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Author: The BCW

Report Offers Insights on Children & Youth Disparities in Westchester County

The unequal socioeconomic, health, and educational outcomes faced by the county’s children and youth is the focus of a new data bulletin released by the Westchester Children’s Association (WCA). Titled “Children By The Numbers,” the bulletin aims to be an instrumental tool for policymakers, educators, parents, and advocates working to develop equitable programs and policies to support all children, regardless of their race or ethnic backgrounds.

The WCA’s bulletin highlights compelling patterns and factors impacting children and youth currently, with projections for the future. The focus is on the significant racial disparities evident in the indicators, emphasizing the growing number of children and youth of color in Westchester. These findings underscore the urgency for systemic change to address race inequity and improve outcomes for all children in the county.

Topics include: Income & Household Types, Child Abuse & Foster Care, Economic Insecurity, Families & the Cost of Living, How Families Make Ends Meet, Mental Health, Digital & Health Inequity, Education, and Disconnected Youth & Youth Engagement.

The bulletin draws extensively from data provided by local community partners, offering the most recent and reliable frontline information on the status of children and families in Westchester. This local data is pivotal in understanding the real-time situation and in advocating for effective interventions and policy changes to uplift the well-being and opportunities of all children and youth in the area.

“WCA’s advocacy priorities are based on data, but we struggle to get timely, transparent data out of government systems. This can mean children and families don’t receive the support they need, when they need it. Our 2023 data bulletin has addressed this by reaching out to community partners on the frontline for indicators that show a more nuanced and contemporary picture of children’s needs. We are then able to demonstrate the urgent need for legislation and policies to lift families out of poverty,” states Allison Lake, Executive Director of WCA.

In light of the insights from the bulletin, WCA is calling for comprehensive efforts to tackle systemic imbalances, dismantle barriers, and create inclusive environments. Advocating for equitable programs and policies is crucial in fostering environments where every child and youth can thrive, and WCA is committed to being at the forefront of these advocacy efforts.

The WCA believes that by addressing the racial inequities highlighted in the bulletin, we can ensure a better future for all children in Westchester. WCA continues to work collaboratively with various stakeholders to inform, influence, and ignite change, with the hope that every child and youth will have equal access to opportunities, regardless of their background.

Click here for a link to a PDF of the Data Bulletin

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