This neighborhood data is designed to help local groups, institutions, organizers and elected officials understand how families in their community are being impacted by the NYC child welfare system (ACS) and to support community-led planning and advocacy to improve conditions for families.
Research shows that poverty and economic setbacks put families at risk of investigation and separation, and that economic policies like access to paid family leave, cash assistance and childcare can reduce child welfare involvement.
Neighborhood conditions are another factor in family health. Access to supermarkets, safe places to play, parks, libraries, jobs and transportation are protective of families.
Recent reports by Citizens Committee for Children (CCC) on Brownsville, Brooklyn and Corona, Queens illuminate how conditions affect families. Brownsville has the highest number of CPS investigations for Black children in the city, and Corona has the fourth-highest number for Latino children.
In Brownsville, structural inequalities make it difficult to hold a job and take care of children. Commute times are
the longest in Brooklyn. Childcare is scarce. After-school and summer programs for older kids are lacking. Greenspace is minimal. Going deeper, parents told CCC researchers that they hesitate to take their kids to play outside because of violence, and that they avoid local mental health providers because they fear ACS involvement.
In Corona, parents told CCC researchers they wanted mediation for their conflicts with youth, and support to deal with economic stress and discrimination. Families also wanted access to adult literacy and English classes to improve their job prospects.
Families know how local conditions may be contributing to hotline calls and family separation -- and what solutions might prevent many of these calls. (This includes addressing local institutions like schools and hospitals that over-report.) Using data and families’ expertise, groups can develop community frameworks for family health.
Parent and youth advocates in NYC have laid out their visions for reducing the scope and harm of the child welfare system in Rise’s Unavoidable System report and in recommendations by the Narrowing the Front Door Work Group and YouthNPower. This kind of neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach can help turn these broad visions into actionable plans at the local level.
The investigation rate in Hunts Point was more than double the rate citywide
Note: “Rate per 1,000” means: Out of every 1,000 children, how many experienced an investigation or entered foster care in this year? Looking at the rate of investigations per 1,000 children in a zip code – rather than just the number – allows us to compare which zip codes are most impacted. For example, Hunts Point ranked 81st in the number of hotline calls in 2019 because it’s a small neighborhood, but it ranked 4th citywide in its rate, which was 141 per 1,000 households with children (meaning there was 1 call for every 7 families). Families probably know a neighbor who was recently investigated. ACS’ presence is high.
The percent of investigations “indicated” was similar to the citywide average
In 2019, an investigation is “indicated” if ACS investigators believed there was “some credible evidence” that a child was neglected or abused. In 2021, New York State raised the standard of evidence to indicate an investigation to require a “preponderance of evidence” and the percent of indicated investigations fell citywide to 22% in the first five months of 2022 from 36% in 2019.
You can use this guide for explanations of any terms.
Who is impacted by hotline calls in Hunts Point?
Families Impacted by Race/Ethnicity: Latino children were overrepresented in court-ordered supervision and Black children were overrepresented in foster care in 2019, but these numbers are very small – only 43 children in 21 families entered court supervision and 16 children in 9 families entered foster care, so these may not be representative of yearly trends.
Hunts Point child welfare impacts were similar to those of other zip codes with a similar child poverty rate
Hunts Point has the highest child poverty rate of any zip code in NYC.
Note: Population data at the zip code level is from the 5 year American Community Survey estimates (2015-2019).
(1) If there were fewer than 20 children entering foster care in 2019, foster care is not included in most tabs due to small sample size.
(2) All Census data comes from the 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5 year estimates by zip code.
(3) Borough and Citywide data (numbers, percentages) are aggregates. Citywide data includes only NYC zip codes.
(4) For Race/Ethnicity data, Child Population Census numbers are included for reference only. Due to data availability, Census data for the Child Population is categorized as follows: Black (Hispanic/Latino or not), White (non-Hispanic/Latino only), Asian/PI (Hispanic/Latino or not), Hispanic/Latino (any race); children of "Other" race/ethnicity are not included here. Census data for the All Ages Population is categorized as follows: Black (non-Hispanic/Latino only), White (non-Hispanic/Latino only), Asian (non-Hispanic/Latino only), Hispanic/Latino (any race), and Other (non-Hispanic/Latino only). NYC Administration for Children's Services data is categorized in the same way as the Census All Ages Population data.
(5) Parent age data includes all parents/subjects, regardless
of whether or not they were a respondent on the case. Analysis excludes any unknown parent/subject ages. Foster care is not included in the analysis due to small n sizes.
(6) Numbers may not exactly sum to totals in the raw data.(7) In the summary tabs, numbers are rounded in the "By How Much?" columns.(8) In the summary tab (Percent of children starting/entering each CW stage, out of all children investigated), percentages are based on the total number of children at each stage in 2019 as a percentage of the total number of children in the Investigations stage in 2019. These numbers are not based on a cohort of children at the investigations stage.(9) For the Race/Ethnicity summary tab, "Other" race/ethnicity is not presented but was included when making all calculations. There may be instances where comparing the CW stage race/ethnicity breakdown to the Child Population race/ethnicity breakdown produces different results than when comparing it to the All Ages Population race/ethnicity breakdown (or vice-versa). This is due to the methodological challenges with the Census Child Population data (see note #4 above).