Safeguards for Youth and Responding to COVID-19

A note from Lori Turk-Bicakci, Ph.D., Director, Kidsdata Program.

Working with data has been my world for years. Stories unfold through data, and I take comfort in knowing that some of these stories are powerful enough to be a linchpin for change. As a result of COVID-19, some health and well-being trend lines will pivot in previously unimaginable ways. I am committed to bending these impending pivots to benefit children. I do this through data, but we all contribute in our own way.

As your organization responds to COVID-19, you might find our Safeguards for Youth information helpful. Our dedicated webpage is a compilation of the latest data on protective factors and supportive services for the state’s children. The data are continually updated and the page includes:

  • Links to indicators of protective factors that describe preventive health care, a strong start in education, and a nurturing school community.
  • Links to indicators of supportive services including those that address health challenges, abuse, and family poverty.
  • Recording of our Safeguards for Youth briefing on adopting a prevention mind-set and using trauma-informed practices.
  • New: A series of six data focus briefs on topics recently highlighted in Kidsdata News.

I would like to suggest using Safeguards for Youth data to help anticipate and address the pandemic’s long-term impact on California children by assessing intransigent gaps in protections and services. For example:

  • Health insurance promotes preventive care and early intervention on health issues. Hispanic/Latino children and American Indian/Alaskan Native children have historically lacked health insurance at higher rates than most other race/ethnic groups of children. Hispanic/Latino children ages 0-17 also make up the largest share of COVID-19 cases compared with other race/ethnic groups.

    What new approaches could be taken to ensure that the children in these populations are adequately protected with health insurance?

  • Children’s usual source of health care might change as a result of COVID-19. Over the last couple of decades, just over 60% of children usually went to a doctor’s office or HMO when faced with a health issue, and about 25% went to a clinic or hospital.

    With an increase in telehealth and other unforeseen consequences, will this pattern of health care utilization change for children? What does it mean for your community?

A third example will be highlighted in the next issue of Kidsdata News. We will explore how data and past research could provide guidance for the COVID-19 response on the issue of mental health among youth.

As you work with data to inform your response to COVID-19, please feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments. Through our collective efforts, I believe our approach to addressing children’s health and well-being will strengthen with a sharpened focus as we find new ways to relate to each other and to children. Almost all parts of society are in a shake-up, and my hope is that from it, the best parts of who we are and what we do will emerge and flourish.

Posted by kidsdata.org

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 at 4:31 pm. 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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