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Report Stresses Need To Help Hispanic Children

February 17, 2000
Copyright © 2000 EFE NEWS SERVICES (U.S.) INC. All Rights Reserved.
Source: World Reporter (TM)

New York -- Among the child population of New York, Hispanic children show the worst statistics in education, health, mortality and care, said a report published here Thursday, partially blaming the situation on the poverty of their families.

Published by the Puerto Rican Family Institute under the title "Report on the Status of New York Hispanic Youth," the document stresses the urgent need to help this sector of the population.

Hispanics represent 36.8 percent of the child population of New York, followed by blacks with 29.9 percent, whites with 25.2 percent, and Asians with 7.8 percent.

Around 75 percent of the Latino children are born to poor families as compared to only 22 percent of the white children and 48 percent of the Asians.

In New York City, three Hispanic children die each day before turning one year old, and one in every four newborns is the child of a teenager, said the report, warning that four out of every 10 minors suffered abuse or neglect while one in every five was put up for adoption.

Six out of 10 minors drop out of school before completing their education and half the teenagers are unemployed.

Between 1991 and 1995, the number of Latino children using city mental health programs increased from 33.8 to 39.8 percent.

The report ended with a series of recommendations, including more funds and bilingual health programs for Hispanics, as well increased cooperation between the state and municipal health departments, schools, community groups and foundations offering services to help Hispanics improve their living conditions.

The report added that a high percentage of Hispanic children lacked Child Health Plus, the medical coverage offered by the state, because it had been inadequately publicized and in the case of undocumented immigrants, they feared signing up because they feared being deported.

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