Strong Families, Thriving Communities

DATE: December 10, 2019

 # 8

 

TO: Board of Supervisors

SUBJECT: STRONG FAMILIES, THRIVING COMMUNITIES (DISTRICTS: ALL)

OVERVIEW

Disproportionality in the nation’s child welfare and juvenile justice system has been prevalent for decades. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, more than 437,283 children spent time in U.S. foster care in 2018. Of that total, one third of those youth were children of color. In San Diego County, African American and Native American youth are 5% and 0.3% of our population but make up 19% and 3% of our youth in care respectively. One in five youth that exit the foster care system becomes homeless, one in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system, and only half are employed at the age of 24. 

In 2017, I began working with The San Diego Foundation (TSDF), our Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA), and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) to try and address this issue, amongst others. Together, we created the Strong Families, Thriving Communities coalition comprised of a multitude of community stakeholders to talk openly about the disparities present in the system. The Strong Families, Thriving Communities coalition came together to create a plan for improving health inequities and reducing disproportionality in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  

Now that the three-year partnership is coming to completion, I am requesting that the Chief Administrative Officer report back to the Board of Supervisors within 90 days with an update on the Strong Families, Thriving Communities initiative and provide a list of recommendations for implementation. 

RECOMMENDATION(S)

VICE-CHAIRMAN GREG COX

Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to report back to the Board within 90 days with a presentation and update on the Strong Families, Thriving Communities initiative and provide a list of recommendations for implementation.

FISCAL IMPACT

There is no fiscal impact associated with this action.

BUSINESS IMPACT STATEMENT

N/A

ADVISORY BOARD STATEMENT

This report will be presented to the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board as an informational item.

BACKGROUND

Disproportionality in the nation’s child welfare and juvenile justice system has been prevalent for decades. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, more than 437,283 children spent time in U.S. foster care in 2018. Of that total, one third of those youth were children of color. In San Diego County, African American and Native American youth are 5% and 0.3% of our population but make up 19% and 3% of our youth in care respectively. One in five youth that exit the foster care system become homeless, one in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system, and only half are employed at the age of 24. 

In 2017, I began working with The San Diego Foundation (TSDF), our Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) to try and address this issue, amongst others. Together, we created the Strong Families, Thriving Communities coalition comprised of a multitude of community stakeholders to talk openly about the disparities present in the system. The San Diego Foundation, the County of San Diego HHSA and Probation Department, and a multitude of community leaders and nonprofits met to improve the health of children and families who interact with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  Building on the successful regional collaboration developed through the County’s Live Well San Diego Initiative, these partners have aligned regional efforts and programs toward the end goal of achieving equitable outcomes among African American,  Native American, and Latino families, who are disproportionately involved with child welfare and juvenile justice agencies in San Diego.

This process began with preliminary meetings and stakeholder interviews, and continued as Strong Families, Thriving Communities coalition members participated in in-person working groups. After the three-year partnership concludes in December 2019, leadership for the work will transition to partners who have been identified from each working group as well as partners working with the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).  

Today’s action requests the Chief Administrative Officer report back to the Board of Supervisors within 90 days with an update on the Strong Families, Thriving Communities initiative and provide a list of recommendations for implementation. 

LINKAGE TO THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO STRATEGIC PLAN

This action supports the Living Safely Initiative in the County of San Diego’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, as well as the County of San Diego’s Live Well San Diego vision, by ensuring services are provided that strengthen families and that children and families are healthy, safe and thriving.

Respectfully submitted,

GREG COX

Vice-Chairman, First District

AGENDA ITEM INFORMATION SHEET

REQUIRES FOUR VOTES: ☐ Yes ☒ No

WRITTEN DISCLOSURE PER COUNTY CHARTER SECTION 1000.1 REQUIRED

☐ Yes ☒ No

PREVIOUS RELEVANT BOARD ACTIONS: 

N/A

BOARD POLICIES APPLICABLE: