Research shows that parents and children tend to fare better on a range of outcomes when they live in low-conflict, two-parent families. Recognizing the potential benefits of healthy relationships for low-income families, Congress has funded three rounds of grants for Healthy Marriage (HM) programs since 2006. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.
The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established.
To identify solutions to hunger, Congress created the bipartisan National Commission on Hunger “to provide policy recommendations to Congress and the USDA Secretary to more effectively use existing programs and funds of the Department of Agriculture to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity.”
Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)
Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years.
The family environment in which children are raised can affect their later decisions in every area of life, from education and employment to marriage and childbearing (McLanahan and Sandefur 1994; Wolfinger 2003; Wolfinger et al. 2003; Wu and Martinson 1993). Research confirms that growing up with two parents in a stable, low conflict, healthy marriage can lead to favorable outcomes for children (Amato 2001; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994).
In almost mythical proportions, suburbia in America has long symbolized opportunity as well as an escape from the real (and imagined) traumas of urban centers. It has also, by and large, been synonymous with the financial stability of its residents. The suburbanization of jobs and the steady decline of cities have only served to reinforce the notion that the suburbs are a collective oasis of resources, amenities, and middle-class immunity to social and economic ills.
This brief provides a general overview of the two Healthy Marriage (HM) grantees involved in the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT), provides participation rates in services, and documents how the two grantees integrated job and career advancement services for parenting couples into their programs. This brief uses data obtained through staff interviews and program observations during site visits; ongoing interactions with program leadership; and data from a management information system that programs use to record data on couples’ receipt of services. (author abstract)
In 2007, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) funded 22 colleges to establish developmental summer bridge programs. Aimed at providing an alternative to traditional developmental education, these programs involve intensive remedial instruction in math, reading, and/or writing and college preparation content for students entering college with low basic skills.
For many families, child care is a necessity for economic self-sufficiency, as without it caretakers cannot enter and stay in the workforce. However, for many low-income families, child care expenses are so high that they often cannot afford it without government support. Also problematic is that government-supported child care benefits are incrementally lost as a family’s income increases, but often before sufficient income can be sustained to replace that support. This is known as the child care cliff.