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Los Angeles County

2006 Children’s ScoreCard

live learn grow


Building Strong Families and Supportive Communities to Ensure the Success of All Children

15th-ANNIVERSARY EDITION
LOS ANGELES Los
COUNTY SERVICE
Angeles PLANNING AREAS
County
Service Planning Areas
Gorman

Redman

Sandberg

Lancaster
Lake Hughes
Quartz Hill

Green Valley
Lake Los Angeles
Angeles National Forest
Palmdale

Littlerock

Castaic Agua Dulce

Acton

Canyon Country Valyermo


Valencia
Saugus
Sand
Santa Clarita Canyon

Stevenson Ranch

Sylmar Angeles National Forest


San Fernando
Miles
Pacoima Sunland
0 5 10 Chatsworth Tujunga
Sepulveda
Northridge
West Hills Sun Valley La Cañada-
Canoga Park Reseda Flintridge
Van Nuys Altadena
Burbank
Woodland Hills Glendale
Sierra
Monrovia
Encino Sherman Madre
Oaks Pasadena Bradbury
Agoura Hills Hidden Hills
Universal Duarte
Westlake City Eagle Arcadia Glendora
Calabasas Azusa
Village Rock San Marino La Verne
South Irwindale Citrus San Claremont
Hollywood Mount San Temple
West Washington Pasadena Gabriel City Dimas
Hollywood Baldwin Covina
Beverly El
Alhambra El Monte Park
Park
Hills La Brea Sereno Rosemead West Covina
Brentwood Pomona
Pacific Los Monterey
Mid-City Park South El Monte Valinda
Malibu Palisades Angeles East
Santa La Puente Walnut
Jefferson L.A.
Monica Culver Crenshaw City of Montebello City of
City Vernon Commerce Diamond
Venice Pico Hacienda Industry
Hyde Huntington Heights Bar
Bell Rivera
Park Park
Florence Gardens Whittier La Habra
Playa del Rey Inglewood South Santa Fe Heights
Watts Downey Springs
Lennox Gate
Athens Lynwood
El Hawthorne Norwalk
Segundo Gardena Paramount La Mirada
Lawndale Compton Bellflower
Manhattan Beach Cerritos
Artesia Service Planning Areas
Hermosa Beach
Lakewood
Carson
Redondo Beach Torrance Hawaiian
1 - Antelope Valley
Gardens 2 - San Fernando
Catalin a 8 Avalon
Palos Verdes
Lomita
Wilmington
Signal Hill
3 - San Gabriel
4 - Metro
Island Estates Rolling Long Beach 5 - West
Not to scale.
Hills Naples
Rancho 6 - South
Palos Verdes
San Pedro 7 - East
8 - South Bay/Harbor

Note: City names are shown in BLACK.


Community names are shown in italics.
Introduction
The 2006 Children’s ScoreCard provides both an op- • Where children LIVE illustrates the economic challenges
portunity to highlight Los Angeles County’s progress in facing families and the particular impact of housing con-
improving the well-being of children, and an opportunity ditions in the County.
to reflect on the rich 15-year history of the Children’s
Planning Council. We have learned that our attention to • How children LEARN focuses on gaps and challenges
data and collaborative planning—at both the systems and with respect to early childhood opportunities and student
community level—has been integral to changing condi- achievement, and the vital partnership between families
tions for children and families. We have worked to de- and schools necessary to close those gaps.
velop partnerships, engage parents and youth, strengthen
relationships, and break out of our silos in order to more • How children GROW describes how families provide so-
effectively impact outcomes for children and families. And cial and emotional foundations at home; the crucial im-
while we are proud of our progress, the data clearly tell us portance of families having time and space to read, play,
we have much more to learn and do. interact, and bond with their children; and the essential
supports that communities offer so that families can suc-
In all our efforts to improve the lives of children, our most ceed in raising their children.
important lesson has been that communities—parents,
residents, and youth—have the best knowledge, informa- In honor of CPC’s anniversary, we include in each section spe-
tion, and capacity to make long-term sustainable change. cial mention of our accomplishments over the past 15 years. As
Through the powerful work of the CPC Service Planning you will read, we have LIVED in times of progress and times
Area Councils—all of which are engaged in community- of challenges; we have LEARNED tremendously through our
building efforts—and the 64 community forums held dur- partners and collaborators; and we have GROWN both per-
ing the summer of 2005, we learned that parents and youth sonally and organizationally in spirit and knowledge.
are ready to partner with government; that L.A. County
government is ready to embrace community partnerships; As we look toward the next 15 years, we know we must be
and that community groups are poised to act, to improve even more strategic and focused in our efforts to strengthen
neighborhood conditions, and to serve as leaders and advo- families and communities so that all children in Los Angeles
cates for children and families. County have the opportunity to live, learn, and grow to
reach their highest potential. We hope you will join us.
To build on our commitment to listen to the voices of
community, in this anniversary edition of the ScoreCard
we capture the knowledge and experiences of parents, resi-
dents, and youth with available quantitative data to high-
light two fundamental prerequisites of child well-being:
strong families and supportive communities. Indeed, it is Honorable Zev Yaroslavsky
only in the context of the family, and the family in the Chair
context of community, that children can succeed. Specifi-
cally, we look at the supports that families need from their
communities in order to help their children live, learn,
and grow optimally.

Yolie Flores Aguilar


Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 


Executive Summary
“Children do better when their families are 
strong, and families do better when they live 
in communities that help them succeed.”1

Los Angeles County—a region more populous than 42


states in the nation—is home to more than 1.2 mil-
lion families who live in hundreds of neighborhoods and
rely on 88 cities, 81 school districts, 1,894 schools, more
than 1,400 parks, 235 community libraries, 68 law en-
forcement agencies and thousands of community-based
agencies. It is these communities and the supports they
provide that we rely on to help strengthen families.

In each of the three thematic areas—Live, Learn, and


Grow—this scorecard provides specific information
that tells us about family and community strengths.
In addition, the data tables that begin on page 24
track indicators that tell us—over time, and by Service
Planning Area and race/ethnicity—how our children
are doing across the five outcome areas of child well-
being: good health, social and emotional well-being,
economic well-being, safety and survival, and educa-
tion/workforce readiness.

In 2004, almost 3 million children and youth lived in


L.A. County. These children accounted for about a third
of California’s child population. More than half of all
children in the County were under 10 years of age; 27%
were under 5; and 27% were ages 5-9. Close to 30% were
10-14, and teens between the ages of 15 and 17 account-
ed for 16%. The vast majority—80%—were children of
color. Almost 60% were Latino children. African Ameri-
can and Asian/Pacific Islander accounted for about 10%
each and less than 1% (.3) were American Indian. The
remaining 20% were non-Hispanic white.

In this, the seventh issue of the Children’s ScoreCard,


analysis of the indicators across the five outcomes suggests
a very complex picture. While we continue to make prog-
ress on most of these indicators, there has been a backward
trend in about one-quarter of the indicators between 2000
and 2004, including poverty, which has enormous impact
on many of the others. And as we examine the three the-
matic areas, the data tell us that too many families and
communities are lacking the supports and assets they need
to ensure that all children have opportunities to live, learn,
and grow optimally.

