Pilot testing is a common practice in human services programs, yet programs can often do more to maximize learning from the experience of trying something new. In particular, a more intentional focus on the underlying program design assumptions and the drivers of good implementation of a new strategy can clarify and strengthen the linkages between a program strategy and its anticipated outcomes. By systematically gathering feedback and analyzing data about the implementation of a new strategy or the contextual factors that might influence outcomes, programs can more precisely identify the…
The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Project team implemented 15 behavioral interventions, involving close to 100,000 clients. This compendium contains all the printed materials that were designed as part of those interventions. (Some interventions included nonprinted components, like robocalls and personal phone calls, which are not reflected in this document.) The interventions contribute to a body of knowledge about what works in human services settings. The BIAS team’s objective in sharing these materials is to assist practitioners and program designers in…
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)
Findings are shared from a longitudinal, qualitative study that examined the links between urban poverty-related conditions and the quality of parent-child relationships in 10 families, specifically the care and protection of infants and toddlers. The effects on parenting of the family cap, subsidized child care, and welfare-to-work requirements are discussed. 22 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 chapter reports on in-depth interviews with 41 current and recent TANF recipients that discussed the various contributions that fathers make to their children, their strengths and limitations as fathers, and the benefits and challenges of their varying levels of participation in family life. It then explores whether mothers’ voices can inform policy options. 1 table and numerous 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.
navy dot iconTraining Materials
In recent years, the field of home visiting has increasingly recognized the importance of fathers. More home visiting programs have begun to provide services to fathers in a conscious and culturally competent manner to ensure best outcomes for children. In order to do this, home visiting programs must make father engagement a key strategy. Given the legacy of home visiting programs in the maternal child health paradigm, not reaching out to fathers is still too common. Many programs in our field continue to ignore fathers to the detriment of the entire family. In our Healthy Families…