News Feature

Dodge Testifies about Family Connects' Positive Outcomes

Kenneth Dodge, Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, testified before the personnel subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the results of the Family Connects program and the potential benefits of that nurse home visiting program for military communities across the nation. You can read his remarks here and view his comments on C-Span by clicking the link below.

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Federal Grant Invests $4 Million in Durham County to Improve Early Childhood Social-Emotional Development

Two women help young child with a worksheet September 16, 2019

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded a five-year grant in support of a project that aims to build systems that foster healthy development and wellness for all young children in Durham County. The Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY) project will be evaluated by the Center for Child and Family Policy. Nicole Lawrence and Liz Snyder-Fickler will conduct the evaluation. Other organizations partnering on the project include the Center for Child and Family Health, Child Care Services Association, Duke Children’s Primary Care, Exchange Family Center and Families Moving Forward.

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New Guidance: The Early Truancy Prevention Project

Photo of elementary school students climbing on to a school bus. September 10, 2019

A 2017 study from the Center for Child and Family Policy found a pilot program reduced the number of elementary students who were frequently absent by 10 percent. The Early Truancy Prevention Program (ETPP), developed by Philip Cook, Kenneth Dodge, Elizabeth Gifford and Amy Schulting, is among the first programs for primary school students that has been effective in improving absenteeism rates.

In a new companion paper to the study, the authors provide a more detailed description of the program and its key components. They also offer more information about how the program was developed and share survey results from the teachers who participated in the program.

This resource is intended to provide analysis and support to education systems for effective implementation of the ETPP in schools. The paper is meant for education policymakers and practitioners.

Duke Researchers Awarded ABC Thrive Grant for Prevention of Child Maltreatment

September 9, 2019

All Babies and Children Thrive (ABC Thrive), an initiative of Bass Connections, has awarded $300,000 over two years to an interdisciplinary team of Duke faculty working to identify opportunities to prevent child maltreatment in the health and social services systems.

CCFP’s Beth Gifford, Principal Investigator, and Liz Snyder-Fickler are collaborating with Lindsay Terrell and Jillian Hurst (School of Medicine, Pediatrics) to lead this project, which aims to investigate the interactions between healthcare providers and local agencies for children who have experienced maltreatment to understand the markers of children who are at risk.

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Parental Incarceration Increases Children’s Risk of Substance Abuse, Anxiety in Adulthood

August 23, 2019

Children of incarcerated parents are six times more likely than other children to develop a substance use disorder as adults and nearly twice as likely to have diagnosable anxiety, according to new research from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.

In addition, children whose parents were incarcerated are more likely to encounter significant hurdles transitioning into adulthood, including being charged with a felony (35% vs. 11.5%), dropping out of high school (25.5% vs. 5.0%), becoming a teenage parent (14.3% vs. 2.8%), experiencing financial strain (37.2% vs. 17.5%), and being socially isolated (24.5% vs. 9.4%), the study found.

For more information on the study and key findings, access the news release or download the full report.

My plea to 2020 candidates: Talk less about student loans, much more about the very young

Photo of Kenneth A. Dodge, the founding director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy July 30, 2019

In an op-ed in USA Today, Kenneth Dodge urges 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to focus more on infants and young children when it comes to investing in families: “As we lean in to election season, candidates are vying for votes by appealing to families. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want to cancel college loan debt. Sen. Cory Booker supports baby bonds, which are really young-adult bonds that provide a gift of up to $46,000 when a child turns 18. It is time candidates listen to what families really want and need: support for raising their babies and young children in the first five years of life.”

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New Study Sheds Light on Varying Degrees of Food Insecurity Among Low-Income Families

Two young girls staring into empty fridge July 9, 2019

Food insecurity is often thought of as a state of economic well-being, with families being categorized as either food secure or insecure. However, a new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University sheds light on the varying degrees to which low-income families experience food insecurity on a day to day basis. Published online in the Journal of Marriage and Family on July 9, the study, co-authored by Anna Gassman-Pines, leveraged daily survey reports from a sample of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient parents with young children to examine daily variability in food insecurity within the SNAP benefit cycle. Based on the survey results and analysis, the study concludes that SNAP recipients experience considerable instability in their food insecurity from one day to the next, and that the severity of recipients’ daily food insecurity is higher at the end of the SNAP month than at the beginning. These findings add to growing evidence that SNAP benefits may not be sufficient to many families. For more information on the study and key findings, access the news release or download the full report.

 

Cooper boosts parental leave for 56,000 state employees

Mother and Father happily cuddling infant June 5, 2019

A recent study from the Center for Child and Family Policy about paid family leave in North Carolina is connected to Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order creating a paid parental leave benefit for most N.C. state employees. The study, co-authored by Anna Gassman-Pines and Liz Ananat, showed paid family leave insurance in North Carolina would reduce infant mortality, nursing home costs, and use of state government assistance. The signing of the executive order comes two months after the release of the study report. Findings from the report were also referenced during the signing ceremony.

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Virtual Pre-K? General Assembly considers controversial proposal for NC experiment

Photo of Kenneth A. Dodge, the founding director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy April 18, 2019

Kenneth Dodge was quoted in NC Policy Watch about a controversial proposal recently introduced by North Carolina lawmakers that would offer state-funded online preschool for low-income families. In the article, Dodge says that North Carolina’s four-year-olds would be better served by more preschool seats than an online school.

“My hypothesis is that it would be a failure because the value in Pre-K is less about the skill-learning in reading and math and more about skill-learning in social-emotional domains such as self-regulation, turn-taking, cooperation, waiting in line, social problem-solving, relating to peers and adults, and the other behaviors involved in going to school,” states Dodge. “I think the state’s response to the shortage of preschool seats should be to increase the number of preschool seats.

NC Policy Watch »