1 Annie E. Casey Foundation, www.aecf.org/initiatives/mc

 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Good News to Build On
The ScoreCard gives us a glimpse of the progress we continue to make on behalf of children. To be sure, these improve-
ments give us hope and optimism that we can “turn the curve”—or move in the right direction—on very specific condi-
tions of child well-being. Highlights from four of the five outcome areas demonstrate substantial countywide progress in
key areas that are important for children and families:

Good Health Social & Emotional Well-Being


• Children with health insurance increased from 81% • Births to teen mothers dropped by almost half since
in 1997 to 92% in 2005 1991, from 9,591 to 4,987 in 2004
• Mothers accessing early prenatal care increased from • Children in foster care decreased by 28% over a
71% to 92% between 1991 and 2004 five-year period

Safety & Survival Education/Workforce Readiness


• Violent crime incidents dropped by 41% over a • Fully credentialed teachers increased by 19% over
15-year period a five-year period
• Children who can easily access a safe place to play • Computers available in public schools for
(as reported by their parents) increased from 76% instructionally related purposes increased by
to 83% over a five-year period 71% over a five-year period

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 


Trends Calling Our Attention Further, racial disparities persist across the County, particu-
larly for Latino and African American children. For example,
Unfortunately, not all the data are moving in the right direc- Latino children fare the worst in almost every indicator of
tion. About one-quarter of the indicators show a negative economic well-being; they also have the lowest third-grade
trend, including the following: reading scores, lowest percentages of seniors taking the SAT,
lowest numbers of college-prepared graduates, and lowest
Good Health rates of young adults employed or in school (i.e., with pro-
• Low-weight births have been increasing since 2000 ductive activity). African American children also fare poorly
• Children who are adequately immunized at age 2 across many indicators of health, and social and emotional
decreased for the first time in five years well-being. African American mothers have the highest inci-
• Chlamydial infection cases among teens increased steadily dence of low-weight babies, and African American children
by 16% over a five-year period are most likely to have asthma and special health needs, to be
exposed to tobacco smoke at home, and experience the high-
Safety & Survival est rates of infant and child death. Further, they have the low-
• Juvenile felony arrests increased in 2004 after an almost est SAT scores, high school graduation rates, and third-grade
steady decrease since 1991 math scores, and the highest juvenile arrest rates. American
• Youth homicide victims increased for the first time since 2001 Indian children are less likely to have health insurance, and
American Indian women are less likely to receive early prena-
Economic Well-Being tal care. Asian/Pacific Islander children fare best on most edu-
• Child poverty rates increased by almost 16% between cation indicators, while white children fare best on almost
2002 and 2004 every indicator of economic well-being.

Education/Workforce Readiness Not surprisingly, there are also consistent geographic disparities
• High school graduation rates have shown a downward across the County’s Service Planning Areas. Conditions for chil-
trend since 2002 dren are consistently worse in the Antelope Valley (SPA 1), and
in the center of the County (SPAs 4 and 6); they are consistently
best in the western part of the County (SPA 5). These data tend
to mirror racial/ethnic disparities, as well as income distribution
across the County.

 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 
Where We Go From Here • Build on First 5 LA’s investments in universal preschool for
four-year-olds and its emerging focus on children ages 0-3
This ScoreCard highlights the importance of focusing on by strengthening partnerships with County departments
child and youth development, which must be done in the that serve young children, and by increasing investments in
context of their families and their communities. Examining quality and workforce development, certification, and sup-
both qualitative and quantitative data, we see that while port, particularly for licensed and license-exempt family
families have many assets, too many live in communities child-care providers.
that lack the important supports that they need to help their
children live, learn, and grow. The story we tell in this re- At the same time, we must pay greater attention to areas where
port is both optimistic and quite troubling. It suggests that the path is not so clear, and where doing nothing will diminish
many people in organizations throughout the County—too the prospects of hundreds of thousands of children. In those ar-
many to name here —have made wise investments of time, eas where we are falling behind, we need to make different invest-
energy, and resources in improving important aspects of key ments, take new risks, embrace more partners, and recruit even
child and family services systems; their efforts demonstrate more dedicated and talented people to develop, test, and demon-
that we do know what works to improve outcomes for chil- strate new approaches. For example, we need to:
dren, at least in some areas. Everyone must stay focused on
those areas where we are making progress, lest we begin to • Expand the educational reform agenda to include focus on
fall behind even in the areas where we do know what works. the health, social, emotional, and safety needs of children in
For example, we need to: the context of their families and communities. Develop
new collaborative approaches to improving schools, linking
• Build on successful health enrollment efforts and imple- the resources of County government, cities, community-
ment One-E-App (a Web-based, one-stop-shop approach based organizations, and businesses. Create meaningful and
to obtaining health insurance) in L.A. County to assure respectful parent engagement opportunities as a central ele-
that all children and their families have continuous access ment of the reform agenda in order to close the achieve-
to health insurance. ment gap, increase graduation rates, and provide access to
higher education and vocational preparation.
• Leverage the opportunities available through better align-
ment between the Title IV-E Waiver, the Mental Health • Ensure that the County’s Family Economic Success Plan is
Services Act, and First 5 LA to implement an innovative informed by the residents, has a strong coordination compo-
prevention agenda that would significantly improve the nent, and that it has the commitment of the County of
well-being of our most at-risk children, especially those in the Los Angeles, municipalities, the business community, and
child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Specifically, the community-based providers of family economic success pro-
Waiver should focus on family support, economic opportu- grams and services.
nities, and community-building efforts; the Mental Health
Services Act can provide greater access to mental health pro- • Work with the County Probation Department, law enforce-
motion efforts to help children and transition-age youth heal ment agencies, and their many partners to develop community
from their experiences that led them to foster care or proba- engagement and community-based alternatives for youth that
tion; and First 5 LA can help assure that the pregnant teens will prevent entry and re-entry into the juvenile justice system.
and young children involved in these systems have access to
high-quality early childhood education, health care, counsel-
ing, and other family support services.

• Further deepen the efforts of school districts, schools of


education, and their many partners to train, attract, and
retain well-prepared teachers for all of the children in schools
throughout L.A. County.

• Continue to increase access to safe places for children to


play by increasing the number of parks and recreational
facilities, particularly in “park poor” communities.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 


live
A child’s ability to LIVE

optimally requires that families be

well-prepared for the workforce


and that communities have

structures in place to help families

gain such preparation and/or

have strong economic supports,

such as job training opportunities,

livable wage jobs, and affordable

housing. In L.A. County, thousands

of families either do not have the

skills or the access to training,

good jobs, or affordable housing.

6 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Live

The economic challenges facing families throughout L.A. County are


daunting. Inadequate wages, skyrocketing housing costs, dramatic
rises in the cost of living … these and other factors have forced parents
to make ever-greater sacrifices in a continuing search for economic
well-being. Both the data and what families tell us underscore the
obstacles they must overcome.

What Communities Tell Us


The 2005 Los Angeles County Community Forums re-
vealed that families are greatly concerned about their ability
to provide for their children. They made it clear that they
are not looking for a government handout, but opportuni-
ties for well-paying jobs to adequately support their fami-
lies. More than anyone else, they know that their ability to
be economically secure will impact how their children live.

Community members in all parts of the County echoed


similar themes regarding factors that affect the economic
well-being of families. Access to jobs that pay a living wage
was a common concern, with residents noting the difficul-
ties in obtaining jobs where they could earn enough money
to support their families. High living costs, including rent
and child care, were also identified as major challenges for
families with children.

