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Families and Parenting

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Urban Institute experts study public policies' effects on families and parents. We analyze family-leave policies, public supports for families, and government policies aimed at strengthening marriage. Our Low-Income Working Families project explores the hardships of employed families struggling to make ends meet.

A third of all families with children (13.4 million families) have incomes less than twice the federal poverty line. A sudden job loss or health crisis could derail them. Tax credits, food stamps, child care subsidies, and other work supports help. But they don't always close the gap between earnings and basic needs. Urban Institute analysts have proposed new initiatives to protect low-income working families and help them get ahead.

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The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2013 (Research Report)
Sarah Minton, Christin Durham, Linda Giannarelli

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables provides tables containing key Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies for each state as of October 1, 2013. The tables are based on information in the CCDF Policies Database, a database tracking child care subsidy policies over time and across the States, D.C., and the Territories. The Book summarizes a subset of the information available in the database, including information about eligibility requirements for families; application, redetermination, priority, and waiting list policies; family copayments; and provider policies and reimbursement rates. The report also includes longitudinal tables showing policies from 2009 through 2013.

Posted to Web: November 20, 2014Publication Date: November 20, 2014

Supportive Housing for High-Need Families in the Child Welfare System (Research Report)
Mary K. Cunningham, Mike Pergamit, Marla McDaniel, Maeve Gearing, Simone Zhang, Brent Howell

Supportive Housing is an intervention that combines affordable housing with intensive wrap around services. The intervention has been successful with hard to serve populations, such as chronically homeless adults. Communities are testing the efficacy of supportive housing with high-need child welfare families to learn if providing supportive housing helps improve outcomes for children and families, spend taxpayer dollars more wisely, and lead to long-lasting systems change and service integration. The Partnership to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System is a federal demonstration investigating these important questions. This brief describes the purpose and design of the demonstration and profiles the five program sites.

Posted to Web: November 12, 2014Publication Date: November 13, 2014

Designing a Home Visiting Framework for Families in Public and Mixed-Income Communities (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Caroline Heller, Gina Adams, Susan J. Popkin

Though young children in public and mixed-income housing are exposed to some of the deepest poverty and developmental and educational risks in the United States, they are usually out of reach of many interventions that might help. Home visiting programs hold promise for helping vulnerable families, but most are not designed to fully address the needs of public and mixed-income housing residents. This brief describes important issues that program planners and early childhood leaders should consider when designing appropriate and responsive home visiting programs that reach young children in these communities.

Posted to Web: October 30, 2014Publication Date: October 30, 2014

Small-Dollar Credit: Consumer Needs and Industry Challenges (Summary)
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Caleb Quakenbush

Managing finances can be a tightrope walk, especially for low- and moderate-income families. To deal with these challenges, many households turn to expensive small-dollar credit. This brief, based on a convening of 25 small-dollar credit researchers, credit union experts, and bank representatives, discusses the opportunities and challenges of providing small-dollar credit products. Ability to repay, flexibility, and transparency are important features for consumer success. Products that bundle credit with savings provide pathways to greater financial stability. Small loan amounts, the costs of underwriting and servicing loans, and regulatory and reputational risks pose challenges to providers.

Posted to Web: October 28, 2014Publication Date: October 28, 2014

CHIPRA Mandated Evaluation of the Children's Health Insurance Program: Final Findings (Research Report)
Genevieve M. Kenney, Lisa Clemans-Cope, Ian Hill, Stacey McMorrow, Jennifer M. Haley, Timothy Waidmann, Sarah Benatar, Matthew Buettgens, Victoria Lynch, Nathaniel Anderson, Additional Authors

This report presents findings from an evaluation of CHIP mandated by CHIPRA and patterned after an earlier evaluation. Some of the evaluation findings are at the national level, while others focus on the 10 states selected for more intensive study: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The evaluation included a large survey conducted in 2012 of CHIP enrollees and disenrollees in the 10 states, and Medicaid enrollees and disenrollees in three of these states. It also included case studies conducted in each of the 10 survey states in 2012 and a national telephone survey of CHIP administrators conducted in early 2013.

Posted to Web: October 24, 2014Publication Date: August 01, 2014

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