COVID-19 has ravaged Los Angeles County and unequally impacted low-income communities of color, particularly children and families who had already been facing racial and economic disparities before the pandemic. This public health crisis has precipitated a financial crisis with massive increases in unemployment, especially in communities still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession less than a decade ago. The damage from the pandemic is deepening, despite, and at times because of, vaccinations, social distancing, and mask-wearing policy and programs plus the public behavior. Over 600,000 people have lost their lives, and there has been unprecedented job loss, learning loss, and loss of socialization.
Coinciding with the pandemic, we have seen a movement come together to demand an end to state-sanctioned killings of unarmed Black people, excessive policing and police violence, and anti-Black racism. This movement is among many seeking to hold public representatives and systems more accountable to everyone they represent.
The State of the Child Report seeks to understand the conditions of children and families within this current moment and not shy away from talking about COVID-19 impacts, rampant police misconduct, or racism.
The report takes a hard look at how children are faring against the backdrop of the twin crises that have swept the nation over the past year. It identifies conditions we should celebrate and those we should advocate improving. It also shows how public systems affect conditions in the community and arms community members with data needed to affect change. The report sets a baseline for measurement that can guide future investments and policy decisions. Data, derived from many disparate sources, are consolidated in one place on this report’s web companion at THIS WEBSITE .COM.
Brought together through the First 5 LA Best Start Initiative, The Nonprofit Partnership and a steering committee of community-based organizations in the Central Long Beach and Wilmington areas collaborated to create this report. With a place-based focus, First 5 LA identified Central Long Beach and Wilmington for targeted birth-to-five outcome investment in what is known as Best Start Region 4. These organizations and others have spent years organizing, power-building, and winning campaigns to change systems to improve the lives of children and families.
The State of the Child Report aims to strengthen the advocacy efforts of these organizations in the public education, health, criminal justice, and economic systems and systems governing the built environment. This report creates a shared picture of what children and families face and elevates the visibility of these issues. It can help strengthen coordination of advocacy and movement-building efforts across the Central Long Beach and Wilmington communities and support opportunities for fundraising to ensure advocates have the resources they need to help children and families thrive.