Residents were especially united in their concerns about the


lack of affordable housing and its impact on their lives, as
well as the lives of their families, friends, and neighbors. In
every SPA, and at almost 60% of the 64 community forums,
housing issues were identified by residents as impacting the
health and well-being of the County’s children and families.
Specific concerns focused on the high cost of rent, lack of
rent control, gentrification pushing up rents, poor property
management, and the difficulty of purchasing a home.

Economic and housing factors impacted residents in several “Landlords give the excuse that their taxes have
ways. Parents noted how low wages resulted in their need-
gone up, but me, who gives me a raise? Who
ing to work multiple jobs to provide for their families, thus
requiring them to sacrifice time with their children. Parents raises my minimum-wage salary?”
also spoke of having to make trade-offs, such as utilizing
unlicensed caregivers or sacrificing other basic necessities to “Even though we work, we earn too little and
pay for child care so they could work. In regards to housing, we still have to come home and pay a lot in
many felt they were forced to move their families into less- rent and barely have any money left over to
safe areas because that was all they could afford.1
feed our families.”

1 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council and Los Angeles County Chief
Administrative Office and Inter-Agency Operations Group, “Los Angeles County
Community Forum Findings, August 2005.”

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 7


What the Numbers Tell Us
Income and the Cost of Living
Current data tell us that much needs to be done to
strengthen the economic well-being of families. Al-
though the number of children in poverty had declined
significantly since 1993, rates have begun to climb in
recent years. In addition, estimates from the California
Budget Project indicate that the cost of living has in-
creased dramatically in L.A. County, by more than 40%
between 1999 and 2005.

In 1999, a single parent with two children needed to earn


$17.68 per hour to provide for a basic standard of living
(housing, food, health insurance, transportation, child
care, taxes, and a few miscellaneous expenses), while a
family with two working parents and two children need-
ed a combined wage of $21.50 per hour. By 2005, these
amounts had climbed to $25.97 and $30.32 per hour
respectively2 (Figure 1). This contrasts markedly with
California’s minimum wage of $6.75 per hour, or even
the State’s expected increase to $8 per hour.

The annual income needed for a family (with two work-


ing parents and two children) to provide for its basic
needs was slightly more than $63,000 in 2005, an
amount more than three times the Federal Poverty Level3
(Figure 2). Alarmingly, it is estimated that almost one
million of the County’s households with children—
about three of every four—had incomes below 300%
FPL in 2005, meaning a majority of families are likely
struggling economically.

Geographically, the worst indicators of family economic


well-being are consistently concentrated in SPAs 6 and 4,
where 93% and 85% of households with children fell
below 300% FPL, respectively (Figure 3). Across major
racial/ethnic groups, disparities were most notable for
Latino families, with 89% below 300% FPL (compared
to 34% for white families)4.

2 California Budget Project, “Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to
Raise a Family in California?” Produced biannually in odd years.

3 Ibid.

4 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assess-


ment and Epidemiology, “Los Angeles County Health Survey,” 2005.

 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Live

“Everything is too expensive. I can’t work because I can’t


afford to pay someone to watch my kids. On what
income I would make I still would not be able to pay rent
and pay a babysitter. I HAVE to live with my parents …”

ACCeSS To AffoRdABLe hoUSINg


In 2005, affordability of fair-market rent for a two-bedroom
dwelling in L.A. County required more than $47,000 in an-
nual income, compared to about $31,000 in 2000. For most
families, wages earned have not kept pace with these increas-
ing costs. In 2005, a person working for minimum wage
needed to work 3.4 full-time jobs for a two-bedroom dwell-
ing at fair-market rent to be considered affordable (i.e., rent
not to exceed 30% of total income). A person earning the
average renter’s wage of $14.86 per hour needed 1.5 full-time
jobs. As such, an estimated 65% of renters could not afford
fair-market rent for a two-bedroom dwelling (Figure 4).5

5 National Low Income Housing Coalition, “Out of Reach.” Produced annually.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 9


Live

One of the consequences of unaffordable housing is over-


crowding (1.01 or more persons per room, including kitchens
but excluding bathrooms), with multiple families sometimes
sharing housing units. Data from the 2000 Census indicate
that the percentage of overcrowded housing varies widely in
communities throughout the County, with SPAs 6 and 7 hav-
ing the highest percentage of overcrowded rental units at 44%
each (Figure 5). Among cities and unincorporated areas, two of
every three rental units in Bell Gardens, South El Monte, and
Lennox were overcrowded.

Another consequence of unaffordable housing can be home-


lessness. More than 20,000 families with children were pro-
jected to be homeless at some point in 2005, with parents and
children accounting for about one-quarter of the County’s
homeless population. Nearly half of those homeless (47%) had
rented an apartment or house immediately prior to becoming
homeless. And, while lack of a job or inadequate income were
Buying a home is even further out of reach for most L.A. cited as reasons, 53% reported they were not living in perma-
County families. This is enormously troubling, given that re- nent housing because they could not afford the rent.8
search shows a strong relationship between home ownership
and family stability.6 The median sales price for a single-fam- 6 Rachel G. Bratt, “Housing and Family Well-Being,” Housing Studies 17:1 (2002):
13-26, as referenced in Millennial Housing Commission, “Meeting Our Nation’s
ily home more than doubled over five years, from $241,370 Housing Challenges.” Report of the Bipartisan Millennial Housing Commission
in 2001 to $529,010 in 2005. The annual income required Appointed by the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., May 30, 2002.

to purchase one of these homes with a 20% down payment 7 California Association of Realtors, “California Existing Single-Family Housing
Market Annual Historical Data Summary,” 2005.
exceeded $110,000, an amount more than twice the County’s
median household income. Subsequently, only 14% of house- 8 Applied Survey Research, “Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count,” 2005.
Sponsored by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
holds in L.A. County could afford a median-priced home in
2005 (Figure 4), compared to 50% of households nationwide.7

MOVING TO ACTION

Addressing the many issues that impact a child’s ability to live optimally requires multiple strategies, collaborative
partnerships across the public and private sectors, and community engagement. Building on our current work, the
Children’s Planning Council sees two immediate opportunities on the horizon, both within the emerging Family Economic
Success Plan for Los Angeles County:

1. The Family Economic Success Plan addresses three es- 2. A key element of the FES Plan is a focus on improv-
sential areas to help families increase their assets so that ing access to public benefits, including health insurance
they can adequately provide for their children: economic programs. A proven Web-based technology called One-E-
and workforce opportunities, asset building/leveraging, App would provide a one-stop-shop approach to assure
and access to public benefits. The Plan, which must be in- that all children have continuous access to health insur-
formed by residents most impacted, must also have the full ance. Over time, One-E-App could also serve to enroll
commitment of the County of Los Angeles, municipalities, children and their families in other public benefit programs,
the business community, and community-based providers such as food stamps, WIC, and Medi-Cal. CPC made this
of family economic success programs and services. To pro- a top recommendation to the Board of Supervisors in the
vide leadership and coordinate these efforts, we envision 2004 ScoreCard, and philanthropic organizations have
a Center for Family Economic Success supported by both made significant investments to bring this technology to
government and the private sector. Los Angeles. What remains is an approval for full imple-
mentation from L.A. County.

