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…
Integrating financial security services into workforce development programs can achieve more impactwithout requiring significantly extra cost and time. Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) and TheFinancial Clinic (the Clinic) have partnered to analyze the impacts of financial security services onworkforce development programs, with results released in four upcoming issue briefs. (Author abstract)
Low-skilled men, especially minorities, typically work at low levels and provide little support for their children. Conservatives blame this on government willingness to support families, which frees the fathers from responsibility, while liberals say that men are denied work by racial bias or the economy--either a lack of jobs or low wages, which depress the incentive to work. The evidence for all these theories is weak. Thus, changing program benefits or incentives is unlikely to solve the men's work problem. More promising is the idea of linking assistance with administrative requirements…
Brief, NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
Roughly one in five people and more than one in 10 men between the ages of 18 and 44 in the United States live in rural communities. Although rural and urban fathers are similar in many ways, there are significant differences shaping their lives and opportunities that have implications for fatherhood programs. For instance, program staff working in rural communities often report that higher rates of unemployment, lower educational attainment, limited job opportunities, and lack of transportation translate to challenges that are difficult to address and unique to rural communities. This…
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 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.
A study used qualitative methods to explore the specific mechanisms and processes through which poverty and welfare changes affected 186 low-income families with young children. Particular attention was paid to the relative influences of factors related to welfare reform, family financial resources, and characteristics associated with parent, child, and family functioning. Case studies are offered. 26 references.
This final chapter reviews major findings from qualitative studies of low-income families facing a new policy environment that calls for women to work outside the home in addition to managing the second shift of work inside the home. Findings indicate women continue to put their children’s needs above paid employment, few women experience real economic gains by increased work participation, and children’s well-being appears to be buffered and advanced by women’s well-being, social support, and parenting quality. 39 references.
This brief, one of three in a series, describes activities the Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project (Fatherhood Reentry) programs used to foster economic stability for participating fathers and their families. The brief presents recommendations, based on an implementation study of the Fatherhood Reentry projects, for practitioners implementing economic stability activities for the reentry population. (Author abstract)
As part of the "Looking Forward" series, which provides policymakers with memos that suggest ways to make progress on critical issues, MDRC presents the topic of balancing welfare support for poor families and children with promoting self-sufficiency through work.