From President & CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK, Dr. Robert Sanborn

Data must be the catalyst and starting point to any conversation regarding the well-being of our children. While we can look at a multitude of indicators to gauge how we are doing as a city and state, we must also make sense of that data to fully understand its impact. Historically, Growing Up In Houston has aimed to do just that. As President and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK, I want to welcome you to the fifteenth edition of  Growing Up In Houston: Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children.

In partnership with the United Way of Greater Houston, JPMorgan Chase & Co , and Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University, and our many other partners throughout the years, we are pleased to present you with this publication, providing a glimpse into the well-being of Houston’s children. The goal of the publication is to provide stakeholders in our children’s future with a tool to help identify the most strategic and pressing areas for intervention, chart new paths to move Houston forward and track progress over time. Local leaders can better serve children by identifying macro-level solutions and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. We believe this publication provides that invaluable insight, an insight which is undoubtedly crucial in the midst of another Texas legislative session.

The data in this publication tells a story of Houston’s children excelling in several ways, yet still lacking quality resources in key areas. Hurricane Harvey had an incredible impact on our youngest Houstonians and their families spanning all areas of their lives from health to education to safety. Public officials and local stakeholders can use this information to help address the continued impacts of Hurricane Harvey and better prepare for future disaster response.

With a greater focus on the needs of adults and young adults who are disconnected from school and work, we’ve included a new section in this edition: Opportunity Youth and Young Adults (OYYA) thanks to generous support from JP Morgan Chase& Co. Young adults lacking the right skills or education have less opportunity to achieve financial stability and contribute to our local economy. Understanding Houston’s OYYA population will help leaders address related challenges and pave the way for a brighter future for our next generation.

At CHILDREN AT RISK, we believe the needs of children should be our highest priority. Our hope is that all individuals – from public officials to parents to educators – can gain a solid understanding of the status of Houston’s children and commit to continuing in the fight for their futures. On behalf of CHILDREN AT RISK, I invite and encourage you to use this publication to advocate for children. While much progress has been made, there is still work to be done. The time is now to believe in our children, ensuring they have whatever they need to reach their full potential. Let’s get to work!

For children!
Robert Sanborn, Ed.D
President and CEO