California Laws Don’t Prevent Minors from Marrying Adults

In California, a person under 18 can marry with the consent of one parent and a judge. The state is one of only nine in the nation that do not set a minimum age for marriage.

People married as children or teens are more likely to experience domestic violence, contract sexually transmitted infections, have early pregnancies, and end up divorced, research shows. Marriage under 18 also contradicts age of consent laws in many states.

Growing Up is Hard, Especially for People with Disabilities

For young adults with serious disabilities, the transition to adulthood is filled with challenges. In interviews with the California Health Report, young people and their families described the difficulties and triumphs they’ve experienced during this phase of life.

Overall, young adults with disabilities, their parents and advocates said too many families don’t know what to expect, or how to get the services they need. Health officials, regional centers, and school districts need to foster more awareness about what it’s like for these youth to transition to adulthood, they said.

Analysis: Want a Mostly Normal School Year? Get Kids to Wear Masks!

We made the decision to send our son back to in-person school last year despite his vulnerability to infection because our district came up with a reasonable, safe plan to make it possible: Every student had to wear a mask.

Just as we were gearing up for a mostly safe year back at school, the Clovis Unified school board decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and create unnecessary confusion over which mask policies would be enforced, despite clear state guidance.

Opinion: Doctors Are Infrastructure

Report findings predict that by 2034, there will be a shortage of 124,000 doctors, with much of the shortage occurring in the field of primary care.

With COVID-19 exposing immense inequity throughout our health care infrastructure, it is imperative that our lawmakers take action now, not only by thinking about reducing shortages but reducing them in the right way that ensures quality access for all.

Opinion: Why This Teacher Supports Bill to Improve Teen Mental Health

I have spent the past 30 years of my life as an educator in California, and I know firsthand that California teachers and schools are not currently prepared, staffed, or resourced to respond to California’s growing youth mental health crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our collective mental wellbeing, whether from dealing with the fear of contracting COVID-19 to its related impacts like home isolation, family job loss, tech challenges, or loss of a loved one.

The Promise and Limits of Restorative Justice for Youth

Restorative justice is now a standard offering across the U.S., increasingly relied upon by schools and law enforcement to divert low-level juvenile offenders away from the criminal justice system.

But critics and proponents of restorative justice agree the methods have clear limitations, including this central shortcoming: the techniques only work when a perpetrator admits guilt, and wants to participate.

Analysis: It’s Time to End the Racially Unjust Medical Debt Crisis

It’s the kind of case attorney Helen Tran deals with all too often. An Asian-American small business owner came into her office at Neighborhood Legal Services in Los Angeles begging for help with a surprise, five-figure medical bill.

The woman had health insurance. Yet, due to a mix-up caused by misinformation from her insurer, she’d received two chemotherapy treatments from an out-of-network provider that she had believed was in network. This simple mistake ended up devastating her financially.

Opinion: Investing in ‘Public Health, Health Equity and Racial Justice’ Is the Key to Pandemic Recovery

Community-based organizations have been a critical anchor in historically marginalized neighborhoods. They work tirelessly on the frontlines with public health departments to get important, timely information out to the community.

Now that the 2021-22 state budget has recently received approval, it’s imperative that Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature understand the importance of investing in public health.

Opinion: Newsom Plan Responds to Crisis, Supports Vulnerable Youth

While the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our oldest Californians is well known, the pandemic also has caused widespread emotional suffering among California’s children and youth.

Out of this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom has demonstrated visionary leadership in making a historic $4.4 billion investment to transform the state’s behavioral health system for youth.

The Pandemic Spurred a Domestic Violence Epidemic. It’s Not Over Yet.

Since the pandemic began, California organizations that serve domestic violence survivors report getting more requests for help than ever before and hearing more stories of extreme abuse.

Rather than diminish, this trend has persisted as society reopens and survivors feel better able to seek help because they’re no longer trapped at home or worried about getting the virus, advocates said.

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