Children

Few Low-Income Children Get Mental Health Care in California, Despite Need

In California, the state’s key program for providing mental health treatment to low-income children and youth under age 21 serves just a fraction of those estimated to need help, statistics show. And while the pool of children potentially eligible for these services has expanded under the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of kids actually receiving help has declined since 2010, a California Health Report analysis has found.

Budget Boosts Funding for Programs Benefiting Low-Income Families

Advocates for young children are applauding the state’s budget plans for next fiscal year, which include millions of dollars for programs that help low-income parents and kids.

The $200-billion spending plan, which Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign into law, increases funding for cash assistance to poor families, launches a statewide home visiting program for new parents on welfare, and makes available more than 13,000 new vouchers to help low-income families pay for child care.

Doctor’s Notes: Head Start Offers Better Beginnings for School, Resilience for Life

Most of my patients are low-income and many have faced adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, which can cause lifelong physical and mental health problems. After years of working with low-income families, I’ve come to believe that combating ACEs contributes as much to a child’s academic success as learning the ABCs. That’s why Head Start is one of my weapons in the War on Poverty. It changes lives, one kid at a time.

Californians with Unsafe Tap Water may See Relief with Budget Trailer Bill

Every month, Bartolo Chavez goes to the Arvin Community Services District building to pay his water bill for the home he and his wife live in. But he doesn’t use that water for drinking or cooking. To drink, he buys bottled water. For cooking, also bottled water.

This is the way of life in Arvin, where the tap water has been in violation of state health standards for arsenic since 2006.

Bills Seek to Bolster Children’s Mental Health

As California struggles to meet children’s mental health needs, lawmakers are pressing for two bills that would take steps to address the problem.

The bills seek to strengthen mental health services for children and youth, either through targeted funding or by instituting new training requirements for people who regularly work with young people.

We Need to Stop Normalizing Gun Violence

As my generation has grown up, we have had to bear witness to more and more reports of gun violence—like the school shooting Friday in Santa Fe, Texas.

This is an issue so many people stand for, because it comes down to one basic thing: safety.

Alarmed by Disparities, Lawmakers Order Audit on Children’s Access to Medi-Cal Doctors

A joint committee of lawmakers unanimously ordered an audit Wednesday on children’s access to primary-care doctors in the Medi-Cal program, the state’s low-income heath program that is overseen by the California Department of Health Care Services.

“We are particularly concerned about children of color facing health disparities that could be perpetuated and/or exacerbated by poor monitoring and oversight,” Assemblyman Jim Wood and Sen. Anthony Cannella wrote in a letter to the audit committee.

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