More than 4,000 New York children have lost a parent to coronavirus – and up to 25% of them may wind up in foster care, report finds
- A new report claims that 4,200 children in New York state have lost a parent or a guardian to coronavirus between March 2020 and July 2020
- About 57% of those who have lost a parent live in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens – three of the five boroughs making up New York City
- Black and Hispanic children lost mothers and fathers to COVID-19 at twice the rate of white and Asian children
- Up to 23% of these children face winding up in foster care because they lost their sole parent or caregiver
One out of every 1,000 children has had a father or a mother pass away after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to researchers from the United Hospital Fund and Boston Consulting Group.
Additionally, those mourning the death of a parent are more likely to live in the outer boroughs of New York City and be either black or Hispanic.
What’s more, up to nearly one-quarter of these children may wind up in foster care after losing the sole parent or caregiver they had.
A new report claims that 4,200 children in New York state have lost a parent or a guardian to coronavirus between March 2020 and July 2020 (above)
About 57% of those who have lost a parent live in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens – three of the five boroughs making up New York City (above)
Up to 23% risk winding up in foster care because they lost their sole parent or guardian to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Bodies of deceased patients are moved from a hospital to refrigerator truck outside of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, April 4
The report, published this month, looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children in New York state.
Researchers found that of the state’s four million children under age 18, about 4,200 experienced a parental death from coronavirus between March 2020 and July 2020.
Of those children, 57 percent live in three of the five boroughs of New York City: the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.
Around 890 children each in Brooklyn and Queens lost at least one parent as did about 600 children in the Bronx.
These boroughs are more likely to be made of immigrant and minority communities compared to the other two boroughs, Manhattan and Staten Island.
Health experts say that people of color are more likely to have a lack of healthcare access, more chronic health conditions, take public transit and work so-called ‘essential jobs,’ putting them at higher risk of exposure.
The figure of 4,200 children translates to one out of every 1,000 children who have lost a parent to COVID-19.
The team compared the number of children who suffered the death of a parent from the virus to common causes of death over the same four-month period in 2018.
Results showed about 200 children lost parents in motor vehicle accidents and 1,050 experienced a parental death due to drug-related causes.
About 1,500 lost parents to heart disease and approximately 1,700 lost a father or a mother to all types of cancer.
Black and Hispanic children lost mothers and fathers to COVID-19 at twice the rate of white and Asian children
Minority communities are more likely to have a lack of healthcare access, more chronic health conditions and work so-called ‘essential jobs,’ putting them at higher risk of exposure
This means the number of children who have lost parents to COVID-10 is 2.4 greater than those who lost parents to cancer and 21 times greater than those who lost their parent or parents in car crashes.
Numerous studies have shown that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected people and communities of color, and parental death was no exception.
The report found that one in every 600 black children in New York has lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19, as well as one in every 700 Hispanic children.
That is twice the rate of parental death experienced among Asian children and white children.
By comparison one in every 1,400 Asian children and one in every 1,500 white children suffered the death of a father or a mother to COVID-19.
In addition to the heartbreaking loss, children who have lost their parent ore parents may be at risk of other severe consequences.
One in 1,500 white children lost a parent to the coronavirus compared to one in 600 black children and one in 700 Hispanic children
Up to 50% of children who lost a parent face entering poverty due to the loss of the primary breadwinner for the family
Up to 23 percent are at risk of being placed in foster or kinship care after losing their sole parent or guardian.
What’s more, up to 50 percent face entering poverty due to the loss of the primary breadwinner for the family.
‘Losing a parent or caregiver during childhood is a particularly acute adversity, one that raises a child’s risk of experiencing a range of poor outcomes over their lifetime, including poorer mental and physical health,’ the researchers wrote.
‘These children and their families will require ongoing support and investment to ensure that the next generation won’t remain victims of this current COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Given the magnitude of the challenge for state and local authorities, federal support will be crucial.’