10 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


CPC: 15 Years of Living, Learning, and Growing

Over the past 15 years, the Children’s Planning Council has lived in an environment of constant change, evolu-
tion, and progress. Notable experiences and accomplishments include:

Recognizing the Power of Community-Building


We evolved our understanding of what it takes to im-
prove conditions for children from a systems and ser-
vices approach to one that also includes building the
capacity of communities to act on their own behalf.
CPC now invests $3 million a year to support more than
50 networks of parents, residents, and youth that are
taking up leadership roles to improve conditions for chil-
dren and families at a neighborhood level.

Making Data More Accessible


Our Children’s ScoreCard and other data products
have emerged as valuable tools for people who are
working to improve conditions for children and fam-
ilies. Our collective efforts have become more strate-
gic and data-driven.

Building Stronger Networks


Relationships and opportunities to partner and network
—particularly for public and community-based agen-
cies working to improve conditions for children—are
stronger and more effective. Although we must con-
tinue to improve in this area, we see greater collabora-
tive efforts emerging across the County.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 11


learn
Children are born learning. But what and

how much they LEARN is greatly dependent

on the experiences and environments that

adults and community institutions make

available to them. In L.A. County, most

preschool and school-age children and

youth do not have equal access to optimal

learning environments where they can

gain positive early childhood development

experiences, a strong K-12 education,

or workforce preparation.

12 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Learn

The most common theme during the 2005 Community Forums was parents’ concern
over the lack of educational preparation for their children, starting with infant and
preschool care through high school. An equal concern for many was their own lack
of engagement in their children’s education, often due to multiple barriers: working
several jobs and/or long hours, not understanding the language, or not feeling
welcome or respected at their child’s school. These data, along with data from other
sources, tell a troubling story.

What Communities Tell Us


At almost 85% of the community forums, educational issues
were identified as impacting the current and future well-be-
ing of children and families. Parents voiced concerns about
limited early learning programs, noting their importance in
their children’s development and future school readiness.
Another consistent, related theme was the need for afford-
able child care and increased availability of subsidized child
care facilities.

Parents also shared a number of challenges their children


face within the school environment, many of which result
from inadequate educational resources. Some of these con-
cerns focused on a shortage of school personnel, overcrowd-
ed classrooms, and limited or outdated computer technol-
ogy. In addition, many parents across the County expressed
a desire to be involved in their children’s education and were
frustrated by obstacles impeding their ability to do so.

Parents expressed a shared concern that the impact of these


issues, if not addressed, would be a diminished quality of
education for their children. This, in turn, could result in
their children having fewer opportunities for future suc-
cess, which would impact not just their children but also “Our children are not getting the education
their communities.1
they need to survive in this world. The lack of
1 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council and Los Angeles County Chief
resources means that our children may not
Administrative Office and Inter-Agency Operations group, “Los Angeles County
Community Forum Findings, August 2005.”
have the skills they need to move forward.”

“We are spending millions of dollars on war


and we are not spending enough money to
educate our children.”

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 13


What the Numbers Tell Us
Access to Quality Child Care Personnel and Class Size
Quality child care and early education experiences are impor- School staffing is central to a child’s academic success. Quali-
tant factors in helping children enter school ready to learn and fied teachers, smaller class sizes, and the availability of coun-
succeed academically, with numerous studies highlighting the selors to monitor and guide progress on an ongoing basis are
connection between the two. While it is extremely difficult to important ingredients in maximizing a child’s educational
measure the number of children who are benefiting from qual- experience. The proportion of fully credentialed teachers
ity child care, community forum data indicate that there is a in L.A. County climbed to 89% in 2004 (Figure 1). Across
need for more affordable and plentiful child care and preschool SPAs, percentages ranged from a low of 79% in SPA 6 to a
programs—an area that First 5 LA and Los Angeles Universal high of 91% in SPAs 2, 3, and 5.
Preschool are working hard to address.
However, this positive trend in qualified teachers is offset
Data from the 2004 L.A. County Child Care Needs Assess- by the number of pupils per teacher, which can impact an
ment support these findings and highlight an ongoing shortage instructor’s ability to teach, provide individualized attention,
of center-based programs for L.A. County children (despite a and identify learning disabilities. California is consistently
5% increase in the number of licensed child care centers be- ranked among the worst states in terms of its pupil-teacher
tween 2002 and 2004). Among SPAs, the greatest shortfalls ratio, at 21 students per teacher in 2004 (compared to the
continue to be found in SPA 7, where the licensed child care national average of 16). L.A. County’s ratio was higher still
capacity meets just 20% of the potential need for infants and (22:1), with about three of every five school districts having
48% for preschoolers. This amounts to a shortfall of almost higher ratios than the state. At the school level, one in five
40,000 licensed spaces in SPA 7 alone, and more than 190,000 have rates that equal or exceed 24 pupils per teacher (Figure 2).
spaces countywide for children ages 0-5. While many fami- This means that in many schools in L.A. County, teachers are
lies prefer to use license-exempt care for their children (such as responsible for at least 35% more (and sometimes even 50%
nannies or relatives), many others utilize license-exempt care or more) students than is typical in the United States.3
because they have no choice (i.e., limited income and/or a lack
of licensed care options in their communities).2

2 County of Los Angeles Child Care Planning Committee, “2004 Child Care Needs 3 Education Data Partnership, Ed-Data website at http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/
Assessment For The County of Los Angeles,” April 2005. welcome.asp, “Comparing California,” and School District reports, accessed June
23, 2006.

14 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Learn

“Schools do send home information


regarding different things, but since
most of it is in English, we don’t
understand them.”

“At the elementary school there is a


parent center but the hours conflict
with parents’ work schedules.”

While teachers are key to a child’s learning, academic counsel-


ors also play an important role by tracking students’ progress
toward graduation and helping them prepare for life beyond
high school. In 2004-05, there were 426 high school students
per academic counselor in L.A. County, a rate approaching
twice the recommended ratio of 250:1. Geographically, SPA 1
had the least favorable ratio at 553 students per counselor
while SPA 4 had the most favorable at 339:1 (Figure 3).
These large caseloads often mean that students see an aca-
demic counselor just once or twice a year, which can affect
their ability to take the right classes to meet graduation and
college entrance requirements.4

