This analysis capitalizes on longitudinally linked, geocoded, child-level administrative data concerning more than 7 million children born in California. Prior research has documented the potential to use vital birth record data to predict later involvement with the child protection system and death and the use of public benefit data to predict children at risk of substantiated abuse and neglect. Evidence has shown that those children who are identified as at heightened risk of maltreatment are also at heightened risk of a range of adverse outcomes ranging from injury hospitalizations to developmental delays to preventable mortality. The likelihood of experiencing these adversities during childhood is related to interactions between risk and protective factors that are observable and operating at both the individual and community levels. In the context of communities, we can think of a variety of “assets” that may be available to offset individual risks.
In this program of research, we build upon this earlier work to identify communities where the majority of births exhibit risk factors for adverse health and well-being in later life. Identifying these communities – those in which children are “beating the odds” – is the first step to understanding how community level characteristics may build resilience amongst vulnerable children. It will provide a proof of concept for the large-scale integration of administrative data as a tool for supporting communities in their development of place-based initiatives, allocation of resources, and understanding of risks observed at the community versus child-levels.
Analysis in progress.