Children’s Agenda countywide poll reveals parents and families in crisis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We’re getting a look at the big concerns parents have when it comes to their children.

Hundreds of Monroe County parents participated in a first-of-its-kind poll conducted by The Children’s Agenda.

The Children’s Agenda got responses from 400 parents in the county and found many issues their children and families are facing right now and hope these findings will be used for more support throughout the county.

“I strongly believe that if one child is not thriving, that means our communities isn’t thriving,” Rochester leader and board member of The Children’s Agenda Toyin Anderson said.

Anderson said she has two kids in the Rochester City School District and said there needs to be an integrated system to help children and their families thrive.

“We have to get all this information to lawmakers so they understand that it’s a collective and we understand the importance of making sure children and families have what they need to thrive,” Anderson said.

The survey found three areas of greatest concern:

  • Access to childcare and child healthcare for families in need.
  • Half of parents say pandemic disruptions to education caused their child to fall behind academically.
  • The mental health consequences of the pandemic.

CEO Larry Marx said another key finding is that the balance between caring for children and work is a crisis for seven out of 10 Monroe County parents.

“Staggering crisis and stress levels with parents right now and demanding systemic supports around mental health, around the affordability of key pocketbook needs and around educational attainment have learning to get kids back on track,” Marx said.

Anderson said these findings prove bold action needs to be taken and it starts with public policy and public funds.

“Parents and families know what the solutions to the problems are,” Anderson said. “They are the ones closest to the problem, and they also gave us the solutions. So we have to start listening to co-create solutions with families. So we need the people with the power to help, to share the power with parents and families so we can make our community better.”

Marx said these findings show concerns are widespread in both urban and suburban communities.