4 California Department of Education, School Accountability Report Card data


files, 2004-05.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 15


Learn

Parental Involvement
Research shows a strong correlation between student academic
achievement and parent participation. However, in L.A. County
there is little or no available data that captures the extent and
quality of parent involvement in schools. This became evident in
2004 when CPC and First 5 LA convened the School Readiness
Indicators Workgroup, which developed a set of indicators for
L.A. County to track school readiness efforts. The workgroup
identified a specific goal for L.A. County that “schools, families,
and caregivers work together to ensure a positive transition to K-
6 education,” but acknowledged that there is currently little data
for assessing this goal, and identified some possible sources such
as school administrative data (e.g., PTA or other types of parental
Technology involvement) and/or parent surveys.8
Recent research has shown that the use of technology in an
instructional setting can contribute to improved student per- While there is a dearth of school administrative data on paren-
formance: better grades, higher test scores, and increased atten- tal involvement, qualitative data collected at the Community
dance. Young adults skilled in using computers and software Forums indicate that many parents want to be more involved
also have better job prospects given the widespread use of tech- in their children’s education at all grade levels. This finding
nology in the workplace.5 As such, technology is becoming an was consistent across the County and in every SPA. Even so,
increasingly important component in a child’s education. the data also highlight that parents often feel impeded in their
ability to be involved, particularly because of language bar-
Between 1996 and 2005, the number of computers available riers and scheduling conflicts, with many parents unable to
for instructionally related purposes increased by 250% in L.A. take time off from work to attend daytime meetings.
County public schools, with the number of students per com-
puter declining from 14.1 to 4.5.6 Although 85% of the comput- 5 The Children’s Partnership, “Impacts of Technology on Outcomes for Youth: A
2005 Review.”
ers were connected to the Internet via a permanent (non-dialup)
6 California Department of Education, California Basic Educational Data System
connection, the equipment itself was often dated: almost 40% (CBEDS), for school years 1996-97 through 2005-06.
of the computers were more than four years old (Figure 4). The 7 California Department of Education, California School Technology Survey, 2005.
majority of students used the technology at school most often
8 First 5 LA, “Shaping the Future,” 2004.
for word processing, research, and creating reports. They used it
least often for demonstrations, solving problems and/or analyz-
ing data, and graphically presenting materials.7

MOVING TO ACTION

Our educational institutions and policy-makers continue to make education reform a top priority. This is also the num-
ber-one concern for parents across the County. To succeed, what is required is a more expansive view of what is needed
for children to learn optimally. Making parents and youth primary partners in a broad range of partnerships is essential,
including interagency collaboration between schools, cities, County departments, and community-based organizations.
It also, however, requires that we stay on course with investments in teacher preparation. Here are two examples of what
to include in an action agenda:

1. Further deepen the efforts of school districts, schools of Create meaningful and respectful parent engagement op-
education, and their many partners to train, attract, and portunities as a central element of the reform agenda.
retain well-prepared teachers for all our children.
3. Build on First 5 LA’s investments in universal preschool
2. Expand the educational reform agenda to include a fo- for four-year-olds and its emerging focus on children
cus on the health, social, emotional, and safety needs of ages 0-3 by strengthening partnerships with County de-
children. Develop new collaborative approaches to improv- partments that serve young children, and by increasing
ing schools, linking the resources of County government, investments in quality and workforce development, certi-
cities, community-based organizations, and businesses. fication, and support, particularly for licensed and license-
exempt family child-care providers.

16 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


CPC: 15 Years of Living, Learning, AND Growing

CPC has documented much of what it has learned over the past 15 years in various reports, including Walking the
Collaboration Talk and Building Bridges, Charting Change—an evaluation of our work on behalf of kids and families.
Below are a few of the highlights:

Investing in Relationships Sharing Information and Bringing People Together


The trusting relationships that CPC has built have en- to Build Common Purpose
abled us to influence County decisions impacting chil- From its inception, CPC has served as a neutral convener
dren such as the creation of SPA boundaries, the Coun- and broker of information. In 1993, CPC brought togeth-
ty’s welfare reform plan, the County’s Strategic Plan, er hundreds of people from throughout the public and
and the emerging child welfare prevention agenda. private sectors and the community at large to adopt the
These relationships also have helped CPC to build a five outcome areas of child well-being and to form the
Web site rich with data that helps others plan and make SPA boundaries. Since 1994, CPC has produced the
more strategic decisions, and to create a system of SPA/ Children’s ScoreCard, which highlights the conditions of
AIC Councils that provides an opportunity for commu- children in our County. Between 2002 and 2006, CPC
nity members to have a place at the table. convened the Safe Haven Taskforce, the School Readiness
Indicators Workgroup, and the ScoreCard Recommenda-
tions Workgroup. Most recently, CPC convened the Fam-
ily Economic Success Advisory Committee and is working
with the Education Coordinating Council to improve edu-
cational outcomes for children and youth in foster care
and probation. All of these efforts impact policy direction,
inspire leadership action, and promote community en-
gagement around improving the lives of children.

UsingData to Promote Community Action


In L.A. County, data have spurred people to action and
helped them make more strategic and effective deci-
sions. In SPA 1, for example, high infant-mortality data
in 2002 led to First 5 LA providing resources and ex-
panding funding to the Antelope Valley Black Infant
Health Program, and to the creation of a partnership
between the SPA 1 Council, the Department of Public
Health’s Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Pro-
grams, the L.A. Best Babies Collaborative, and commu-
nity members to develop and implement strategies to
improve infant mortality rates.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 17


grow
Children GROW best in healthy and

supportive environments at home

and in their communities. This

requires that families provide stable,

nurturing care, model healthy

behaviors, and give their children

love and affection. It also requires

that communities offer adequate

open spaces for recreation, child

care, after-school activities, and

other supports to families. In L.A.

County, too many children live in

neighborhoods without these

essential resources, and in families

that, despite caring for their children,

are unable to provide the home

environments so necessary for

children to thrive.

18 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Grow

The conditions in which children grow vary from community to community.


in some parts of the County, children are growing up in strong families
and neighborhoods. in many others, however, they lack basic community
supports and, consequently, are growing up in fragile family circumstances.

What Communities Tell Us


Community members in all parts of the County repeatedly
mentioned that the availability of parks, recreational activi-
ties, and parenting supports were important and necessary
components in helping their children grow and thrive. Resi-
dents were especially concerned about the lack of parks and
open space for children to play in. Parents also expressed a de-
sire for more recreation and sports programs, as well as social
gatherings to foster relationship-building among community
members. Another concern, mentioned in every SPA, was the
need for parenting classes and centers that enable parents to
interact with each other and improve their parenting skills.

Residents noted that insufficient parkland, recreation,


and parenting resources were detrimental to the social
and emotional well-being of their children, families, and
communities. The lack of adequate parkland often forces
children to play in unsafe, unsupervised areas like empty “There are not enough parks for the kids
lots and roads. They believed that the impact of more rec- to play in or to play sports in.”
reation and sports opportunities would be active, engaged
youth who were off the streets and less likely to get into
trouble. And parenting classes and supports would enable “We need a place for children … to associate,
them to deal with their children better in areas such as to gather. Someplace safe, open, social—
discipline, conflict, and communication.1 where young people can mingle within
their community.”
1 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council and Los Angeles County Chief
Administrative Office and inter-Agency Operations group, “Los Angeles County
Community Forum Findings, August 2005.”

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 19


What the Numbers Tell Us
Public Parks
Public parks are valuable resources for families and com-
munities. They can make neighborhoods more attractive
and livable; increase both residential and commercial prop-
erty values; offer recreational opportunities; foster greater
physical activity; and provide a place where residents can
relieve stress, interact socially, and feel a sense of commu-
nity. Additionally, research has shown a strong correlation
between the availability of parks and recreational activi-
ties, and reductions in crime and juvenile delinquency.”2

In a recent study by the Trust for Public Land, Los Angeles


ranked last among all metropolitan areas examined regard-
ing park access for children (Figure 1). Findings for L.A.
County indicate that approximately 1.7 million children
(64%) do not live within walking distance of a public park.
Ironically, the areas with the greatest concentrations of chil-
dren and youth were found to have the least access to parks;
in other words, those who need and benefit from parks the
most often do not have ready access to them.3

Income also plays a role in park accessibility, with lower-


income neighborhoods usually being more “park poor”
than higher-income neighborhoods.4 Parent’s perceptions
regarding easy accessibility to safe play places for their chil-
dren tend to support this finding. Only 72% and 73% of
children in SPAs 6 and 4 (South and Central Los Angeles)
have parents who report easy access to a park, playground,
or other safe play place, compared to 83% and higher in
other parts of the County5 (Figure 2).

