Report Rates Child Well-Being in California Counties

A new report from Children Now details wide disparities in children’s well-being across California’s 58 counties.

The 2016–2017 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being looks at a series of indicators organized around the three domains of child welfare and economic well-being; health; and education.

The report provides a comparison over time for each of 28 indicators, as well as a breakdown by ethnicity on each data point for every county in the state.

Children Now, an advocacy organization based in Oakland, drew on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey estimates, the California Department of Social Services, California Department of Education and other data sources for its report.

The interactive online report found large gaps between white children and their African-American and Latino peers. For example, in looking at women who receive early prenatal care, 86 percent of expectant white mothers received such services, compared with 80 percent of Latino women and 77 percent of African-American women. And for children in the state’s foster-care system, 79 percent of African-American children exited to permanency within three years of entering the system, compared with 87 percent of white children and 84 percent of Latino children.

Northern California counties like Marin, Napa and San Mateo fared better on many indicators, including a greater likelihood that children would have health insurance and fewer children living in poverty.

Southern California counties like Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Kern have much lower rankings in the three domains.

Child welfare and economic well-being indicators for Children Now’s scorecard include the following:

  • Young children, ages 0-3, who do not experience recurring abuse or neglect
  • Children in the child welfare system who have stability in their placement
  • Adolescents in the child welfare system who are placed in family-like settings
  • Children in the child welfare system who have had a medical exam in the last year
  • Children in the child welfare system who exit to permanency within three years
  • Children who are not living in communities of concentrated poverty
  • Youth who attend school or are employed

For more information, and to see how children in your county rank, go here.

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Jeremy Loudenback
About Jeremy Loudenback 277 Articles
Jeremy is the child trauma editor for The Chronicle of Social Change.