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Families and Parenting

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Urban Institute experts study public policies' effects on families and parents. We analyze family-leave policies, public supports for families, and government policies aimed at strengthening marriage. Our Low-Income Working Families project explores the hardships of employed families struggling to make ends meet.

A third of all families with children (13.4 million families) have incomes less than twice the federal poverty line. A sudden job loss or health crisis could derail them. Tax credits, food stamps, child care subsidies, and other work supports help. But they don't always close the gap between earnings and basic needs. Urban Institute analysts have proposed new initiatives to protect low-income working families, and help them get ahead.

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Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children's Defense Fund (Research Report)
Linda Giannarelli, Kye Lippold, Sarah Minton, Laura Wheaton

One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. The Children’s Defense Fund contracted with the Urban Institute to estimate how much child poverty could be reduced by a comprehensive set of policies—increasing the minimum wage, providing transitional jobs, expanding subsidized housing and child care, increasing food assistance, increasing federal income tax credits, and changing how child support is counted in determining benefits. Urban Institute staff analyzed the policies using the TRIM3 microsimulation model. We estimate that the full package of policies would reduce the number of poor children by 60 percent--from 10.9 million to 4.3 million.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 30, 2015

Marital Disruption and Health Insurance (Article)
H. Elizabeth Peters, Kosali Simon, Jamie Rubenstein

Despite the high levels of marital disruption in the United States and the fact that a significant portion of health insurance coverage for those less than age 65 is based on family membership, surprisingly little research is available on the consequences of marital disruption for the health insurance coverage of men, women, and children.

Posted to Web: December 15, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Longitudinal Influences on Men's Lives: Research from the Transition to Fatherhood Project and Beyond (Article)
Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters

In this paper we discuss findings from the Transition to Fatherhood Project, as well as other research, to consider how changes in fatherhood may affect men.

Posted to Web: December 15, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

A Work Tax Credit That Supports Puerto Rico's Working Families (Research Report)
Maria E. Enchautegui

Puerto Rico eliminated its work tax credit (WC) in 2014. The credit, which was established in 2006, delivered benefits to 45 percent of all tax filers in 2013 at a total cost $124 million. The maximum credit was $450. This report assess the experience with the WC from 2007 to 2013 and suggests elements for a possible redesign that rewards and stimulates work, reduces hardship, strengthens the tax base, and offsets regressivity in ways that are consistent with current tax reform proposals in Puerto Rico.

Posted to Web: December 12, 2014Publication Date: December 12, 2014

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2013 (Research Report)
Sarah Minton, Christin Durham, Linda Giannarelli

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables provides tables containing key Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies for each state as of October 1, 2013. The tables are based on information in the CCDF Policies Database, a database tracking child care subsidy policies over time and across the States, D.C., and the Territories. The Book summarizes a subset of the information available in the database, including information about eligibility requirements for families; application, redetermination, priority, and waiting list policies; family copayments; and provider policies and reimbursement rates. The report also includes longitudinal tables showing policies from 2009 through 2013.

Posted to Web: November 20, 2014Publication Date: November 20, 2014

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