News Release


DATE: November 25, 2002

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


Annual study shows teen birth rates declined significantly; fewer children living in poverty

Fewer teen-agers are having babies, fewer children live in poverty, and more students are staying in school, according to the San Diego County Child and Family Health and Well-Being Report Card 2002.

The annual report, created four years ago by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency at the direction of the county Board of Supervisors, shows other encouraging trends: Fewer young people smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, higher numbers of residents being immunized, and fewer unintentional injuries requiring hospitalization, as well as fewer unintentional fatal injuries.

"San Diego County continues to maintain and improve in many areas of child and family health and well-being," said Second District Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who initiated the Report Card project along with First District
Supervisor Greg Cox. "This is possible through collaboration with youth groups, religious organizations, schools and families. Our next challenge is to maintain our gains despite the state budget crisis."

"It takes a community-wide effort to make progress in these indicators," said Supervisor Cox. "The Board of Supervisors and our community partners have initiated many programs that positively impact children and families. Now more than ever it's imperative that we seek creative, efficient solutions to address child and family well-being."

The Report Card contains 22 measures in five areas. The Report Card shows gains in these areas as well as room for improvement in some, including alcohol/drug-related motor vehicle crash injuries and deaths among young people ages 16 to 20, and young people attempting suicide.

The Report Card is available to the public. Please call (619) 685-2244.