Of the over 20,000 children in homeless shelters, nearly half are under 6 years old. We know from research how crucial the early years are to lifelong development. Yet families now stay an average of over 400 days in city shelters—an eternity for a small child.
The new Child Welfare Watch report describes the stresses that homelessness puts on families with young children, and explores the discontinuity between the large number of young children in the shelter system and the dearth of services available to them. It reveals that currently the most common way for a family in a shelter to receive support for young children is to become known to child welfare authorities—a help that often goes hand-in-hand with the fear that children will be removed to foster care.
The de Blasio administration has made reducing family homelessness a key priority. Nevertheless, homeless families spend on average over 400 days in city shelters, and the number of families is near a record high. Young children are overrepresented; the number of kids under the age of 6 in shelters has grown nearly 60 percent since 2006. How can we keep children in city-subsidized shelters safe? How can we use the time they spend in shelter to foster rather than derail their development? How can we support parents who are leaving shelters that may be the only homes their children have known? A conversation with experts in the field, and the release of the latest edition of Child Welfare Watch.
2014 CAMPAIGN ROUNDTABLES
On December 3, the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School invited campaign staffers, pundits, and candidates to come together to look back at this year’s exciting races in New York State. Below are a series of highlights from these engaging, illuminating conversations.
What is the longstanding impact of ‘legal corruption’ in politics?
NYS government operates in an insular world that most of the state doesn’t understand; it’s what allows things to happen in the shadows. Could investigations and indictments catalyzed by the disbanded Moreland Commission serve as an impetus in changing the state’s political culture or is reform unlikely under the current governor?
What did we learn from Teachout's run?
What was Teachout’s role in the primary? Her campaign and commentators maintain her support was too broad, too deep, and too meaningful to be represented as a protest candidate. Teachout herself says her campaign got energy from populist concern about how Cuomo was running New York State.
2014 Campaign Roundtables: Full Videos
NYS Governor's Race
NYS Senate Race
A BETTER PICTURE OF POVERTY
Children can't learn if they aren't in school. That should be obvious, but a new report by The Center for New York City Affairs shows that chronic absenteeism consigns tens of thousands of children to academic failure even before they leave elementary school.