From Safety Net to Solid Ground offers local, state, and federal policymakers, advocates, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders several resources, including timely, rigorous analyses of potential changes to federal safety net programs. The initiative provides insights into how states manage change and employ administrative flexibility, evidence on how policy changes are implemented in communities, and an assessment of Americans' health and wellbeing.
Many families involved in the child welfare system face deep and persistent poverty, depression and mental illness, domestic violence, and drug addiction. Homelessness and unstable housing—which increase financial, mental, and physical stressors on children and parents—often amplify these intense needs. Families sleeping in cars, garages, homeless shelters, or doubled up in untenable situations often wind up “in the system” and at risk of separation. Promising evidence from a supportive housing pilot program in New York City led the Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau to fund a five-site supportive housing demonstration called “Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System.” The Urban Institute is part of a collaborative effort to evaluate this demonstration. We examine how supportive housing affects housing stability, child welfare involvement, and child, parent, and family well-being.
Assets for Independence Follow-Up Evaluation
The Assets for Independence Follow-Up Evaluation continues the work begun under the Assets for Independence Evaluation, which determined short-term impacts of individual development account programs on individuals randomly assigned to participate. This evaluation will measure impacts at three and five years post-random assignment.
Barriers to Racial Equity
The Urban Institute seeks to establish indicators in the area of access to economic opportunity that provide a baseline understanding of the degree of racial inequality in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region.
The Urban Institute is working to identify high-leverage policy and program interventions to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color to inform the My Brothers’ Keeper initiative at the White House.
This ongoing project examines the intersection of child care with workforce development and postsecondary education systems, policies, and practices, and the implications for low-income, low-skilled parents seeking education and training.
In cooperation with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, the Urban Institute and its partners have built competency-based frameworks for registered apprenticeships in a wide array of occupations. They provide a framework for various occupations and apprenticeships that employers, educators, workforce agencies, and community-based organizations can use to fast-track the development of registered apprenticeships. Unlike existing approaches to registering programs, these frameworks are not linked to any one employer, region, educator, or industry. They are not proprietary and are available as a tool to all.
This evaluation will describe the CUNY Fatherhood Academy and identify program features and practices associated with positive outcomes for participants.
This project will develop an empirically informed and practically relevant knowledgebase regarding important determinants of subsidy stability and child care continuity and the links between the two.
Effects of Immigration Policy on Inequality Among Children in the United States
In this project, we are creating a year-by-year database of state policies toward immigrants and using that database to test how state policies affect immigrant families’ economic well-being.
Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents: Analysis of DAPA's Potential Effects on Families and Children
This project explores the demographic and economic characteristics of families who are likely to be affected by Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).
Evaluation of Adult Basic Education (ABE) to Credentials
This evaluation will generate rigorous evidence for state and federal policymakers, college administrators, funders, and other stakeholders on the effectiveness of Accelerating Opportunity, an initiative to implement integrated college and career pathway designs to improve the educational and employment outcomes of ABE and English as a second language students and develop more cost-effective service models.
The project evaluates the Designation Renewal System and examines its role in improving quality in Head Start and Early Head Start.
In this set of projects, we use data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education to learn more about the intersections of early care and education quality, access, and funding. We hope these explorations will inform debates about state and federal policies, procedures, and funding that support children’s development and parents’ employment. We also hope our findings and reflections inspire other researchers to build upon our work.
In collaboration with Child Trends and with funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services, this study offers the first comprehensive assessment of existing evidence on family interventions as an effective tool to reduce youth homelessness.
First Marriage Rates and Nonmarital First Births among US Women
This project assesses how declining rates of first marriage contribute to rising proportions of nonmarital first births, with a special focus on whether cohabiting might be replacing marriage as a context for entry into parenthood.
Health of the States
The Urban Institute is raising awareness about factors accounting for a cross-state variability in health status and in the contributory role of determinants of health.
Home Visiting- Career Trajectories
This project explores the state of the early childhood home visiting workforce, the characteristics, qualifications, and career pathways of home visiting staff, and strategies to build a pipeline of high-quality home visitors and supervisors across the United States.
Identifying Issues and Options to Understand TANF-Compatible Outcome Measures for Employment Services
This project provides crucial new information on how selected TANF programs currently estimate reliable employment outcomes and explores the issues and options related to the development of an employment-related outcome performance measurement system for TANF, including options to improve coordination between TANF and WIOA performance measurement systems.
Implications of Immigration Enforcement for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families
This project explores how immigration enforcement activities, particularly detention and deportation policies, may be affecting the well-being of children in immigrant families, most of whom are US-citizen children.
We are cutting across disciplines to understand families, communities, and the public systems that influence kids’ well-being and success.
A series of annual reports, Kids' Share looks at trends in federal and state spending and tax expenditures on children—the kids' share of public spending.
The Urban Institute is studying the economic security and well-being of low-income working families.
Maine Preschool Expansion Grant Evaluation
This evaluation examines the implementation of Maine's preschool expansion efforts and the associations between preschool participation and child outcomes.
Opportunities for Youth: Demonstration and Evaluation, Disconnected Youth
This random assignment evaluation is identifying and assessing promising service delivery strategies for youth who are disconnected from work, school, and sometimes family.
Our experts inform, analyze, and evaluate wealth-building programs and policies, and recommend ways to improve low- and moderate-income families’ access to safe, affordable credit and financial products. We examine how existing polices can be more inclusive and how new policies can remove barriers to building wealth.
Phase II Immigrant Pre-K Access
This project aims to support the school readiness of children of immigrants by creating a data tool to examine national patterns of preschool participation and collecting insights from family and stakeholder interviews in multiple sites focused on effective outreach strategies.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services
With funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Urban Institute is working to better understand racial and ethnic disparities in human services. In the second phase of this project, we will design a plan for future in-depth analysis of racial and ethnic disparities in access to and take-up of services, the nature and quality of services, and outcomes.
Same-Sex Relationships: Updates to Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programming (SUHMRE)
In this project, we will collect data from key stakeholders to recommend adaptations in program structure and curricular content in Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education programming to make such programming and curricula inclusive of same-sex couples and lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
This project explores how Head Start grantees develop and use school-readiness goals.
Urban Institute researchers are investigating how social, behavioral, and economic factors affect health and health disparities.
Supporting and Learning from CCDBG Implementation Research and Evaluation
This project will support state child care agencies in planning and conducting rigorous research as they adopt new policies and initiatives in response to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization of 2014.
System and Outcomes Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) to Serve TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Individuals
The Urban Institute and Abt Associates are conducting a national evaluation of HPOG, a program to provide low-income individuals with training and support needed to find and keep employment in health care occupations and fill the growing demand for skilled health care workers.
Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Urban Institute is conducting quantitative and qualitative research to advance understanding of the patterns, causes, and costs of participant “churn” in SNAP.
If left untreated, maternal depression poses damage to young children's development. This project aimed to help policymakers improve systems and policies that affect mothers' receipt of effective treatment. Researchers examined state policy choices in Medicaid and CHIP, links between maternal depression and children's nutrition, and innovative approaches in WIC to support depressed mothers.
The Role of Stability in Children's Success
The Urban Institute held an exploratory convening bringing together experts and thought leaders across research, policy, and practice to explore what we know and need to learn to better support stability for children and families.
The goal of the evaluation was to identify participant experiences of the program, as well as any outcomes with regard to risky behavior, sexual health, and academic achievements.