EfC Initiative Issues Resource on Community Strategies to Address California’s Digital Divide and Its Impact on Children and Families

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued a report and brief on the Digital Divide impacts on California Children and Families. The report notes that access to high-speed internet, and digital literacy skills has become a key aspect for children and family wellbeing. The report noted that digital divide was more prone to be shown in households of low income, rural areas, people of color, and with less education. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted these disparities in digital access through lack of adequate devices, proper connectivity, affordable internet, and digital literacy.

The Digital Divide report determined that communities cannot control all elements necessary to address the digital divide. National and state public health policy initiatives and infrastructure can also playa role. The report additionally notes examples on how to improve access and address the digital divide and its impact on wellbeing. For example, communities providing affordable high-speed internet for their community members, access to adequate devices, education to increase digital literacy, and engagement of community members and staff who represent local organizations and/or agencies. Lastly, the report highlighted the importance of improving access and support for telehealth and tele-mental health services.

A webinar will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm to detail the new resources. Advanced registration is available here.

The full report is available here. The supporting brief is available here.