Updated Data Show Over A Quarter Million Public School Students Homeless

Homeless Public School Students, 2015-2016

Data on homeless children and youth in California are now available on Kidsdata. Over a quarter million, or 4.4% of public school students, were recorded as homeless at some point during the 2015-2016 school year. Most homeless students stayed with friends or relatives because of loss of housing (85%), and the remainder were in a temporary shelter, motel, or were unsheltered.

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (Point-in-Time Count), Ages 0-17: 2017

Recording homeless students during the school year is one way to measure homelessness. A second way to measure homelessness is with a point-in-time (PIT) count which is held nationwide on one night in January each year. In 2017, 1,649 youth who were under age 18 were found homeless without a parent or guardian. Most were unsheltered, meaning that they were found in a place not ordinarily used for sleeping.

Federal agencies, researchers, and advocates agree that the homeless youth population remains largely hidden. Current methods to measure homelessness are presumed undercounts. However, the data that are available suggest this is a statewide issue.

Earlier this month we released data on childhood poverty. Homelessness can be one of the tragic consequences of poverty. Data revealing homelessness among youth and research about the impact of homelessness can help raise awareness and drive solutions to ending homelessness among youth.

Learn about addressing youth homelessness »

Data in Action

Kidsdata shared how to access and use homeless data by legislative district at the Youth Empowerment Summit hosted by the California Coalition for Youth in Sacramento on April 16. The next day, participants met with state legislators in support of SB 918, the Homeless Youth Act of 2018. Estimates of homeless students, based on data from the California Department of Education’s Coordinated School Health and Safety Office, are available for your legislative district here.

The California Homeless Youth Project uses data to enhance their “voices from the street” series.

Recently Released Data

Homeless Public School Students

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (Point-in-Time Count), by Age Group and Shelter Status

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California’s Child Poverty Rate Highest in Country

Kidsdata and Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) have partnered to bring you the latest data on poverty among California’s children. Poverty and inequitable distribution of resources are fundamental impediments to healthy and well children. Addressing poverty among all children must be a key part of programs and policies that aim to maximize health and well being.

Guest author, Caroline Danielson, who is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, shares important findings about poverty in California:

Measuring Poverty

Poverty is high in California, and it has not improved as much as the growing economy might suggest it should. In fact, California’s poverty rate and child poverty rate are both the highest in the country, according to Census Bureau estimates from the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The California Poverty Measure (CPM), an ongoing collaboration between the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, is a state-specific, updated measure of the adequacy of the resources families have on hand to meet their basic needs. The CPM improves on official poverty statistics by accounting for sharply differing housing costs across counties and by incorporating major social safety net programs like the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), CalFresh food assistance, and CalWORKs cash assistance for low-income families with children.

Poverty in California

According to the CPM, 19.5% of Californians were poor as of 2015—that means 7.5 million people living below a basic needs threshold (on average less than $30,000 in total resources for a family of four). The poverty rate is higher for children at 22.8%, or over 2 million children in 2013-2015. Among counties with data, CPM poverty rates ranged from 11.8% in Placer County to over 28% in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.

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Poverty Increase without Safety Net

Without resources from the social safety net, we estimate that an additional 1.3 million children, or 14.3%, would live in poverty based on data from 2013-2015. This translates into over one-third of children in poverty (37.1%). In other words, social safety net programs are doing critical work to mitigate poverty in the state.

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Deep Poverty

For children living in deep poverty (with family resources less than half of the poverty threshold), social safety net programs are even more consequential. We estimate 5.1% of children lived in deep poverty in 2013-2015, but that nearly three and one-half times that share would live in deep poverty absent resources from the social safety net (17.4%). Nonetheless, the vast majority of children in poverty live in families where at least one adult works (82.3%), and this share is high even for children in deep poverty (68.2%).

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Addressing Poverty

Taken together, these data suggest that solutions to child poverty in the state must take account the ways in which family employment and social safety net programs dovetail and the ways that they could be jointly improved. These data also drive home the need to address poverty as we take action for the well-being of the state’s children.

Learn more about addressing poverty »

Caroline Danielson is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research focuses on multiple dimensions of the social safety net, including its role in mitigating poverty, program access and enrollment, and the integration and governance of programs. The Public Policy Institute of California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

Kidsdata in Action

First 5’s 2018 Child Health, Education, and Care Summit, April 11-12.
Along with several of our partners, we will discuss the relationship between poverty and adversity. Also, we will share new data on adversity and introduce county-level dashboards on adversity over the life course. We hope to see you there!