Among racial/ethnic groups, park access tends to be greatly re-


duced in Latino, African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander
neighborhoods. In the city of Los Angeles, for example, there
are 0.6 park acres per 1,000 persons in Latino-dominated
neighborhoods compared to 31.8 park acres per 1,000 persons
in white-dominated neighborhoods.6 Though much of this
disparity is due to the proximity between large regional parks
(such as the Santa Monica Mountains) and white neighbor-
hoods, it is still cause for concern, especially given that four of
every five children in L.A. County are children of color.

2 The Trust for Public Land, “The Benefits of Parks: Why America Needs More
City Parks and Open Space,” 2006 reprint.

3 The Trust for Public Land, “No Place to Play: A Comparative Analysis of Park
Access in Seven Major Cities,” November 2004.

4 University of Southern California, Center for Sustainable Cities, “Parks and


Park Funding in Los Angeles: An Equity Mapping Analysis,” May 2002.

5 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assess-


ment and Epidemiology, “Los Angeles County Health Survey, 2005.”

6 University of Southern California, Center for Sustainable Cities, “Toward a


Sustainable Los Angeles: A Nature’s Services Approach,” March 2003.

20 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Grow

“A group of people get together


on Saturdays and take our kids
to the school to play sports. We
OrGANiZED SPOrTS all bring food.”
As shown in a variety of studies, youth participation in sports
can help foster increased fitness and health, responsible so-
cial behaviors, greater academic success, self-confidence, and
strong social bonds with individuals and institutions. As
pointed out in a Carnegie Corporation report, while “sports
cannot be seen as a simple solution for the myriad of chal-
lenges that inner-city youth face growing up, it can be seen as
an important way that communities and families can support
the development of its young people.”7

Among children ages 6-17, parents report that 63% par-


ticipate in some sort of organized sport at least one day per
week (after school or on the weekend), and about one-quarter
(24%) participate five or more days per week. African Ameri-
can and American Indian youth have the highest sports par-
ticipation rates at 70.8% and 77.6%, respectively, while La-
tino youth have the lowest at 59.3% (Figure 3). In six of the
eight SPAs, participation rates are fairly even (61% - 64%).
SPA 1 is the notable exception, with just over half of all chil-
dren ages 6-17 involved in organized sports.8

7 Carnegie Corporation of New York, “The role of Sports in Youth Development,”


conference report by Alex Poinsett, March 1996.

8 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assessment


and Epidemiology, “Los Angeles County Health Survey, 2005.”

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 21


Grow

PArENTiNG SUPPOrT
Families are strengthened when parents have access to sup-
port systems for raising their children, be it through parent-
ing classes, peer groups, and/or others to turn to for child-
rearing advice. These supports can enable parents to improve
their parenting abilities; develop a better understanding of
themselves and their children; learn about child develop-
ment; learn effective methods of dealing with anger and crisis
situations; feel less alone; and better cope with the demands
of parenthood. The net result is stronger bonds and commu-
nication among family members.

About four of every five children (ages 0-5) in L.A. County


had parents who reported it was easy to find someone to talk
to when they need advice about raising their children, which
is good news indeed. Perhaps indicating the need for more
bilingual parenting supports, however, just 70% of Latino
children had parents who felt it was easy to find someone to
talk to for parenting advice, which contrasts markedly with
all other racial/ethnic groups (Figure 4). This same pattern is
observed geographically, with rates between 69% and 73%
in SPAs 4, 6, and 7 (all predominantly Latino), compared to
81% or higher in all other SPAs.9
9 Ibid.

“We need to provide opportunity for parents


to have a place to communicate, receive
help, advice, and information …”

“I took some classes on self-esteem and they


helped me help my kids.”

MOVING TO ACTION

Creating healthy and supportive environments for children to grow optimally requires that we think not only about the
physical environment, but also about adult-child interactions, particularly those within the family or with other adults re-
sponsible for young people. Three areas to focus on include:

1. Leverage the opportunities available through better teens and young children involved in these systems have
alignment between the Title IV-E Waiver, the Mental Health access to high-quality early childhood education, health
Services Act, and First 5 LA to implement an innovative pre- care, counseling, and other family support services.
vention agenda that would significantly improve the well-
being of our most at-risk children, especially those in the 2. Continue to increase access to safe places for children to
child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Specifically, the play and grow by increasing the number of parks and recre-
Waiver should focus on family support, economic opportu- ational facilities, particularly in “park poor” communities.
nities, and community-building efforts; the Mental Health
Services Act can provide greater access to mental health 3. Work with the County Probation Department, law en-
promotion efforts to help children and transition-age youth forcement agencies, and their many partners to develop
heal from their experiences that led them to foster care or community-based alternatives for youth that will prevent
probation; and First 5 LA can help assure that the pregnant entry and re-entry into the juvenile justice system.

22 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


CPC: 15 Years of Living, Learning, and Growing

The CPC network has grown exponentially over the past 15 years. When CPC was created, it had a Council
of 22 members and a staff of two. Today the Countywide CPC has 48 members, a separate nonprofit board,
and a staff of more than 15, while the nine local Councils have more than 300 members and 27 staff. More
importantly, CPC has helped to grow social networks, given people a voice and a place in decision-making, and
increased the capacity of communities to organize and advocate for themselves. For example:

Promoting Inclusive Governance Mobilizing Empowered Communities


County government opened its doors to local leaders Community groups—parents, residents, and youth,
from the SPA and AIC Councils to participate in critical —have established and worked through neighbor-
Countywide decisions, including recommendations to hood action groups to identify the issues they care
the Board of Supervisors on how to spend dollars saved about most and come up with solutions that make a
through welfare reform (the Long-Term Self-Sufficiency real difference in the daily lives of children. These
Plan) and how to better integrate County services (the groups are working on improving parent engagement
Service Integration Action Plan). at schools, anti-bullying campaigns, reducing child
abuse and neglect, neighborhood beautification proj-
ects, and school traffic patrols, among other projects.

Giving Voice to All


CPC was originally comprised mainly of agency heads
and institutional leaders. Starting in 1995, the Coun-
cil was expanded to include the voice of community.
A representative of each of the SPA and AIC Councils
was added, as were representatives from ethnic com-
munities, youth, and parents. CPC now is comprised
of the public, private, and community sectors, all
working together to improve outcomes for children
and families.

