Child & Family Well-Being In New York City: Ranking Risks And Resources Across 59 Community Districts


February 1, 2020

CCC is releasing the latest edition of our annual child well-being index, an important tool used by New York’s leaders in government, nonprofit and philanthropy to understand child and family well-being at the community level and advance programs, policies and budget solutions that help communities — and ultimately children and families – have access to the health and human services supports they need.

The new report, “Child & Family Well-Being in New York City: Ranking Risks and Resources Across 59 Community Districts” (formerly referred to as the Community Risk Ranking), measures 18 indicators across six domains of well-being – economic security, housing, health, education, youth, and family and community. This information provides a framework for examining social determinants of health and other risk factors that may be linked to both risk and resilience later in life.

Key findings from the report demonstrate the stark community-level disparities children and families experience.

Among them:

  • Families continue to experience stark disparities in health outcomes across communities. Infants were over eleven times more likely to die before their first birthday in East Flatbush, which ranked highest risk in the Health domain, compared to Midtown Manhattan which ranked lowest risk.
  • In Mott Haven, which ranked highest risk in the Economic Security domain, children were over 18 times more likely to live in poverty than children in Greenwich Village. While Greenwich Village ranked lowest in risk, there were still nearly 12% of parents experiencing employment instability.
  • Hunts Point families experienced substantial disparities in the Education domain at every level of education, from enrollment in early educational programs, to pass rates on ELA and Math tests, and high school graduation rates.
  • In University Heights, which ranked highest risk in the Housing domain, nearly four out of every ten households spent at least half of their income on rent, compared to about two in ten households in Midtown, which ranked lowest risk in this domain.

For the first time, our analysis also draws attention to the scarcity of essential resources that address social determinants of health due to lack of capacity or other barriers:

  • Housing support services are present in several but not all districts ranking in the high risk category in the Housing domain. There is no longer a Homebase homelessness prevention location within Morissania in the Bronx, a district where 447 families with children resided prior to living in shelter in 2017. Citywide, over 20,000 children sleep in homeless shelters nightly.
  • Family food and nutrition assistance programs (i.e. SNAP, WIC) are absent in communities ranking highest risk in the Health domain such as Queens Village and Howard Beach in Queens. 60% of the 117,000 babies born citywide in 2017 were born to mothers likely income eligible for nutrition programs.
  • Demand for early education programming outstrips supply citywide, and especially in communities with many young children in families working in low-paying sectors. There are around 430,000 children under age four citywide, and only 20% are served in the City-funded early education system.
  • The number of students served in school-based health and mental health centers varies greatly, from more than 9,700 students for the one clinic in Ridgewood, Queens, to 262 students for every one clinic in Williamsbridge, Bronx. In the past year, about 83,000 NYC high schools students reported feeling so sad or hopeless every day for two or more weeks that they stopped doing some usual activities.

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