From the Children Now Newsroom
Research Reveals Unique Fingerprint of Child Well-Being for Each California County
Sep 29, 2010
OAKLAND, CA—No two places in the state are alike in terms of the condition of their children, according to the 2010 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, an online research and advocacy tool released today. Created by Children Now, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to giving all children the opportunity to reach their full potential, the Scorecard measures the core components of child well-being across California’s 58 counties and provides a visual fingerprint for each county’s results. The uniqueness of each fingerprint is clearly evident.
Twenty-six data indicators of child well-being comprise each county’s fingerprint. The color values of the indicators—red (bottom third), yellow (middle third), and green (top third)—are determined by each county’s performance relative to the state’s other counties. Additionally, county fingerprints and performances on every indicator are grouped by county population density and per capita income in order to promote the discovery of best practices in serving children’s needs. For example, on the indicator “Children who are in a healthy weight zone” Lassen (76%) and Siskiyou (75%) counties are significantly leading other low-income, rural counties, with Colusa (61%) and Imperial (61%) counties falling behind.
“The disparities presented in the Scorecard beg the question, ‘What are the top-performing counties doing differently?’” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “While we need to look there for proven solutions that can be leveraged in other places, we also must recognize the underlying factors may be very different from place to place.”
The Scorecard provides complete, individual county profiles that include current measures, trend data, and breakdowns by race/ethnicity for every indicator. Indicators cover children’s health, education and safety, providing a comprehensive picture of children’s interrelated developmental needs.
“We hope the local aspect of the Scorecard engages more people in solving the issues affecting children,” Lempert added. “If we make enough noise together, we can force our leaders to act on the fact that starting with children is the only way to develop sustainable solutions to the issues we’re all facing today.”