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 23


24 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006
Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 25
26 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006
Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 27
Data Definitions
Good Health Violent crime incidents: Number and rate of reported violent crimes (ho-
micide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault); rate per 100,000 persons (Source:
Newborns with low birth weights: Number and percent of infants with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Los Angeles Police Department; Cali-
a birth weight below 2,500 grams (Source: California Department of Health fornia Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center).
Services, Vital Statistics).
Misdemeanor arrests: Number and rate of arrests (of persons ages 10-17)
Percent of women with prenatal care in the first trimester: Percent of live for misdemeanor offenses; rate per 100,000 juveniles ages 10-17. Misde-
births where the mothers received prenatal care during their first trimester of meanors are crimes punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to
pregnancy (Source: California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics). one year and/or fine (Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Los
Children with health insurance: Percent of children with privately or pub- Angeles Police Department; California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice
licly funded health care coverage (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Statistics Center).
Health Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health). Felony arrests: Number and rate of arrests (of persons ages 10-17) for felo-
Children adequately immunized at age 2: Estimated percent of children who ny offenses; rate per 100,000 juveniles ages 10-17; trend rates are based on
completed the 4:3:1 vaccination series (4 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis population estimates from the state, while SPA and race rates are based on
(DTP) vaccine, 3 doses of polio vaccine, and 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella local population estimates. Felonies are the most serious offenses, punishable
(MMR) vaccine) at 24 months of age (Source: Los Angeles County Department by imprisonment in a state prison, and generally include violent crimes, sex
of Public Health, Immunization Branch, Kindergarten Retrospective Survey). offenses, and various drug and property crimes (Source: Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department; Los Angeles Police Department; California Department
Prevalence of asthma: Percent of children, ages 0-17, with current asthma; of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center).
current asthma includes those who have ever been diagnosed with asthma by
a health care provider and report still having asthma and/or having an asthma Domestic violence-related calls for assistance: Number of calls made to
attack in the last 12 months (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Health police for assistance involving adult domestic violence incidents (Source:
Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health). California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center).

Children exposed to tobacco smoke at home: Percent of children, ages 0-17, Accidental injury deaths: Deaths of children, ages 0-17, resulting from
who are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke at home (Source: Los Angeles unintentional injuries (Source: California Department of Health Services,
County Health Survey, Health Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County Depart- Vital Statistics).
ment of Public Health). Hospitalizations due to accidental injuries: Number of hospitalizations of
Children with special health needs: Percent of children, ages 0-17, that children, ages 0-17, caused by unintentional injuries (Source: California De-
have special health needs. Children with Special Health Care Needs partment of Health Services, EPICenter, California Injury Data Online).
(CSHCN) Screening Tool from FACCT —Foundation for Accountability. Homicides: Deaths of children, ages 0-17, which were attributed to homi-
The CSHCN screener has three definitional domains: 1) Dependency on cide (Source: California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics).
prescription medications; 2) Service use above that considered usual or rou-
tine; and 3) Functional limitations. The definitional domains are not mutu- Hospitalizations due to assaultive injuries: Number of hospitalizations of
ally exclusive categories. (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Health children, ages 0-17, due to assaultive injuries (Source: California Department
Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health). of Health Services, EPICenter, California Injury Data Online).
Infant deaths: Deaths occurring before age 1; rate per 1,000 live births;
includes all causes of death (Source: California Department of Health Services, Economic Well-Being
Vital Statistics). Mother’s educational attainment at children’s births: Percent of mothers,
Child deaths: Deaths of children, ages 1-17 years; rate per 100,000 chil- age 21 and older, who have given birth in the specified year and completed
dren; includes all causes of deaths (Source: California Department of Health 12 or more years of education (Source: California Department of Health Ser-
Services, Vital Statistics). vices, Vital Statistics).
Chlamydial infection cases: Number and rate of reported Chlamydia cases Father’s educational attainment at children’s births: Percent of fathers, age
among youth ages 15-19; rate per 100,000 individuals ages 15-19 (Source: 21 and older, who have had a child born in the specified year and completed
California Department of Health Services, Sexually Transmitted Disease Con- 12 or more years of education (Source: California Department of Health Ser-
trol Branch). vices, Vital Statistics).
Percent of children living below poverty level: Percent of children, ages 0-
17, living in households with incomes below the specified Federal Poverty
Safety & Survival Level (FPL) in two categories: 1) Poor children - <100% FPL; 2) Low- in-
Child abuse and neglect referrals to emergency response: Number of re- come children - <200% FPL (Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Los Angeles County
ports to DCFS in which a referral was made to an Emergency Response Urban Research, Service Integration Branch, Chief Administrative Office).
worker as a result of allegations of child abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation; Households with children < 300% FPL: Estimated percent of households
cannot be interpreted to mean the referrals were substantiated (Source: Los with children (ages 0-17) with incomes below 300% of the Federal Poverty
Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services). Level (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Health Assessment Unit, Los
Substantiated child abuse and neglect referrals to emergency response: Angeles County Department of Public Health).
Number of reports to DCFS in which a referral was made to an Emergency Children supported by CalWORKs: Number of children, ages 0-17, en-
Response worker and subsequently substantiated in regards to allegations of rolled in CalWORKs (Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public
child abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation (Source: Los Angeles County Depart- Social Services).
ment of Children and Family Services).
Public school students enrolled in subsidized school lunch programs: Per-
Children who can easily get to a safe place to play: Percent of children, cent of students enrolled in the federal free or reduced-price meal program,
ages 1-17, whose parents say they can easily get to a park, playground, or grades K-12 (Source: California Department of Education).
other safe place to play (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Health As-
sessment Unit, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health).

28 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Number of Federal income tax returns filed with an Earned Income Tax schools, ages 5-21, with an Individualized Education Plan (Source: Califor-
Credit: Number and percent of federal tax returns filed that claimed an Earned nia Department of Education).
Income Tax Credit (Source: Internal Revenue Service, e-file Demographics).
Computers in public schools: Number of computers available to public
school students for educational purposes, and ratio of students to comput-
ers (Source: California Department of Education).
Social & Emotional Well-Being
Public school teachers fully credentialed: Percent of public school teachers
Preschoolers participating in library storytime: Number of children, primar-
who are fully credentialed (Source: California Department of Education).
ily ages 3-5, who participated in children’s storytime at public libraries. A child
may be counted more than once (Source: County of Los Angeles Public Library; Public school students fluent in English: Percent of public school students
Los Angeles Public Library; Metropolitan Cooperative Library System). who are not enrolled in the Limited English Proficiency program, grades
K-12 (Source: California Department of Education).
Children who are read to daily: Percent of children, ages 0-5, who are read to
daily by a parent or family member (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Public school students reading at appropriate level: Percent of 3rd-
Health Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health). graders in public schools who scored at or above the 50th percentile
rank on the reading portion of the CAT/6 exam (Source: California De-
Number of child and young-adult library books checked out: Public library
partment of Education).
books circulated that are intended for children and young adults; circulation
data mainly reflects children’s books (Source: County of Los Angeles Public Li- Public school students doing math at appropriate level: Percent of 3rd-
brary; Los Angeles Public Library; Metropolitan Cooperative Library System). graders in public schools who scored at or above the 50th percentile
rank on the math portion of the CAT/6 exam (Source: California De-
Children who watch television 3+ hours per day: Percent of children, ages
partment of Education).
6 months to 17 years, who watch television three hours or more in a typical
day (Source: Los Angeles County Health Survey, Health Assessment Unit, Los Public high school graduation rate: Percent of public high school students
Angeles County Department of Public Health). who graduate with their class (formula = total graduates / total graduates +
dropouts over a four-year period). This calculation is used by the National
Children in out-of-home placement: Number of children, ages 0-18, in out-
Center for Educational Statistics as a proxy for graduation rate (Source: Cali-
of-home placements that are county-administered; includes some duplicate
fornia Department of Education).
counts of children across agencies. DCFS counts are as of Dec. 31 of the given
year. Mental health counts represent children who received acute 24-hour care Public high school graduates with courses for UC/CSU admission: Percent
at state and local psychiatric hospitals, within a given fiscal year (Source: Los of public high school graduates who have taken and passed the academic
Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; Los Angeles County courses required for UC/CSU admission (Source: California Department of
Department of Mental Health). Education).
Youth in Probation suitable placement: Number of youth, ages 11-18, with Public high school seniors taking SAT: Percent of public high school seniors
suitable placement orders; numbers have changed from previous years due who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (Source: California Department of
to the implementation of a new data system (Source: Los Angeles County Education).
Probation Department).
Public high school students’ SAT score: Average Scholastic Aptitude Test
Youth detained by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilita- score for public school students taking the test (Source: California Depart-
tion: Number of youth, ages 13 and older, who are in detention through the ment of Education).
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Source: California
Percent of young adults in school or employed: Percent of young
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice).
adults, ages 18-24, who are in school or employed (Source Los Angeles
Children placed in adoptive homes: Number of children placed in adop- County Health Survey, Health Assessment Unit, Los Angeles County De-
tive homes by DCFS. Trend data are for the calendar year, while SPA and partment of Public Health).
race data are as of Dec. 31, 2002 (Source: Los Angeles County Department of
Children and Family Services).
Births to teen mothers: Number and rate of live births to mothers, ages
10-17; rate per 1,000 females ages 10-17 (Source: California Department of
Health Services, Vital Statistics).
Repeat births to teens, ages 15-19 years old: Number and rate of births
to mothers, ages 15-19, who already have one or more children; rate per
1,000 females ages 15-19 (Source: California Department of Health Services,
Vital Statistics).
Licensed child care spaces: Number of licensed child care spaces (Source:
Los Angeles County Office of Child Care).

