National Census of School-Based Health Centers

The School-Based Health Alliance conducts a triennial national survey of school-based, school-linked, mobile health, and telehealth programs called the National Census of School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs). We have conducted the census since 1998. From 1986-1997, the Center for Population Options (now Advocates for Youth) conducted the survey.

This online survey provides the school-based health field with accurate, up-to-date data about SBHC demographics, staffing, services, utilization, financing, prevention activities, and clinical policies. The current census summary report highlights data from the 2010-2011 school year and the 2013-14 Census is currently under way.

2010-11 Census Report of School-Based Health Centers

From October 2011 to November 2012, we collected data from the SBHC field for the 2010-2011 school year to develop the 2010-2011 Census Report of School-Based Health Centers.

Download Census Report: 2010-11 Census Report of School-Based Health Centers

Methodology

The School-Based Health Alliance maintains a “master SBHC database” based on information from our state affiliates, state government offices, our membership, and annual convention registration. We update this database continuously when we learn about new SBHCs and closed SBHCs.

Read more about the census methodology.
Master SBHC Database: The School-Based Health Alliance has maintained a “master SBHC database” of SBHCs since 1998, when it took over the census from the Center for Population Options. This database was initially compiled by the Center for Population Options and has been updated regularly by the School-Based Health Alliance based on information from the following sources:

  • State affiliate rosters: There are 19 state affiliates and six emerging state affiliates nationwide. These organizations maintain lists of SBHCs in their states, many of which receive direct state funding. Updated lists are provided to the School-Based Health Alliance annually.
  • State government office rosters: There are 18 states that provide funding to SBHCs. These offices also maintain lists of the SBHCs they support in their states. Updated lists are provided to the School-Based Health Alliance every three years before the census is launched to the field.
  • School-Based Health Alliance membership: The Alliance has approximately 200 organizational and 180 individual members. Members are asked for contact information on their respective SBHCs.
  • Annual convention registration: Every three years at our annual convention, we ask participants to update the contact information for the individual responsible for completing the census for their health center program.

The master database is updated continuously based on the following procedures:

Ongoing identification of new SBHCs and closed SBHCs: We identify the opening and closure of SBHCs through relationships with our state affiliates, state government offices who fund SBHCs, our members, and daily perusal of news articles published online about SBHCs. As we learn of new or closed programs, we update our database.

Prior to launching the census: Six months before we launch the census, we reach out to the 25 states with state affiliate or emerging state affiliate offices and ask them for an updated list of all of the SBHCs in their states and contact information for representatives from each of the sites. We also reach out to the state government offices that fund SBHCs and ask for a list of all of the SBHCs in their states and contact information for representatives from each of the sites. In states where we do not have state affiliates or state government contacts, we reach out to representatives from the sponsoring organizations that completed the previous census and ask for updated contact information.

After we’ve launch the census: About three months after we’ve launched the census, we reach out to all of the sites individually who have not started the census to confirm whether or not they are open or closed, update our contact information, and ask that they complete the survey. Through this outreach we also identify new programs that are not in our database.


Data Sharing Policies and Procedures

The School-Based Health Alliance is committed to sharing census data as a resource to diverse audiences; however, we not share lists of SBHCs or their contact information.

  • We share census data with state affiliates and state programs offices in states where 60% or more SBHCs complete the survey
  • We share data with researchers when they submit a formal request for data
  • We do not share lists of SBHCs or their contact information
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