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New York City educates 1.1 million students across approximately 1,800 schools in the five boroughs. These students experience a vast array of health care needs. While the primary mission of schools is to educate children so they can go on and lead successful lives, that goal cannot be reached if their health needs are unmet.
Currently in New York City, all children receive, or have access to, some basic services in schools from nurses and other health care professionals through the Office of School Health. Still other students receive a greater range of primary and preventive services—varying by site—from school-based health centers. As the capacity for health care delivery in schools increases, significant opportunities exist to better connect schools to the larger health care infrastructure that works to secure children’s health and wellness—particularly in the areas of obesity, behavioral health, teen pregnancy and asthma.
Some of the most at-risk children in NYC are children who have been displaced from their homes or families due to homelessness or resettlement as unaccompanied immigrant children. While homeless and unaccompanied immigrant children have been displaced from their homes or families for different reasons, both groups of children often have remarkably similar experiences and needs. For example, studies have consistently found that homeless and immigrant children have greater health needs and poorer health outcomes than their peers. Addressing the health needs of displaced children will improve their health outcomes and likelihood of success in school and life. A review of current research and NYC school administrator survey responses collected by the Children’s Defense Fund – New York (CDFNY) identified gaps in key services that benefit displaced children.
February 5, 2018
1 Testimony of the Chil dren’s Defense Fund – New York “Crisis of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: What is New York City Doing?” Before the Committee s on Immigration , and Courts and Legal Services
This report describes the current school health delivery system in the five boroughs and offers a vision for sustaining and expanding our multifaceted model of health care delivery in schools. It was produced with financial support from the Altman Foundation.