csuf news service
Conditions of OC Children Forum Nov. 21
Researchers Reveal Report Findings, Trends
Nov. 15, 2013
MIchelle G. Berelowitz will present findings in the latest Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County.
The 19th annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County will be discussed at a community forum Nov. 21 at Cal State Fullerton. “Paving the Way to High School Education” is the keynote topic, to be presented by Betsy DeGarmoe, coordinator of foster youth services for the Orange County Department of Education. The free forum is one of five being held throughout Orange County.
Thursday, Nov. 21
Cal State Fullerton, Titan Student Union, Titan Theatre
800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, 92831
$2 per hour or $8 for a daily permit Monday through Friday. Details are available online.
The annual report, sponsored by the County of Orange and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, is produced by Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Community Collaboration, Center for Demographic Research and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation. CSUF students contribute to the report as research interns; Michelle G. Berelowitz, director of the Center for Community Collaboration, is the report's editor.
Noted among the myriad findings in this year's 224-page report are the following conditions identified as needing improvement, according to the research:
- The percentage of kindergarten children with up-to-date immunizations decreased from 92.9 percent in 2003 to 89.3 percent in 2009.
- The sexually transmitted diseases case rate per 100,000 youths, ages 10 to 17, increased by 24 percent, from 174 in 2003 to 215 in 2012.
- The number of children receiving financial assistance from the state increased by 17.8 percent, from 38,997 in 2002-03 to 45,950 in 2011-12.
- The number of spaces within licensed family child care homes providing early care and education decreased by 34.1 percent, from 19,239 in 2005-06 to 12,688 in 2012-13.
- The number of known gang members, ages 11 to 17, increased by 14.2 percent, from 845 in 2003 to 965 in 2012.
Also noted in the report are conditions that have improved over the years, including:
- The number of infant deaths decreased by 31 percent, from 216 in 2002 to 160 in 2011.
- The proportion of births to teenagers declined from 7 percent in 2002 to 5.8 percent in 2011.
- The number of child support cases decreased by 28.8 percent, from 99,134 in 2003-04 to 70,608 in 2012-13.
- The high school dropout rate decreased by 26 percent, from 12.3 percent in 2009-10 to 9.1 percent in 2011-12.
- The monthly average number of dependent children of the court decreased by 30.4 percent, from 4,007 in 2009-10 to 2,790 in 2011-12.
- Juvenile arrests decreased 20.8 percent, from 13,646 in 2002 to 10,801 in 2011.
The report also includes a special section on the impact of military service on children and families.
The indicators in the report help children's, health and social service agencies, schools and others to spot trends and set priorities, Berelowitz said. “Government and community agencies use the report’s data to apply for private foundation grants so that they can help address the troubling trends.”