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Read the Research on Programs that Help Families Achieve Economic Security and Improve Child Development
Low-income families face significant challenges navigating low-wage employment or education and training programs while finding good-quality early care and education. Some existing programs address these challenges by providing integrated services to low-income parents and their children, sometimes called a two-generation or whole-family approach. Although such services are not new, few integrated programs have been rigorously evaluated. The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) funded the Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project to help build the evidence base and provide policymakers and program administrators with the information they need to make informed decisions.
- Conceptual Frameworks for Intentional Approaches to Improving Economic Security and Child Well-Being is a brief identifying two conceptual frameworks that could expand the understanding of programs that aim to meet the needs of low-income parents and children through intentionally combined activities approaches.
- Using Research and Evaluation to Support Programs that Promote Parents’ Economic Security and Children’s Well-Being is a brief outlining how research and evaluation can strengthen program implementation and provide valuable insights for funders and program leaders about the quality and reach of program services.
For more information about these resources, please contact federal project officers Carli Wulff (Carli.Wulff@acf.hhs.gov) or Kathleen Dwyer (Kathleen.Dwyer@acf.hhs.gov) or project director Emily Sama-Miller (ESama-Miller@mathematica-mpr.com).
About the Project
This project, Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security, was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Northwestern University for the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation in ACF at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It focused particularly on programs whose goals are to improve the economic security of families and support the development and well-being of children. These programs typically offer services to help parents get a job, increase their educational attainment and skill level, and foster the development and education of their children.
The project was designed to give ACF, administrators and funders of programs with an intentional approach to serving parents and children together, and other stakeholders an overview of the current state of the field. This overview included theory, program models, evidence from research on the programs, and directions for future research. Project activities included (1) a literature review, an environmental scan, and field work to identify and describe existing program models; (2) development of a conceptual framework to inform program design and research; and (3) an assessment of future directions for research and evaluation. Project information and publications are available on the project website.
Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security
The project will focus on economic security programs for parents that also provide child development and well-being services for children from birth to age 12.
Using Research and Evaluation to Support Programs that Promote Parents' Economic Security and Children's Well-Being
This brief describes a continuum of research and evaluation that could help program leaders and staff create more robust programs offering coordinated services to low-income parents and their children.
Exploration of Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security
This report provides policymakers and program administrators with information to better understand programs designed to help families achieve economic security and support children’s development.