COLUMBIA – Children’s Trust has published a data snapshot that measures the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families in South Carolina. It highlights specific stressors for families, including the economy, education, and infrastructure.
“When families are under a tremendous amount of strain, we know there is a greater likelihood of child abuse and neglect,” Children’s Trust CEO Sue Williams said. “This report identifies what we can do to help families be more stable, ensuring children have the resources to thrive and the ability to weather future crises.”
The report is broken down into key data points. Highlights include:
- 40 percent of the South Carolinians who are experiencing unemployment have a child in the home.
- 90,395 households with children in school do not have regular access to broadband internet, which has exacerbated educational disparities.
- 43 percent of parents and caregivers report that child care has been disrupted, which has affected their employment.
- Almost 100,000 households report that their children are not eating enough because of high food costs.
- 83 percent of parents and caregivers are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety.
“The pandemic has exposed how vulnerable conditions are for children,” Williams added. “Let us learn from this experience and emerge with stronger, more reliable strategies and systems that serve young people and their families.”
The report includes specific recommendations for action, including expanding broadband internet access, supporting food pantries, and providing mental health services to parents and caregivers.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation will publish a national KIDS COUNT policy brief entitled “Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Point and a Roadmap for Recovery” in December. As South Carolina’s KIDS COUNT partner, Children’s Trust will share that report as soon as it is available.
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