Education/Workforce Readiness
Public school enrollment: Number of students enrolled in public schools,
grades K-12 (Source: California Department of Education).
Private school enrollment: Number of students enrolled in private schools,
grades K-12 (Source: California Department of Education).
Public school students in special education: Number of students in public

Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006 29


In honor of CPC’s 15-Year Anniversary, we dedicate this edition of the Children’s
ScoreCard to Dr. Jacquelyn McCroskey, whose leadership, vision, and mentorship have
made data a cornerstone of the work of the Children’s Planning Council.

Acknowledgements
The Children’s Planning Council is appreciative of the We are also grateful to the following departments, agencies,
many people who have graciously contributed their time and organizations for their ongoing support of the Council’s
and expertise to help develop this anniversary edition of the data efforts. Their willingness and cooperation in sharing data
Children’s ScoreCard: and meeting our numerous requests have been tremendous:

Claudia Arias, Los Angeles County Department of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
Public Health (Children’s Medical Services, Assessment Division of Juvenile Justice
and Epidemiology Unit) California Department of Education
Lesley Blacher, Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Education Technology Office
Office (Service Integration Branch) Educational Demographics Unit
Shin Margaret Chao, Los Angeles County Department of Special Education Division
Public Health (Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health) Standards and Assessments
Sam Chan, Los Angeles County Department of California Department of Health Services
Mental Health Center for Health Statistics, Office of Health
Cecilia Custodio, Los Angeles County Information and Research
Department of Children and Family Services Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Branch
Maura Harrington, Lodestar Management Research California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice
April Kirkhart, The Children’s Partnership Statistics Center
Vani Kumar, Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Office County of Los Angeles Public Library
(Service Integration Branch) Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Office,
Amy Lightstone, Los Angeles County Department of Public Service Integration Branch
Health (Health Assessment and Epidemiology) Office of Child Care
Anna Malsch, Los Angeles County Department of Public Office of Urban Research
Health (Children’s Medical Services, Assessment and Los Angeles County Department of Children
Epidemiology Unit) and Family Services
Penny Markey, Los Angeles County Public Library Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Gigi Mathew, Los Angeles County Department of Public Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Health (Health Assessment and Epidemiology) Data Collection & Analysis Unit
Kaye Michelson, Los Angeles County Department of Parks Health Assessment Unit, Los Angeles Health Survey
and Recreation Immunization Program, Kindergarten Retrospective Survey
Will Nicholas, First 5 LA Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health
Richard Pancost, data liaison for SPA 5 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Program
Cynthia Robledo, SPA 7 Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services
Anita Vigil, Los Angeles County Probation Department Los Angeles County Office of Education
Osnat Zur, Los Angeles Universal Preschool Los Angeles County Probation Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Public Library
Metropolitan Cooperative Library System

Funded by

30 Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council ScoreCard 2006


Council Members
Chair Lawrence Lue, Asian Pacific Islander Community
Zev Yaroslavsky, Chair Jacquelyn McCroskey, D.S.W., University Researchers
Chair Pro Tem, Board of Supervisors
Honorable Michael Nash, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court
Elisa Nicholas, M.D., Fourth Supervisorial District
Chief Executive Officer
Yolie Flores Aguilar, M.S.W. Michi Okano, SPA 5 Council
Beatriz Olvera Stotzer, Latino Community
Members Trish Ploehn, Director, Department of
Betty Anderson, SPA 6 Council* Children and Family Services
Lauraine Barber, SPA 8 Council Danny Ramos, SPA 3 Council
Cheryl Branch, African American Community Jose Ramos, SPA 4 Council
Phillip Browning, Director, Department of Marsha Ramos, League of California Cities
Child Support Services Richelle Rios-Huizar, First Supervisorial District
Priscilla Charles-Carter, Foster Parent/Caregivers Darline Robles, Ph.D., Superintendent, Los Angeles County
Bruce Chernof, M.D., Director, Department Office of Education
of Health Services Roy Romer, Superintendent, Los Angeles
Lisa Cleri Reale, Board of Directors, United Way of Unified School District
Greater Los Angeles Bruce Saltzer, Association of Community Human
Rabbi Bernard Cohen, Fifth Supervisorial District Services Agencies
Honorable Steve Cooley, District Attorney Adelina Sorkin, Commission for Children and Families*
Deborah Davies, SPA 2 Council Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W., Director, Department
Teresa DeCrescenzo, M.S.W., Third Supervisorial District of Mental Health

Duane Dennis, Policy Roundtable for Child Care Robert Taylor, Chief Probation Officer

Amy Enomoto-Perez, Ph.D., Los Angeles County Deanne Tilton, Interagency Council on Child Abuse
Board of Education and Neglect

Jeff Farber, SPA 7 Council Margaret Donnellan Todd, County Librarian

Dorothy Fleisher, Ph.D., Southern California Grant Makers Sharon Watson, Ph.D., Member at Large

David W. Fleming, Business Community John Whitaker, SPA 1 Council*

Chris Floyd, Second Supervisorial District Phillip L. Williams, Board of Directors, Los Angeles Area

Russ Guiney, Director, Department of Parks and Recreation Chamber of Commerce

David E. Janssen, Chief Administrative Officer Bryce Yokomizo, Director, Department of


Public Social Services
Rafael Lopez, City of Los Angeles, Commission for Children,
Youth, and Their Families*
*pending confirmation; vacancies not listed
500 W. Temple St., Suite B-26, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 893-0421 Fax: (213) 680-1415
www.childrensplanningcouncil.org
Design: Bocu & Bocu