Stories and Statistics

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Stories

Julie

Julie is a 21-year-old Iraqi refugee who was referred to Home Start’s First 5 First Steps Program when she was 7 months pregnant. When she entered the program, we did not have any Chaldean-speaking Family Support Workers, so she was assigned to an English-speaking worker who she communicated with through an interpreter.

Julie was an eager participant, attending English as a Second Language classes five times a week and actively engaging in Home Start’s services to form a strong bond with her baby.

Now, a year after enrollment, Julie is able to receive all of her services in English. She has completed her English classes and is currently enrolled in a local community college to pursue her Associate degree. Her baby is healthy, happy and meeting all of her developmental milestones. Julie even reads to her in English every day! Julie credits Home Start’s First 5 First Steps Program with teaching her how to be a successful parent in the United States.

Ava

Ava was 17 when she was referred to Home Start’s First Five First Steps Program, two days after the birth of her son, Steven. Steven was born two months premature and stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for one month.

Ava was an active participant in her home visits with Home Start’s staff. After four months, Steven showed signs of developmental delays. His Family Support Worker referred him to get further help, and Ava eagerly worked with Home Start to get Steven the assistance he needed.

Steven, now two years old, is meeting all of his developmental milestones. Ava is now in her final year of high school, with plans to graduate and go on to college. She is grateful for the support she has received as a teen parent, which allowed her to meet the needs of her child while progressing with her personal goals.

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of our children and families. 

Statistics

-The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reports that approximately 70,000 reported cases of child abuse and neglect are reported in San Diego County annually.

-San Diego County has the second highest rate of substantiated referrals among all counties in California.

-According to the Children and Youth Services Review, 51% of females aging out of foster care become pregnant at least once before age 19, while this is true for only 20% of the general population.

-As stated in the 2013 San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, 19.8 percent, over 142,000 children in San Diego are living below poverty level–this is an increase from 2012.

-The Central San Diego Region fairs far worst when it comes to living below poverty level. As stated in the 2013 San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, population estimates indicate that three-quarters of children are living in low-income households in the Central San Diego Region.