The 35th State of the Child in Bridgeport Report 2020 focuses on the impact that the pandemic has had on Bridgeport’s children and families from March to December 2020. We are releasing the report in sections over the next several months.

What a year it has been. A time of many challenges and successes, a time of incredible change, and a time of both struggle and hope.

From the COVID-19 pandemic and its innumerable repercussions, to renewed calls for racial and social justice, this year was one made for the history books. A seismic shift in education, work, and disruption of day-to-day lives has led to a reassessment of our priorities. We are so grateful for our healthcare professionals, educators, mental health professionals, and essential frontline workers who sacrificed and supported all of us during this past year.

As the country emerges from this multi-layered crisis, we hope that urban cities like Bridgeport, whose inequities have been highlighted by the pandemic, can use the momentum of change to emerge resilient as well, even stronger than before. Each day we see more and more reasons to be optimistic. We have access to multiple vaccinations, schools and communities are reopening, there is greater awareness of racial and social injustice, and there are more innovative ways of providing supports and resources to help those most severely impacted.

In “normal” times, Bridgeport’s children, families, and communities are faced with food and economic insecurities, limited access to quality, affordable healthcare and education, and the lasting effects of trauma on mental health. Right now, extraordinary leadership and seamless collaboration will be vital to the healing of our communities. In order to keep restructuring systems to reflect equity in all its forms, we must understand the greatest areas of need and focus our energy and efforts there.

The 35th State of the Child in Bridgeport Report 2020 will do just that. It will focus on the impact that the pandemic has had on Bridgeport’s children and families from March 2020, when the majority of the United States and the world went into lock-down, to December 2020. The SOTC 2020 will report objective data, statistics, and vetted anecdotal evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in six main sections: 1). Civic Engagement, 2). Health, 3). Education, 4). Early Childhood Development, 5). Poverty and Economic Empowerment, and 6). Juvenile Justice and Safety.

Just as COVID-19 has changed routines and old ways of production, the way in which we will publish the State of the Child in Bridgeport report is no different. The new online, digital version will share information, analysis and stories on our website and through social media channels over the next several months, section by section. This “living” document will allow you to access information as it becomes available and will allow us to update the State of the Child with new data and information as it comes to light.

We are looking forward to this new and more interactive version of the State of the Child in Bridgeport report and hope that you are too. We have a long road ahead of us but by bringing together community leaders, key stakeholders, and you, we can change the lives of children and families in Bridgeport both now and in the future.

Marc donald
Executive Director
Ashley R. Blanchard, MSW
Director of Research and Evaluation

BRIDGEPORT’S CHILDREN AND YOUTH

ABOUT RYASAP

MISSION

RYASAP ensures the safe and healthy development of youth, families, and neighborhoods by using community voice, research, education and advocacy to create policy and systems change.

VISION

To be the essential resource when expertise and broad collaboration are needed to solve issues of justice and equity that matter most to our communities.

RESEARCH

Research is the foundation for everything we do. Our reports provide objective data, identify best practices and suggest practical steps to address the challenges our community faces.

EDUCATE

BCAC/RYASAP educates the community by sharing information, ideas, and resources. By advancing a shared understanding of children and families’ issues, we can move forward as a cohesive community.

ADVOCATE

Advocacy is the heart of what we do. We empower community members by giving them the tools and information to effectively advocate for positive change. We harness the power of the people to bring about systems change to improve the well-being of our families.