September 17, 2018
New Report Shows Growing Inequality for Children and Families on Staten Island’s North Shore
A new Staten Island community needs assessment released today by Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) calls attention to the growing inequality on the North Shore of Staten Island where many residents are not benefiting from the strengthened economy and citywide efforts to improve conditions for children and families.
The report, “The North Shore of Staten Island: Community Driven Solutions to Improve Child and Family Well-Being,” illustrates wide social and economic disparities experienced by families both districtwide and acutely within neighborhoods.
“The North Shore is a microcosm reflecting both the rich diversity as well as the profound disparity in conditions that we see in New York City as a whole,” said Jennifer March, executive director of CCC. “No other community district has such a high share of residents both living in poor households and in higher income households, and these disparities are echoed across every issue impacting child and family well-being, including housing, health care, and education. Persistent inequality on the North Shore presents a unique set of challenges in ensuring not only that the needs of vulnerable children and families are met but that all households thrive and are upwardly mobile.”
The report is the result of a year-long assessment of child and family needs in the community, gathered through analysis of government data and new data collected from focus groups and interviews with service providers, parents and youth.
Findings from government data in the report show a sizable and widening gap in outcomes between the North Shore and the city overall. For example:
The report is the latest comprehensive assessment of community assets and needs conducted by CCC. Through participatory research methods, CCC elevates the perspectives of people living and working in specific communities of the city, gaining feedback on strengths and opportunities present in the community, and identifying whether or not residents utilize existing community resources to their full potential. The report highlights several examples of innovation on the North Shore. This includes the collaborative spirit among service providers and residents who have formed collective impact efforts to meaningfully improve outcomes for children, youth, and their families across a range of issues, such as youth employment, child health, and educational achievement across the lifespan.“CCC’s assessment of the North Shore paints a striking picture and one that is remarkably different from what people often perceive as life on Staten Island,” said Betsy Dubovsky, executive director of the Staten Island Foundation. “The recommendations identified by the community through this research provide an important opportunity to advance our collective work of aligning efforts to catch up with the progress experienced elsewhere in the city.”
Through interviews and focus groups with dozens of community-based organizations and residents, CCC found that resources available for low income working families on the North Shore — affordable housing, child care, health care, transportation — are both limited in supply and often geographically clustered. According to North Shore community members:
“Our hope is that the findings and recommendations in CCC’s report will inform responsive action taken by government, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders to support programs, policies and budget initiatives that improve outcomes for the community, particularly for children,” said Bijan Kimiagar who led the qualitative research for CCC. “In our conversations with families, youth and service providers, we learned about the many community-driven efforts underway on the North Shore that should be leveraged and expanded upon to change the trajectory for children and families in the community.”
Among the many community driven recommendations included in the report, highlights include: