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Press Herald 13 October, 2021 - 10:56am 10 views

Between 49-67% of children who lost a primary caregiver in California, Texas, New Mexico were Hispanic

Between 49-67% of children who lost a primary caregiver in California, Texas, New Mexico were Hispanic

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Between 49-67% of children who lost a primary caregiver in California, Texas, New Mexico were Hispanic

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. have been staggering, with more than 710,000 deaths in the country, roughly 70,000 in California alone.

"Children don't understand COVID-19. All they know is their parents suddenly get sick and sometimes in a matter of days they don't have a parent. They don't know where they're going to live. Their whole world has been taken from them," Terry Moore, director of adult services at the Center for Fathers and Families in Sacramento, said.

The study indicates that about one in 500 children in the country "has experienced COVID-19-associated orphanhood or death of a grandparent caregiver," also citing racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in relation to the deaths.

American Indian/Alaska Native children were the most affected, followed by Black and Hispanic children. In all, the study said children of racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 65% of children who lost a primary caregiver to the virus.

"It's been a shock when the numbers go up. The number of parents, grandparents — the African Americans in general, the loss. It's a shock to our community because some people just don't believe in it [COVID-19]," Moore said.

California is among the three states with the highest number of children facing the death of a primary caregiver, the other two states being Texas and New York.

Also notable from the CDC study is that between 49 to 67% of children who have lost a primary caregiver in California, Texas and New Mexico were Hispanic.

The losses in California pose a problem that would intensify an already struggling foster care system.

Sarah Denney is a supervising social worker at Foster Hope Sacramento. She noted a trending need for homes that have the capacity to take three or more siblings, as well as homes that can house teenagers.

Foster Hope Sacramento told KCRA 3 that all foster care homes in the Sacramento region are struggling to find temporary shelter. The need comes not only from the loss of a family member but from emergency situations as well.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.5 million children lost at least one caregiver to COVID-19 during the first 14 months of the pandemic, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Read full article at Press Herald

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