Senior Research Associate
Center on Labor, Human Services and Population
Marla McDaniel's research focuses on family resources, social policies, race, and their influence on child and adult health and well-being. Prior to joining the Urban Institute, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She received her doctorate in human development and social policy from Northwestern University.
HOST: Can Public Housing be a Platform for Change? (Series/HOST)
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Building on research in distressed public housing communities, we argue for a new approach to addressing the worst consequences of concentrated poverty and helping families move toward self-sufficiency. We introduce the Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) demonstration, a two-generation, whole family service model that uses public and mixed-income housing as a platform for intensive, wraparound services. We describe how HOST encapsulates lessons learned from studying federal housing policies, challenges that make reversing chronic disadvantage so difficult, and our theoretical framework for fostering change. We outline HOST's research design in four sites: Chicago, New York, Portland, and Washington, D.C.
Serving HOST Families: The Challenges to Overcome (Series/HOST)
|Posted to Web: December 03, 2013||Publication Date: November 20, 2013|
HOST's diverse parents struggle with significant barriers to employment, including low levels of education and literacy, chronic mental and physical health problems, and histories of trauma and violence. As a result, many HOST parents cycle in and out of the labor market or languish in low-wage jobs. Under these circumstances, HOST families do their best to get by, but often have to make hard choices between paying rent and utilities and buying essentials like food. This brief provides an in-depth profile of HOST families to set the scene for the changes we hope to see over the demonstration’s duration.
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)
|Posted to Web: November 15, 2013||Publication Date: November 06, 2013|
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.
HOST Year 2: Implementation and Expansion (Series/HOST)
|Posted to Web: October 22, 2013||Publication Date: October 03, 2013|
Housing Opportunity and Services Together (HOST), launched by the Urban Institute with the support of the Open Society Foundations in December 2010, is an innovative approach to coordinating services and programs for adults and youth in public and mixed-income housing. HOST's core case management component helps parents in low-income neighborhoods confront their key barriers to self-sufficiency—poor physical and mental health, addictions, low literacy and educational attainment, and historically weak connections to the labor force—while simultaneously integrating services for children and youth.
Disconnected Mothers and the Well-Being of Children: A Research Report (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: May 28, 2013||Publication Date: May 28, 2013|
Considerable research attention has been devoted to low-income mothers disconnected from both work and welfare. This body of work has rarely highlighted disconnected mothers' roles as parents and has remained virtually silent about the experiences and well-being of their children. This paper synthesizes research findings to show that many of the circumstances disconnected mothers face pose major risks to children's development and potentially serious consequences for children. We describe potential interventions to help disconnected families by increasing and stabilizing family income, enhancing parenting skills, supporting children directly, and reaching out to disconnected mothers who are not citizens.
Depression in Low-Income Mothers of Young Children: Are They Getting the Treatment They Need? (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: May 07, 2013||Publication Date: May 07, 2013|
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.
Providing Medicaid to Youth Formerly in Foster Care Under the Chafee Option : Informing Implemention of the Affordable Care Act (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 17, 2013||Publication Date: April 17, 2013|
This report draws lessons from 30 states' implementation of existing optional Medicaid coverage for youth who age out of foster care and applies them to decisions and plans states will consider as they implement new ACA coverage that goes into effect in 2014. Wide variations in how states have implemented the socalled Chafee Option are focused on eligibility criteria, enrollment processes, and recertification processes. States' implementation choices had implications for the frequency with which youth enroll in Medicaid coverage after foster care and in their continuity of coverage over time.
Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Management of Childhood Asthma in the United States. (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 01, 2013||Publication Date: November 01, 2012|
We used data from the National Health Interview Survey to examine racial and ethnic differences in the management of childhood asthma - including the likelihood that children with asthma have taken preventive medicine, received an asthma management plan, or taken a class or course on treating asthma. We found significant differences between African-American, white, non-Hispanic, Mexican American, and Puerto Rican and other Hispanic children. We discuss implications for public health responses and racial and ethnic disparities in asthma morbidity.
Housing Assistance for Youth Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care: The Role of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 01, 2013||Publication Date: October 01, 2012|
Each year the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program provides $140 million for independent living services to assist youth as they age out of foster care and enter adulthood. Under this formula grant program, states are provided allocations and allowed to use up to 30 percent of program funds for room and board for youth ages 18 to 21 who have left care. This report describes how states are using these funds to provide housing assistance to these vulnerable youth and explores how the assistance provided through this program fits in with other sources of housing assistance available in the states examined.
What Does a High School Diploma Get You? Employment, Race, and the Transition to Adulthood (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: April 01, 2013||Publication Date: May 01, 2012|
We compared the employment of African American and white youth as they transitioned to adulthood from age 18 to 22, focusing on high school graduates and high school dropouts who did not attend college. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, we found significant differences in labor market participation by race and education. Among key findings, African American high school graduates worked as much and sometimes less than white high school dropouts. Findings suggest however, that the improved labor market participation associated with a high school diploma is higher over time for African Americans than for white youth.
|Posted to Web: April 01, 2013||Publication Date: October 09, 2012|
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