Recently Released Data

We are continuously updating data. Click the links below to see the latest:

Family Income and Poverty

Children with Two or More Adverse Experiences (Parent Reported)

Children Who Are Resilient (Parent Reported)

Prevalence of Childhood Hardships (Maternal Retrospective)

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Youth in Action

Some of the best advocates for children’s health are engaged and empowered youth. Creating a positive cycle of health, from optimal physical and mental health to positive social behaviors and supportive relationships requires all of us, adults and youth alike, to be engaged citizens.

Adolescence is the stage in human development when individuals begin to clarify and articulate their own values and operationalize their roles in the larger world. Their uncertainty motivates them to question those around them. Thus, it is natural for youth to challenge the status quo, identify hypocrisy, and encourage all of us to improve and hold society to a high standard.

This past month we have seen youth across the country take ownership of their own safety. They are speaking up because they implicitly understand that health and well being can only be achieved when their communities are safe and when they have ready access to physical and emotional supports. We are inspired to watch this generation of advocates work to improve society and protect their health.

Kidsdata is a powerful tool for demanding action, it provides comprehensive data on how children and youth are faring and information on how we can contribute to improving their health and well being. As our youth raise their voices to make a better world, we should take time to listen and support them. They too, are demanding action.

Photo by Lorie Shaull/CC BY-SA 2.0

Updated Data

We are continuously updating data. Click the links below to see the latest:

School Attendance and Discipline

Children’s Emotional Health

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Enhance Your Data with the Legislative Boundary Overlay Tool

Visualizing data by legislative district helps identify areas of need and strengthens communication with your legislator. Kidsdata offers easy access to data for specific legislative districts on various topics. For all other topics where data are not broken down by districts, our legislative boundary overlay tool is a great option. Users can customize a map overlay by Assembly District, State Senate District, and U.S. Congressional District for a visual representation of district borders. Follow these three easy steps to take your map data to the next level!

1. Choose your data map of interest:

2. Click Legislative Boundaries. Select the type of district. If you’re not sure about your district, click “What’s my district?” for more information.

3. Customize the districts you would like to see on the map. You can select as many as you want, or, click “Check All” to view all districts.

Share your map with legislators, stakeholders, and advocates!

7th Grade Alcohol/Drug Use in Past Month, 2013-2015, in California State Assembly Districts Two and Four

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New Data on Children with Special Health Care Needs

Children with Major Disabilities, by State Senate District, 2011-2015

Updated information on children with special health care needs, those who have a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition that requires more than routine health and related services, is now on Kidsdata. Discover the latest data on children with major disabilities by legislative district and by county, city and school district. Also, find special education enrollment by disability and race/ethnicity, the number of active California Children’s Services (CCS) enrollees by age group, and the percentage of insured and uninsured children who have major disabilities.

In California, nearly one in four families has a child with a special health care need, totaling over one million children. Additionally, over 280,000 children ages 0-17 years old had at least one major disability in 2011-2015. For state legislative districts around the Shasta/Cascade, High Sierra, and Gold Country regions, between 3.7% and 5.2% of children had major disabilities compared with under 3.7% in other districts during this period.

Children with special health care needs and their families face many challenges. For example, health care and other necessary support services generally are provided in an uncoordinated manner, and families are left to navigate the fragmented system on their own. For children of color, low-income families, and families living in rural areas, challenges are greater. Programs like CCS are crucial to helping children with special health care needs. Learn how the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health is improving the system of care for California children: lpfch.org/cshcn.

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Vaping More Common among Youth with Lower School Connectedness

Using E-Cigarettes At Least Seven Times in Lifetime, by Level of School Connectedness, 2013-2015

California youth with low levels of connectedness to their schools have higher rates of e-cigarette use than their more connected peers. Reporting in 2013-2015, 18% of students with low levels of school connectedness in grades 7, 9, 11, and non-traditional programs had used e-cigarettes at least seven times—almost three times the estimate for youth with high levels of school connectedness (6%).

