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Two Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes

December 1, 2015

Both the Two-Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes roundtable and this brief explore policy and practice reforms that can improve opportunities for parents and children in immigrant families. To generate rich thinking about the possibilities, the roundtable brought together experts in the fields of early childhood education, workforce, two-generational policies, and immigrant rights. Participants included federal and state policymakers, community-based practitioners, researchers, advocates, and foundation leaders from all of these fields and from 10 states who came together for two days of discussion about opportunities, challenges, and action steps to better serve immigrant families. Several participants highlighted the extraordinary nature of this opportunity to connect across the different worlds, given how few opportunities they typically have to collaborate and be more intentional in meeting the needs of both parents and children in immigrant families. The goal of the discussion was to share information and perspectives from different areas of expertise across policy and practice and to generate a rich and practical set of action ideas, not necessarily to create consensus among participants.

New Perspectives on Transforming States' Health and Human Services: Practical Commentaries on the First Year of the Work Support Strategies Initiative

June 5, 2013

Millions of low-income working families in America today are struggling to make ends meet. While working hard, often in low-wage jobs, many of these families are living close to the edge of hardship and have little or no resources to fall back on in case of emergencies. Public benefit programs can make a huge difference in the well-being of these working families, providing help with food, child care, and health insurance expenses. These programs help families address immediate needs and weather short-term crises, such as repairing a car needed to get to work or dealing with an unexpected health problem. They can make it possible for families to hold onto their jobs in these emergencies, stabilizing employment and keeping families from falling further into poverty. Yet many families that are eligible for public benefit programs do not participate. Although the recession and its aftermath led to unprecedented increases in receipt of nutrition assistance through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the latest data (from 2010) show that only 65 percent of the eligible working poor are participating. Similarly, of all children eligible for public health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, only 86 percent are participating. The participation rate for public health insurance for parents is only 66 percent. And, these participation rates vary widely across states.The Work Support Strategies, or WSS, Initiative is motivated by the value public benefit programs can provide to working families and the belief that the states and localities administering these programs can improve how eligible families access and retain these benefits. In the first year of the demonstration, nine states took on the challenge of streamlining, integrating, and improving the provision of work support benefits through their SNAP, Medicaid, and child care programs (and, in some states, additional programs such as heating assistance and cash welfare). While most states hope their efforts will also reduce burden on caseworkers and administrative costs in these systems, all are motivated to improve the lives of the families they serve.

Early Lessons from the Work Support Strategies Initiative: Planning and Piloting Health and Human Services Integration in Nine States

March 1, 2013

In 2011, nine states -- Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Rhode Island -- received one-year planning grants under the Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative to help them improve their systems for connecting low-income families to work support benefits. These planning grants were the first phase of WSS, a multiyear initiative to help selected states test and implement more effective and integrated approaches to delivering key work supports, including health coverage, nutrition benefits, and child care subsidies. The idea behind the project was that more streamlined and modernized processes could help low-income working families get and keep the full package of work support benefits for which they are eligible. In turn, having the full package of benefits can stabilize families' work lives and promote children's health and well-being. Streamlining benefit delivery can also reduce the burden on state workers by further stretching states' scarce administrative dollars and potentially saving money. This report summarizes the lessons learned from the nine planning grant states, just one year into a four-year project. Future reports from the evaluation will follow the six states that continued into the three-year implementation phase (Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina). We will document their implementation experiences and track results for families and for state administrative efficiency. In a subset of the states, the evaluation team will also analyze the impact WSS had on those results.

Today's Children, Tomorrow's America: Six Experts Face the Facts

October 31, 2011

Compiles essays about trends in family structure; how federal, state, and local budget deficits and projected cuts affect child poverty rates and health; and their long-term implications of reduced investment in children. Includes policy recommendations.

Improving the Lives of Young Children: Meeting Parents' Health and Mental Health Needs Through Medicaid and CHIP So Children Can Thrive

March 15, 2011

Outlines options for two-generational service delivery to help address parental health issues, especially depression, and minimize developmental or behavioral problems in their children when the parents are ineligible for or not enrolled in Medicaid.

Home Visiting and Maternal Depression: Seizing the Opportunities to Help Mothers and Young Children

March 14, 2011

Outlines the prevalence of maternal depression, treatment, and effect on children; mothers' views of depression; guidance on how home visiting programs could better identify and address the needs of depressed mothers; and lessons from existing programs.

Assessing the Evidence About Work Support Benefits and Low-Income Families

February 24, 2011

Reviews research on factors affecting participation in work supports such as Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, and childcare subsidy programs; the programs' payoff, and state benefits of modernized delivery systems.

Travelers' Philanthropy Handbook

February 22, 2011

Offers a detailed guide to contributing time, talent, and treasure to local projects beyond what is generated via normal tourism. Profiles various organizations' approaches and best practices for businesses, communities and local groups, and travelers.

Young Children of Immigrants and the Path to Educational Success

October 31, 2010

Summarizes June 2010 discussions on the needs of immigrant children age 3 to 8 and policy opportunities. Examines access to high-quality early care and education and elementary education for English language learners, as well as parent-focused strategies.

Infants of Depressed Mothers Living in Poverty: Opportunities to Identify and Serve

August 25, 2010

Examines the prevalence of depression among mothers in poverty by race/ethnicity, age, family structure, prenatal care and feeding practices, and factors such as domestic violence. Explores intervention points and policy initiatives for support services.

Next Steps for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

March 12, 2010

Examines trends in the state programs' caseloads, eligibility rules, and characteristics of families receiving assistance. Presents experts' views on lessons from the recession and insights into funding, TANF's role in the safety net, and reauthorization.

Intentions and Results: A Look Back at the Adoption and Safe Families Act

December 1, 2009

Compiles papers and policy briefs examining the intended and unintended consequences for children, families, and the child welfare system of the 1997 law to prioritize child safety in case decision making and connect children to permanent families.