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Urban Institute

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Pretesting a human trafficking screening tool in the child welfare and runaway and homeless youth systems

Individual Author: 
Dank, Meredith
Yahner, Jennifer
Yu, Lilly
Vasquez-Noriega, Carla
Gelatt, Julia
Pergamit, Michael

This report summarizes findings from a study to develop and pre-test a human trafficking screening tool with 617 youth in runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and child welfare (CW) settings. The tool was found to be accessible, easy to administer, and effective in identifying trafficked youth in these settings, though additional research is needed. (Author summary)

Geographic patterns in disability insurance receipt: Mental disorders in New England

Individual Author: 
Schwabish, Jonathan

This brief examines correlates of DI benefit receipt for people with mental disorders, focusing on the higher rate of receipt in the six New England states. In 2015, 1.8 percent of all 18- to 65-year-olds across the country received DI benefits because of mental disorders. That recipiency rate was markedly higher in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The evidence suggests that access to and treatment from the health care system (which tend to be better in New England states) may help people identify their illnesses and contact the DI program and other services.

Educational differences in employment at older ages

Individual Author: 
Johnson, Richard W.
Wang, Claire Xiaozhi

Working longer can significantly benefit older adults, improving their financial security and possibly their physical and emotional health. Older adults have been working more over the past two decades, but employment gains after age 65 have been concentrated among college graduates. Early retirement will likely create growing financial challenges for less-educated older adults, who risk falling further behind their better-educated peers.

Strategies to meet the child care needs of low-income parents seeking education and training: Executive summary

Individual Author: 
Adams, Gina
Derrick-Mills, Teresa
Heller, Caroline

Child care can be an insurmountable barrier for low-income parents seeking education and training so they can get better jobs to support their families. Helping families with child care can also be challenging for programs trying to help these parents get ahead. Despite funding and policy barriers, there are programs that have taken on this challenge.

Homelessness is a solvable problem

Individual Author: 
Cunningham, Mary K.
Gillespie, Sarah
Tilsley, Alexandra

On any given night, nearly 550,000 people—parents, kids, veterans—are homeless.

These numbers, though staggering, represent a drop from 2010, when the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released Opening Doors, a federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness by the end of 2020.

Ending homelessness doesn’t mean that no one is ever homeless again. It means that homelessness is rare and short because communities have systems to immediately re-house someone who becomes homeless.

Family savings policy: Matched savings programs show promise for financial security and upward mobility

Individual Author: 
McKernan, Signe-Mary
Ratcliffe, Caroline
Mills, Gregory B.
Pergamit, Mike
Braga, Breno

Policymakers looking to provide evidence-based opportunity for Americans should look to matched savings programs, such as individual development accounts. By matching personal saving, individual development accounts (IDAs) improve financial capability while promoting saving for longer-term investment in a home, business or education.

Self-employment, family-business ownership, and economic mobility

Individual Author: 
Brown, Elizabeth
Nichols, Austin

Surprisingly little is known about whether self-employment and family businesses promote mobility, despite a recurring theme in the policy discourse of families achieving upward economic and social mobility through entrepreneurship. The rewards of entrepreneurship can be great for those who succeed, but the risks are also greater. Looking over numerous decades of panel data on Americans, we document that family-business owners have more upward mobility and less downward mobility than wage-and-salary workers, but that the self-employed do not outperform other workers. (Author abstract)

Parent-child visiting practices in prisons and jails

Individual Author: 
Cramer, Lindsey
Goff, Margaret
Peterson, Bryce
Sandstrom, Heather

Relationships between children and their parents are the foundation on which children learn how to form and sustain healthy relationships. Disrupting those relationships—by losing a parent to incarceration, for example—can have long-term effects on children and may lead to antisocial behavior, poor school performance, and physical and mental health problems.

Connecting justice-involved individuals with health homes at reentry: New York and Rhode Island

Individual Author: 
Spillman, Brenda C.
Clemans-Cope, Lisa
Mallik-Kane, Kamala
Hayes, Emily

Many states have expanded Medicaid eligibility to reach a wider array of vulnerable and historically uninsured populations. While Medicaid cannot pay for medical services provided in prisons or jails, people who are arrested and incarcerated can enroll in Medicaid and become eligible for benefits in the community. Given the high prevalence of mental health issues, substance abuse, and chronic health conditions among criminal justice populations, providing health care services to them could improve public health and public safety outcomes.

Employer roles in building pipelines for middle-skill jobs in health care

Individual Author: 
Loprest, Pamela
Briggs, Amanda
Mikelson, Kelly

The health care industry is surging. It is the country’s fastest-growing industry and produces the highest demand for middle-skill jobs—positions that require some postsecondary training but not necessarily a four-year degree. Middle-skill jobs can mean higher wages, job satisfaction, and the next step on a career pathway for low-skilled workers in entry-level jobs. The health care industry is ideal for developing a pipeline to move lower-skilled workers into middle-skill jobs.