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

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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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New Study of California’s Latino Children Finds Striking Differences in Health and Well-being Within This 4.7 Million-and-Growing Population

Latino Health Report

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Full Report
Press Release
Press Release (Spanish)

A comprehensive new study of California’s Latino children paints a complex picture of their health and well-being—and finds striking differences within a 4.7 million-strong population that comprises more than half of all the children in the state.

More than 94% of these children were born in the United States. And while many Latino children live in poverty, are uninsured and have higher rates of obesity than their white counterparts, Latino children have comparable access to preventive health care and most of their parents report them as being in “good” or “excellent” health.

However, the researchers also found that children living in “linguistically isolated” families, where Spanish is primarily spoken, face far greater challenges in health access and educational achievement compared to children in families where both English and Spanish are spoken.

See the full study>>

The study was conducted by researchers from the university-based Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative and commissioned by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The researchers examined data on physical health, as well as on family, school and neighborhood environments, to create a picture of the current status of Latino children in the state.

The study is intended to provide data for policymakers and advocates working both to improve the current health and well-being of Latino children and to ensure a healthy future population for California.

“Health is such a critical component of future success for California’s Latino children. If they don’t achieve their full potential, it will be a terrible economic burden for the state,” said Dr. Fernando Mendoza, professor of pediatrics at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and one of the health experts consulted for the study. “This study shows the need to develop policies that improve access to health care, address language and cultural barriers to better health, and ameliorate the harmful health effects caused by poverty.”

The California findings are largely consistent with those of a recently released national study of Latino children, which noted lower rates of health insurance among Latino children compared to white children and raised concerns about persistent health disparities, but also highlighted solid gains in educational achievement.

Related Content:

Kidsdata.org: Data on Latino/Hispanic Children in California, by County, School District and Legislative District

Posted by Barbara Feder Ostrov

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Quick Survey: Help Us Improve Kidsdata.org!

Survey

Kidsdata.org users, we need your help!

Please take this very quick survey about how you use kidsdata.

We’re interested in your ideas on how to make the site an even more useful resource, and we especially would like to know how you’ve used kidsdata to improve the lives of children and families. Your example could be featured in our Data in Action section or in a future blog post.

Take the survey>>

Thank you for your help.

Posted by Barbara Feder Ostrov

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