New report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights pandemic’s strain on Coloradans with children

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: December 18, 2020

A report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic and finds that many Coloradans with kids are struggling with depression, hunger, and a lack of health insurance and risk losing their housing through foreclosure or eviction. Using data from weekly surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond shows in detail how children and families are suffering from the unprecedented social disruptions and economic storm set off by the global health crisis.

Although Colorado respondents with children fared better than the national averages across the indicators examined in the report, Colorado data still paint a picture of families who are struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and obtain important health care services, all while maintaining their mental health.

In assessing food security, the ability to make rent or mortgage payments, health insurance status and mental health concerns, the Foundation identified four pain points for children and families that require both immediate action for relief and bold, long-term thinking for recovery. Key findings for Colorado include:

  • Nearly one in five Colorado respondents with children (19 percent) reported that they had felt down, depressed or hopeless in the previous week, indicating a widespread need for access to mental health care.
  • Nearly one in eight Colorado respondents with children living in the household (12 percent) said they had no confidence or only slight confidence that they would be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment on time.
  • 11 percent of Colorado respondents with children reported there was sometimes or always not enough to eat in their household in the most recent week of the pandemic, compared to 8 percent who said they lacked food security prior to the pandemic.
  • Approximately 7 percent of Colorado respondents with children reported that they lacked health insurance. Being uninsured can have serious consequences for families at any time, and being without health coverage during a public health crisis is even more dangerous. One third of Colorado respondents with children in the household reported that they had delayed getting medical care in the previous month.

The report also highlights the ways in which families of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s effects on the economy. Nationally, respondents of color with children in the household were more likely than white respondents with children to report experiencing food insecurity, slight or no confidence in being able to pay the rent or mortgage and lacking health insurance.

Click here to read the full report, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recommendations for policymakers.

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.