2015 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report Published

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Juvenile Arrests, Teen Birth Rate Down, But Half of OC Kids on Subsidized Meals

(Santa Ana, CA) – Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, who serves as Chair of the Orange County Children’s Partnership, announced today the release of the 2015 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report, the 21st annual assessment of the health, economic security, education and safety of children in Orange County.

The 2015 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report, which is considered the “go-to” guide for up-to-date information on the status of Orange County children, included positive indicators in the area of juvenile arrests and teen birth rates, which have declined. However, Supervisor Andrew Do said the community must place greater attention to the growing number of children living in poverty in Orange County.
“Even in prosperous Orange County, half of our public school students qualify for free or reduced lunches,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, who represents the First District.

“While Orange County continues to outperform the state, we must do more to address the growing number of people living in poverty.”
According to the 2015 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report, 16.9 percent of Orange County children live in poverty. Although Orange County as a whole is doing better than the statewide average of 22.1 percent, many OC cities are falling behind.

The Top 5 OC cities with the highest percentage of children living in poverty are:
Stanton: 1 in 3 children living in poverty (31 percent)
Santa Ana: 1 in 3 children living in poverty (30 percent)
Anaheim: 1 in 4 children living in poverty (24 percent)
Garden Grove: 1 in 4 children living in poverty (23.4 percent)
San Juan Capistrano: 1 in 5 children living in poverty (22.7 percent)

Other major findings of the report include:
Good News
Health – There has been a notable 46% decrease in the teen birth rate since 2004.
Education – The Orange County high school dropout rate was 6.7% for 2013/14 and was lower than the California dropout rate of 11.5% in 2013/14 and the United States dropout rate of 7.1% in 2011.
Economic Well Being – Child Support distributed increased 23.7%, from 53.9% in 2005/06 to 66.7% in 2014/15.
Safe Homes and Communities – Juvenile Arrest Rates for 10-to-17-year old youth decreased 47% from 2004 to 2013.

Needs Improvement
Health – The hospitalization rate for mental illness and substance abuse increased 25.6% in the last 10 years to nearly one in 400 children.
Safe Homes and Communities – Racial and ethnic divide persists, as Hispanic male youth comprised 75% of the juvenile sustained petitions and accounted for nine out of 10 gang members in Orange County.

Community Forums: Each of the five Supervisorial districts will hold a free Community Forum to present the findings of the Annual Report in greater detail. Members of the public are welcome to register and attend. Copies of the Annual Report will be available at the Forums or may be accessed via the Internet.
The first forum will be held on October 29, 2015 from 1:30 to 4:00 pm at the Orange County Hall of Administration and will focus on the topic of Childhood Obesity: prevention and action. Registration is available online.

The remaining forums will be held in December and January:
• December 1, 2015: Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse
• December 11, 2015: The Protective Factor of Education: positive education outcomes and the link to reducing Juvenile Offenders and Recidivism
• January 13, 2016: Young Children’s Mental Health
• January 27, 2016: Starting Strong: prenatal care and birth outcomes, including special populations like teens and foster children

For information on the forum dates and locations or to access the Annual Report via the internet, please visit: ochealthinfo.com/occp/report.

Produced by the Orange County Children’s Partnership, the 21st Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County 2015 was released by the Orange County Board of Supervisors at its October 20th regular meeting. The Orange County Children’s Partnership is a 22-member advisory body of pubic and community agencies and individuals that develop the report and focus on improving the conditions of children in the county.

The 21st Annual Conditions of Children Report 2015 is sponsored by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and Orange County United Way.
Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do represents the First District, which includes the communities of Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Santa Ana and Westminster.