urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

View Research by Author - Christopher Lowenstein



Publications


Viewing 1-8 of 8. Most recent posts listed first.

Assessing the Merits of Photo EBT Cards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Research Brief)
Gregory B. Mills, Christopher Lowenstein

In seeking to reduce the trafficking of benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), states are considering policies to require that SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards include a photograph of the household head. Such policies have sparked controversy, placing in direct conflict the desires to bolster program integrity with the statutory rights of SNAP household members to utilize their program benefits and receive equal customer treatment. Drawing on Massachusetts’ 2013 implementation of a photo EBT policy, this brief suggests that such policies are not a cost-effective means to promote program integrity and may hinder benefit access.

Posted to Web: March 26, 2015Publication Date: March 26, 2015

Preparing for a "Next Generation" Evaluation of Independent Living Programs for Youth in Foster Care (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Mark Courtney, Mike Pergamit, Christopher Lowenstein

Policymakers have long been concerned about the poor outcomes experienced by youth in foster care transitioning to adulthood. Experimental evaluations of independent living programs conducted under the John H Chafee Independence Act found the programs studied showed limited evidence of effectiveness; however, the evaluation made important observations about independent living programs overall and provided guidance for ongoing efforts to improve services for transition-age youth in foster care. This brief presents a conceptual framework, typology, and central conclusions from current planning efforts to develop an agenda for future evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 3: Employment Programs (Research Brief)
Sara Edelstein, Christopher Lowenstein

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why employment services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 2: Financial Literacy and Asset Building Programs (Research Brief)
Sara Edelstein, Christopher Lowenstein

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why financial literacy and asset building services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals (Research Report)
Julia Isaacs, Heather Sandstrom, Monica Rohacek, Christopher Lowenstein, Olivia Healy, Maeve Gearing

The School Readiness Goals and Head Start Program Functioning project examined how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. Based on a telephone survey with 73 grantees and follow-up site visits to 11 grantees, it found that grantees have largely embraced the school readiness goals requirement but were still learning to analyze and interpret school readiness data. It is accompanied by a research brief of the same title.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 29, 2015

Tackling Persistent Poverty in Distressed Urban Neighborhoods (Occasional Paper)
Margery Austin Turner, Peter Edelman, Erika C. Poethig, Laudan Y. Aron, Matthew Rogers A., Christopher Lowenstein

Despite significant civil rights advancements and enormous improvements in the US standard of living over the past half-century, public policies and private initiatives have largely failed to solve the problem of persistent, intergenerational poverty among families living in distressed communities. Persistent intergenerational poverty is a complex and daunting problem that requires action at multiple levels. No single strategy offers a “silver bullet,” but strategies that focus on the places poor families live have an important role to play. This paper summarizes lessons learned and evolving practice in the field of place-based interventions, and it offers a set of guiding principles for child-focused, place-conscious initiatives focused on persistent, intergenerational poverty.

Posted to Web: July 11, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Linking Depressed Mothers to Effective Services and Supports: A Policy and Systems Agenda to Enhance Children's Development and Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect: Summary of the May 2013 Culminating Roundtable (Summary)
Christopher Lowenstein, Olivia Golden, Dina Emam, Marla McDaniel

Untreated maternal depression can have lasting consequences on children’s development and may harm their physical and mental health. While depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses, far too few mothers, particularly low-income mothers, ever receive treatment or support. In Spring 2013, researchers at the Urban Institute convened a group of state and federal policymakers, researchers, policy experts, advocates, philanthropic funders, and practitioners to address this issue and identify promising opportunities for systems and policy change. What emerged were recommendations and practical next steps across and within systems for enhancing services to prevent, identify, and treat low-income mothers with depression.

Posted to Web: October 22, 2013Publication Date: October 03, 2013

Depression in Low-Income Mothers of Young Children: Are They Getting the Treatment They Need? (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Christopher Lowenstein

Maternal depression can have severe and lasting consequences for both a mother and her child. This brief uses the National Survey of Drug Use and Health to estimate the prevalence, severity, and treatment of major depression among low-income mothers with young children (ages 0-5). We find that one out of eleven low-income mothers with young children had a major depressive episode in the past year, and nearly one-third did not report receiving any treatment. While uninsured low-income mothers had much lower treatment rates than insured low-income mothers, rates were comparable across treatment providers, suggesting that Medicaid fills an important gap.

Posted to Web: April 17, 2013Publication Date: April 17, 2013

 

Return to list of authors

Email this Page