Spotlight on Children With Special Needs (Part 3): A Look at Access to Care

The third in our series on children with special health care needs (CSHCN) highlights strengths and challenges related to CSHCN’s access to services. Also read the second in this series, on characteristics of CSHCN, and the first, on family-centered care for CSHCN families.

Nearly 1.4 million California children ages 0 to 17—and more than 15 million children nationwide—have or are at increased risk for a chronic health condition and require care and services beyond that required by children generally.

Getting timely, appropriate, and affordable care is a major problem for many families with children with special health care needs (CSHCN). Major barriers to care, especially in California, include a fragmented system of services and an insufficient, shrinking workforce of pediatric subspecialists. Beyond service system barriers, social factors and practices—such as poverty and discrimination—influence access to care and, ultimately, health outcomes.

New and updated 2022 data from the National Survey of Children’s Health reveal both bright spots and areas for action in access to health services for California’s CSHCN.

Bright spots include:

Areas for action include:

Read about how we can support California CSHCN and their families.

Funding for KidsData’s latest information on CSHCN is provided by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

KidsData in the News

Mental Health in High Schools

The Baker Institute’s report Mental Health in High Schools: A Houston Survey cites the KidsData News piece “Hospitalizations for Mental Health Issues Were Rising Before Pandemic.”

Santa Clara County Children’s Data Book [PDF]

KidsData is cited on several topics throughout the 2024 Santa Clara County Children’s Data Book.

U.S. Birthrate Hit New Low in 2023

Deseret News quotes KidsData director Beth Jarosz in an article on declining birth rates in the United States.

Children’s Health Resources

California Kids Wait Months or Years for Specialty Care. Here’s What Would Help

A California Health Report article explores how a shortage of pediatric specialists, coupled with limited numbers of providers who accept some health insurance plans, contributes to barriers to accessing specialty medical care for California’s children—particularly children with disabilities and those from lower-income families.

Firearms and Suicide Risk: Implications for Preventing Mortality and Morbidity Among California’s Youth

Researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that 15- to 24-year-olds who said they had access to firearms were twice as likely to have made a suicide attempt than their peers without access to a gun. The study provides insight into the impact of firearm access on the psychological well-being of youth and young adults.

2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People

Among LGBTQ+ young people ages 13 to 24 in United States, 66% have experienced recent symptoms of anxiety, 53% have experienced recent symptoms of depression, and 39% have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, according to new data released by The Trevor Project. Overall, more than 5 in 6 LGBTQ+ young people wanted mental health care in the past year; of those, half were not able to get it.

Adolescence Post-Dobbs: A Policy-Driven Research Agenda for Minor Adolescents and Abortion

Youth Reproductive Equity has released its research agenda on abortion policy and its impacts on adolescents under age 18. The report contains a state policy landscape on minors and abortion, principles for conducting equitable and actionable research, and strategies for overcoming challenges that have historically hampered research in this area.

Recently Released Data

We recently released data about access to services for children with special needs; housing affordability and resources; and unemployment. See links to the latest here.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 at 8:08 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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