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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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Maternal Depression Associated with Less Healthy Dietary Behaviors in Young Children (Research Report)
Tracy Vericker

Maternal depression threatens the well-being of millions of children in the United States and may increase the risk of child obesity. Poor eating habits may be the link between those two conditions. This research brief suggests that young children with mothers reporting depressive symptoms consume more unhealthy foods and beverages and fewer healthy foods and beverages than children with mothers who do not report depressive symptoms.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

The CUNY Fatherhood Academy: A Qualitative Evaluation (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Margaret Simms, William Monson, Erwin de Leon

Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This report summarizes Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

The CUNY Fatherhood Academy: A Qualitative Evaluation: Executive Summary (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Margaret Simms, William Monson, Erwin de Leon

Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This executive summary provides highlights from Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

Helping Families Involved in the Child Welfare System Achieve Housing Stability (Research Report)
Mary K. Cunningham, Mike Pergamit, Abigail Baum, Jessica Luna

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)‘s Family Unification Program (FUP) provides low-income families involved in the child welfare system with housing vouchers. FUP is an important vehicle for understanding three issues: (1) the overlap between the child welfare system, housing, and homelessness; (2) how to provide housing to vulnerable, high-need families; and (3) how to facilitate cross-system partnerships between public housing agencies and child welfare agencies. The Urban Institute studied FUP design and implementation in eight sites and interviewed key staff and stakeholders about the program’s implementation and impact, highlighting common challenges, innovative practices, and system-level impacts.

Posted to Web: February 11, 2015Publication Date: February 11, 2015

Early Implementation Findings from Responsible Fatherhood Reentry Projects (Research Report)
Jocelyn Fontaine, Shelli B. Rossman, Lindsey Cramer, Hannah Dodd, Helen Ho, Jeremy Levy, Dave McClure

The Urban Institute is evaluating the implementation of six Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Projects funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The projects provide soon-to-be and recently released fathers and their families with an array of responsible parenting, healthy relationship, and economic stability services to help stabilize the fathers and their families. Services offered include parenting and relationship classes, financial literacy workshops, domestic violence services, support groups, family activity days, and case management. The pilot projects partner with various criminal justice agencies and community- and faith-based organizations to provide support to fathers and their families.

Posted to Web: February 06, 2015Publication Date: February 06, 2015

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