Contact: Molly Nichelson, (714) 541-7734, Molly.Nichelson@ssa.ocgov.com
Conditions of Children in Orange County Report Shows Improving Outcomes for County Youth
Orange County, CA – The 23rd Annual Conditions of Children in Orange County report was released yesterday, offering a comprehensive assessment of the health, economic well-being, education, and safety of the County’s children.
The following areas have shown improvement for the lives and well-being of Orange County’s youth:
- Mental Health: Overall hospitalization rates for serious mental health and substance abuse conditions among children dropped for the first time in five years.
- College Readiness: Overall college readiness rates have increased, with University of California / California State University eligible students rising to 51.1% – an increase of 13.8% in 10 years.
- Gang Membership: The number of youth belonging to gangs saw a 80.6% decrease of in the total number of known gang members ages 10 to 17 years old in Orange County. This is despite a national trend that shows an increase in gang membership in 49% of jurisdictions nationwide.
“Our children deserve to have a safe, healthy environment with access to high-quality education. I’m pleased to see the positive progress and outcomes in this report that help our youth in Orange County live better, healthier and happier lives,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, who serves at the Chair of the Orange County Children’s Partnership (OCCP), the collective that is responsible for publishing this report.
In addition to the positive outcomes that have been made within the realm of mental health, college readiness and stemming gang membership in the County, strides have also been made in decreasing child abuse in Orange County, reducing the rates of the uninsured County youth as well as mitigating preventable child in youth deaths in Orange County.
“This Report serves as an important tool to assist our communities in meeting unmet needs and continuing to improve the lives of children in Orange County,” said Mike Ryan, Director of the County of Orange Social Services Agency and Co-Chair of the OCCP. “While the report shows improving outcomes in some areas, we know that there is more work to be done to ensure that all our County’s children can thrive.”
To find out more about the other indicators and read the full Report, visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/family/occp.