ostrov

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