ACF launched the Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project in September 2015. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of approaches that intentionally combine intensive, high quality, adult-focused services with intensive, high-quality, child-focused programs. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, this project will provide options for evaluating these emerging models. Although there is growing interest in this area, there is not yet sufficient evidence about how these models achieve their goals or the prospect of implementing them at scale.
The project will include:
- a targeted literature review,
- expert consultations, and
- fieldwork to identify and describe program models
That fieldwork will:
- identify program goals and objectives;
- assess how well defined and evaluable the models are;
- engage stakeholders in a discussion regarding the potential evaluation of any of the models; and
- develop options for evaluations that may be feasible, relevant, and useful to ACF and the field.
ACF has a particular interest in these integrated approaches, sometimes called two-generation approaches. Many ACF programs that support vulnerable children and adults either mandate or allow flexibility for providing services for additional family members. For example, since its inception in 1965, Head Start has served both children and parents. The program provides children with enriched learning environments and helps families access the services that will enable them to support their children’s development (e.g., parenting education, social services, health and mental health services).
Other ACF programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and programs under the Office of Community Services provide services to all family members. With growing attention on the newest iterations of integrated programs, this project seeks to begin building the evidence to help these and other programs implement strong approaches to that support parents, children, and families.
This work will complement the OPRE-funded grant program Head Start University Partnerships: Dual-Generation Approaches, within the Division of Child and Family Development. The Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project has a specific focus on the goals of family economic security and well-being.
The points of contact are Carli Wulff and Kathleen Dwyer.