This brief from the Head Start Health Manager Descriptive Study explores family engagement through these research questions: In what ways do Head Start/Early Head Start programs support family engagement in health-related aspects of program services? What are the barriers to family engagement in health-related aspects of program services from the health manager perspective? To what extent do barriers to family engagement differ by program or health manager characteristics and the populations served? What are the implications regarding family engagement for Head Start/Early Head Start health…
Since the 1970s, Americans’ household incomes have become more volatile, fluctuating year-to-year and week-to-week. Increased income volatility is particularly prominent among low-income families, many of whom are served by the U.S. system of means-tested income support programs. These programs provide income, goods, and services to families who prove that their income (and sometimes assets) are low enough to qualify for a particular program and meet other program requirements. At initial application, during benefit receipt, and at recertification periods, each income support program has…
Low-income families face significant challenges navigating both low-wage employment or education and training programs and also finding good-quality child care. Programs that intentionally combine services for parents and children can help families move toward economic security and create conditions that promote child and family well-being. Although these programs in general are not new (see Background), policymakers and program leaders are now experimenting with innovative approaches to combining services. Yet, most currently operating programs, sometimes called “two-generation” or “dual…
The purpose of this research brief is to highlight the unique challenges – and the strengths – of rural communities and provide suggestions for integrating culturally responsive healthy relationship education into existing safety-net services to strengthen rural families in poverty. (Author abstract)
The social safety net is widely recognized as having been quite successful in providing major financial support to low-income families during the Great Recession, one of the most severe economic downturns in modern U.S. history. Safety net expenditures grew in aggregate and were widely distributed to all types of needy families. Before the recession, however, while aggregate transfers to the low-income population also exhibited steady growth, the growth was not equally shared across different types of families. Transfers grew much more for the elderly and disabled relative to the nonelderly…
This chapter draws upon 14 years of related ethnographic studies to uncover the principal features that characterize family life among the poor. Experiences dealing with multiple agencies are discussed, as well as experiences dealing with health problems in the context of the U.S. medical care system, and the aftermaths of household emergencies. 34 references.
This chapter reviews how theorists and policymakers portray the state’s capacity to alter the behavior and beliefs of low income parents and then highlights findings from a study of two women’s experiences in their efforts to find jobs and supportive resources. Finding a job and securing welfare supports were linked to their parenting pathway, however, the mothers’ first concern was their children’s well-being. The chapter concludes by exploring whether the motivating power of raising children might lead to a more effective family policy. 34 references. (Author abstract modified)
This chapter synthesizes the results of both quantitative experimental and qualitative research about how low-income children fare as their mothers spend more time in the labor market and attempt to strike a new balance between work and parenting. Findings indicate policies that effectively increase parental income as they increase employment improve the well-being of young children and are the most promising for helping families cope. Numerous references.
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The majority of teen pregnancy literature and practice is deficit based, focusing on the consequences of teen pregnancy; significantly less research is devoted to the teens’ strengths. This article discusses the strengths-based perspective as a viable framework for clinicians and school social workers to implement to help teen parents and their families ameliorate some of the challenges they encounter. This article emphasizes the importance of clinicians, school social workers, and the community to adopt a strengths-based perspective when working with teen parents in order to cultivate…
This brief, one of three in a series, describes the key strategies Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project (Fatherhood Reentry) programs used to provide responsible parenting activities to participating fathers and their families. The brief also provides recommendations, based on an implementation study of the Fatherhood Reentry programs, for practitioners implementing responsible parenting activities for the reentry population. (Author abstract)