THE REPORT CARDS
The San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families uses a unique approach to engage stakeholders, report data trends, promote best practices, and make recommendations in a life course approach. Over the past decade, it has guided community understanding and action for children and families.
Report cards are tools to further reduce risks, improve outcomes, and contribute to greater equity for children and youth, under the principle of “what gets measures gets done.” Report cards point to positive results, troublesome trends, and make recommendations for change or continued support of policies, programs, and community action.
Beginning in 1998 the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) undertook the development and publication of the Report Card on San Diego County Child and Family Health and Well-Being. For seven years, a series of reports with data trends was funded and published by HHSA. Then, Board of Supervisors partnered with the Children’ Initiative to develop a more effective and sustainable approach.
In 2007, after a study and community engagement process, the Children’s Initiative launched a revised San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families. This new approach used the “Results-Based Accountability” framework developed by Mark Friedman and the related algorithm for "turning the curve". Thus, the San Diego report card includes key indicator trends, stories behind the trend, lists of what works best practices, and recommendations for policy, program, and community change.
Since 2007, the Report Card has been produced by the Children’s Initiative using a distinctive public-private partnership, including: public officials; experts in health, education, justice, and other fields; providers and community-based organizations; and families and youth. Stakeholders selected indicators that have valid and consistent data, communicate to multiple audiences, and represent something of importance.
Recent editions of the Report Card align with the Live Well San Diego initiative—a community-wide RBA framework. Since 2015, the Report Card has adopted a life course approach and added more community and adult indicators.
The Report Card is driving change. Recommendations have been adopted by community organizations, practitioners, and government. Projects have focused on: school attendance, immunization, domestic violence, suicide, DUI, injury, SNAP nutrition assistance, and more. Data are used in hundreds of community presentations.