SAN DIEGO–The Children’s Initiative, in partnership with the County Board of Supervisors, announced the release of the 2009 San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, which tracks progress on 26 key indicators of children’s well-being, including measures of health, education, and safety. The Report Card represents two years of work and study from more than 75 local experts and leaders.
“The good news is that a majority of indicators are improving,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Still, we can do better to reduce obesity, substance abuse, drinking and driving, and children born with low birthweight.”
This is the latest in a series of Report Cards originally produced by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, and since 2007 by the Children’s Initiative. The 2009 edition includes new San Diego-specific recommendations for improvement and expands information on national best practices to improve outcomes for our children and families. Updates on recent achievements in San Diego County programs and policies have been added.
“The Report Card is a great road map to let us know how the region’s children are doing,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “I’m glad that we are doing well in several areas but we can’t rest and have to continue working with health-care providers and our partners in the community to improve the quality of life for all our children.”
The Report Card was released at today’s Board of Supervisor meeting. Copies of the report will be available online at www.thechildrensinitiative.org.
Highlights of trends in the Report Care include:
San Diego County performance is better than both California and the nation for rates of infant mortality, child mortality, breastfeeding, immunization, enrollment in early care and education, health coverage, and poverty.
School achievement, as measured by students achieving proficient or advanced levels on the English-Language Arts test, substantially improved—from 39% to 51% for Grade 3, 36% to 54% for Grade 8, and 36% to 44% for Grade 11.
Progress was made for 14 indicators, including health coverage, oral health, school achievement, Food Stamps, child abuse, domestic violence and injuries.
No substantial progress is being made for indicators such as births to teens, obesity, youth drinking and driving, and child victims of violent crime.
For some indicators the trend is moving in the wrong direction, including prenatal care, substance abuse, and suicide.
“The Children’s Initiative is excited to partner with local government, school districts, community organizations to work as a collective team in improving the lives of children and families in our county. The Report Card focuses our efforts and highlights what needs to be done.” Sandra McBrayer, CEO of The Children’s Initiative.
The Children’s Initiative was established in 1992, by five San Diego foundations and more than 40 community and public leaders, to advocate for effective policies and services that support the health and well-being of children and families. The work of the Children’s Initiative aims to improve outcomes for children and youth in health, education, safety, and economic security through strategic alliances and direct technical assistance to schools, community-based organizations, governments, and businesses.