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found substantial evidence that e-cigarette use among youth increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes. Data available on kidsdata.org show that e-cigarette use is more common than smoking: 14% of 11th graders in California had used e-cigarettes at least seven times compared to 7% who had smoked cigarettes. This pattern held across levels of school connectedness, grade levels, genders, race/ethnicities, and sexual orientation. Tobacco use or smoking in any form is highly addictive and unsafe, and the long term health risks require intervention at an early age to prevent uptake and escalation.

Efforts across the state are working to address this growing issue. The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford School of Medicine is a resource for anyone who works with youth. It contains a set of modules focused on e-cigarettes and vapes, messages on nicotine addiction, information and resources concerning positive youth development, and school policies that provide information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts. Also noteworthy, the California Department of Public Health continues to run a Still Blowing Smoke campaign with special attention to youth and e-cigarettes.

Kidsdata.org’s new indicators about e-cigarette use are among 75 updated indicators on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use from the California Department of Education’s Healthy Kids Survey. In partnership with WestEd, we are working to feature data on the health and well-being of youth in schools.

Updated Data

We are always updating our data. Click the links below to see the latest:

Characteristics of Children with Special Needs

Active California Children’s Services (CCS) Enrollees, by Age Group

Children with Major Disabilities

Insured/Uninsured Children Who Have Major Disabilities

Special Education Enrollment

Deaths

all indicators

Youth Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

all indicators

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Data on Firearm Deaths Now Available

Firearm Death Rate for Children and Young Adults Ages 24 and Under: 2013-2015

Firearm-related injuries claimed the lives of 1,918 California children and young adults between 2013 and 2015. Homicide is the leading cause of firearm death among young people ages 24 and under, followed by suicide. Of the 19 counties with data in 2013-2015, three recorded firearm death rates that were more than double the state average of 4.9 per 100,000: Merced, Monterey, and Solano. These counties’ rates have been consistently higher than the statewide rate since 2008-2010.

The death of any young person is a tragedy. The tragedy is amplified when the death is preventable. Public policies aimed at prevention, education, and support of youth and families can address preventable death. For example, routine and accessible mental health screening and services for youth can address suicide and harmful behavior to others. Also, school policies that foster a safe and positive school climate can reduce violence.

Kidsdata.org has newly added data on the number and rate of both fatal and non-fatal firearms injuries, by cause, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Customize and share these data to help prevent youth firearm injury and death in California. If you need assistance navigating our site to get the data you need, please contact us at info@kidsdata.org.

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Creating a Positive Cycle of Health

From Edward Schor, MD, Senior Vice President at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

We all play a role in helping children reach their maximum health potential. This year let us renew our deep commitment to supporting physical and mental health for children. Optimal health is just one part of a continuous cycle in which we can all make an impact—positive behaviors and supportive relationships contribute to improved developmental and educational attainment. In turn, improved development is a stepping stone to economic self-sufficiency and healthful living. This cycle propels our children to healthy and happy lives.

One thing we know for certain is that variation in economic and social resources is associated with significant health disparities. Social structures, the supports we give to children and their families, greatly influence how our children will fare. Kidsdata provides data on social factors such as having adequate food, shelter, and health care access. These factors indicate how well a state or community is creating systems and supports that help children advance through this cycle of health.

We are excited to see how you will use these data to take action! Be sure to check out our new resource (PDF) that provides a great overview of all the information we have including topics, demographic breakdowns, geographic regions, and timeframes.

Here’s to a year of improved health and social well being!

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New Data on Infant Mortality Rates Across California Counties

Infant Mortality Rate

1996-1998 to 2013-2015

Kidsdata is excited to feature new data on infant mortality in California for 2013-2015. Infant mortality is a key measure of public health, as it reflects maternal health, quality of and access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices.

Reviewing infant mortality rates indicates troubling disparities. Among counties with data across time, San Mateo County has been consistently lower than the statewide rate since 1996-1998, while Fresno County has had higher infant mortality rates above the statewide rate. Some of the leading causes of infant mortality are preventable, and can be addressed through education and resources, from prenatal care and safe environments, to accessible high quality neonatal care and safe infant sleep practices. Much can be done to help counties improve the health of women and infants.

See how California’s children are faring »

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Quick Tip: Definition, Source & Notes

Compelling data go beyond just the numbers. Did you know that all 600+ indicators on Kidsdata include definitions, data sources, and notes?

Click on the “Definition, Source & Notes” link on the indicator page:

You’ll find information to help you interpret the data:

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