Author: Claudia Boyd-Barrett

Mike Duncan, the founder of Native Dads Network, sits on a bench.

To Counter Domestic Violence, Some Native Americans Embrace Tradition

Mike Duncan is founder of Native Dads Network, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that runs workshops on healthy parenting and relationships. The workshops draw on traditional Indigenous teachings about the value of life, the role of parents and the sacredness of women.

The network is one of a growing number of programs across the state that seek to address high rates of domestic violence in many Tribal communities by using Native American people’s own traditions and history as a guide.

As Need for Mental Health Care Surges, A Funding Program Remains Underused

The need for mental health services has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing pressure on California’s already beset mental health care system.

Yet one source of funding that could potentially help counties meet the demand for mental health care remains underused more than a year after the California Health Report first drew attention to the issue. The funding benefits the mental health care program that serves a third of Californians.

Closeup of a young man holding the hand of an old woman with affection.

How California Can Fix Its Hospice System and Reduce Care Inequities

When done right, hospice care can provide immense comfort to terminally ill patients and their families. But fraud, malpractice, unchecked growth, and lack of effective oversight from the state and federal authorities threaten the wellbeing of California’s hospice patients.

Seniors from all walks of life fall victim to these fraudulent practices, but those with limited English proficiency are especially vulnerable.

Here are a few solutions.

As California Stays Home Again, Volunteers Reach Out to Isolated Seniors

The holiday season is further adding to social isolation and feelings of loneliness many seniors have experienced during COVID-19. Many won’t be able to celebrate the holidays with loved ones and some have lost spouses or other family members to the virus.

The Social Bridging Project and other organizations that serve the elderly are ramping up efforts to reach vulnerable seniors living alone. Solutions include meal deliveries, phone check-ins and crisis hotlines.

Cat Brooks, executive director of Justice Teams Network, a coalition of organizations dedicated to eradicating state violence, sits outside her home in Oakland, Calif. At 19, Brooks was severely beaten by her husband but when the police intervened, Brooks was taken to jail rather than her husband. Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

Alternatives to Calling the Police for Domestic Violence Survivors

If involving the police and criminal justice system isn’t a safe, reliable option for most survivors, why is it offered as the main pathway for seeking help? A majority of survivors who called the police on their abusers later concluded that police involvement was unhelpful at best, and at worst made them feel less safe.

The conversation has gained new urgency amidst the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to reevaluate the scope of police funding and responsibilities.

Parents Caring for Children with Disabilities Have Some Advice

After almost 10 months of staying home, some of these families have settled into the new reality and are receiving better support. Some have found creative ways to adapt. But others are still struggling to get their children the help they need.

How well families are doing depends a lot on their resources, both relational and financial. To help families that are struggling, lawmakers need to provide greater financial support such as stimulus payments, food subsidies and rental relief, advocates said.

Nakenya Allen outside her home in Martinez, California. Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

How Families Are Fighting Racism and Disability Discrimination

Many parents of children with special needs — regardless of race — struggle to receive prompt diagnoses and services. But for families of color, the challenge is more acute.

“There’s just a lot of systemic racism,” said Kausha King, director of the Community Empowerment Project, a program that provides navigation support and training to Black families of children with special needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

For Medically Fragile Children, Pandemic-Induced Supply Shortages Continue

Suppliers and parents began reporting shortages — most notably of ventilator circuits — early in the pandemic. Now, they say the problem is ongoing and kids are paying the price.

Based on national estimates, it’s likely that California is home to about 35,000 children with medical complexities, although no one tracks state-specific data. These are children with chronic conditions that require significant medical attention and specialized equipment, such as ventilators.

Safely mailing an application for ballot for 2020 election at a drive-up mailbox at the US Post Office

Having Trouble Voting in California? Let Us Know

At the California Health Report, we want to make sure any voting problems in our state are investigated and made public. To do that, we’re partnering with the nonprofit, investigative news service ProPublica and newsrooms across the country to collect tips from readers about challenges they’ve experienced during the voting process.

The project, Electionland, includes a tip line that eligible voters can use to report issues that come up when casting absentee ballots or voting at the polls.

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