Almost all children who experience housing insecurity also experience trauma because of the stress of their situation. California and the federal government recognize this, and require schools to provide these children with additional support.
But experts believe tens of thousands of California children experiencing homelessness fall through the cracks and receive little to no help from their schools.
During the 2019-20 school year, close to 1.3 million children in the nation’s public schools were identified as homeless. But that figure may vastly underestimate the actual number. A Center for Public Integrity analysis found evidence that thousands of school districts are undercounting.
Experts who spoke with Public Integrity said that confusion surrounding the McKinney-Vento law and who qualifies as “doubled-up” can leave many students unidentified and not receiving the support they need in school.
California’s rural north has significantly worse health care access than the rest of the state.
The barriers to treatment are even higher when residents try to access care from specialist physicians. When patients or families experience difficulties accessing needed medical care, it multiplies existing social needs, increasing patients’ risk of things like substance use, housing uncertainty and domestic violence.
Bonnie Burns was shocked into action the first time she learned that seniors were being coerced into Medicare Advantage plans that either didn’t suit their needs, misled them about costs, or lured them with benefits they wouldn’t actually receive.
A health care advocate for 40 years, Burns was outraged that a health insurance option intended to broaden coverage choices for California elders was instead being misused by unscrupulous marketers to seek profits.
Most older adults want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. To do that, many eventually need assistance with routine and personal care.
But 40 percent of older adults and adults with disabilities in California who need help to stay in their homes report receiving either no help at all or not enough.
Black Californians have one of the lowest life expectancies in California. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of these residents have some form of insurance coverage and consistently demonstrate a strong interest in taking care of their health.
This contradiction begs the question: What is wrong with health care for Black Californians?
As a psychiatrist, I regularly see patients with severe, life-threatening addictions to digital content, including social media.
If we hope to reverse the current trends afflicting our children, we must hold the large, multi-billion-dollar companies responsible for the part they play in creating highly addictive products.
I made the choice to continue a high-risk pregnancy, but I honor the choice of any pregnant person who opts to terminate given the same set of facts.
What I don’t like is seeing ableism — that is, prejudice against adults and children with disabilities — rolled into discussions about abortion, as has happened often since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
As wildfires and other natural disasters increase due to our warming climate, so too do risks to domestic violence survivors and others vulnerable to abuse during times of disruption.
Because about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men will experience physical or sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, disaster planning that doesn’t listen to the needs of domestic violence survivors can leave a vulnerable population to cope on their own.
Community health workers and promotoras are stepping in more to help vulnerable populations navigate lifesaving services, and access to them is now a Medical benefit.
But without proactive outreach to Medi-Cal-eligible Californians about the availability of promotoras, there is great risk that we will not reach the very people who need them most.
Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance are supposed to prevent low-income Californians from falling into poverty or homelessness when they need to take time off work.
But the program is largely an empty promise for these patients because the benefits replace only 60 percent of income. Two of my patients are among the many Californians caught in this trap.