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Pre-pandemic assessment of health, economic well-being, education and safety

Santa Ana, Calif.- The 27th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County is now available, offering a comprehensive assessment of the health, economic well-being, education and safety of the County’s children.

“…pleased to report on positive outcomes made, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our families significantly in several ways.”

Doug Chaffee, Supervisor

The following areas have shown improvement for the lives and well-being of Orange County’s youth:

Good Health

The infant mortality rate in 2019 remained low, demonstrating a 27.5% decrease since 2010. This measure is a widely used indicator of societal health, related to maternal health, quality of and access to medical care and public health practices.

Economic Well-Being

The number of total Orange County child support cases decreased by almost 24% from 77,582 cases in 2011/2012 to 59,271 cases in 2020/2021. Over the same period, improvements in child support collections per case have increased by over 12%, ensuring an increase in income to parents to provide for the basic needs of their children.

Educational Achievement

Over half of Orange County high school graduates are college-ready, having completed the course requirements to be eligible to apply to a University of California or California State University. Since 2016, college readiness has increased for students who are English Learners or considered socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Safe Homes and Communities

In 2019, 4.7% of juvenile prosecutions were gang related, down 65% from 13.6% in 2010. A drop in gang-related prosecutions is an important indicator of overall improvement in both the well-being and safety of communities.

“Currently available data shows that prior to the pandemic, continued progress was made across many of key indicators that report on the health and well-being of Orange County children. While we are pleased to report on positive outcomes made, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our families significantly in several ways.

As we learn more about the effects of the pandemic, we may see new information emerge from which we will measure future progress of our collective efforts,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee, Fourth District Supervisor, who serves as the Chair of the Orange County Children’s Partnership (OCCP), the advisory board responsible for publishing the report. Supervisor Chaffee continues, “While we highlight improvements made, our work is never done – there is always more we can collectively do to ensure our youth thrive.”

This year’s report also includes a special section related to COVID-19 and the county’s “all-in” response to the pandemic.

To read the full report, download or view below. (additional Orange County news)

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