The Children and Families Commission of Orange County released a report marking 15 years of working to improve the lives of young children, guided by its commitment to ensure that “All children are healthy and ready to learn.” While documenting the achievements of the past decade and a half, the report, titled “15 Years and Moving Forward,” also sets the stage for the Commission’s evolving role in serving the county’s young children and families.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement emphasizing that “all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults through 26 years of age must have access to comprehensive health care benefits that will ensure their optimal health and wellbeing.”
Children grow at rapid rates, and health problems – if untreated – can affect a child’s cognitive, physical, behavioral and emotional development. Health insurance coverage is the most common route to ensuring a child accesses routine medical care, including screenings for dental, vision, and developmental or behavioral concerns, together with referrals and treatment when needed. However, many children – including those with special medical risks – lack access to health care, or for a variety of reasons, do not access available resources.