Our Impact

The Center for Child and Family Policy was founded as part of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in 1999, with the goal of bringing the knowledge and research of the university to bear on issues of importance in child and family policy. At its founding, CCFP was charged by the Sanford School dean to "Make a difference!" For more than 20 years, CCFP has done so with many notable successes, including:

  • CCFP is home to Parenting Across Cultures, Fast Track, and other longitudinal studies which have been tracking the development of children and families over many years. These studies have provided a foundation for numerous studies on development from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.
  • Building trauma-informed organizations and care provision through professional development and coaching/mentoring for early care and education providers and K-12 educators in North Carolina.
  • Studying the impact of both broad social policies, such as WIC, SNAP and Medicaid, as well as more targeted policies, such as cash payments to low-income families, on child and family poverty and inequality in the United States.
  • Partnering with state and local social services agencies to support implementation and evaluation of new practices in child welfare. From helping shape the state’s move to the more family-centered Multiple Response System to current evaluations of the Family Centered Treatment model on youth, family and cost outcomes, relative to out-of-home placements.
  • Developing and piloting Family Connects, a universal home visiting model shown to increase families’ connections to community agencies, improve parenting behavior, and reduce emergency health care utilization, costs, and child abuse. Today, Family Connects is an evidence-based home visiting model used in communities and states across the U.S.
  • Documenting the economic and family well-being impacts of the COVID-19 among U.S. hourly service workers and their children and in other areas.
  • Facilitating research on pressing education issues by researchers both at Duke and other universities through a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to create the North Carolina Education Data Research Center (NCEDRC). Notably, CCFP researchers have used NCEDRC to show the positive impact of North Carolina’s early care and education investments on student outcomes in later years.
  • Educating future researchers, policymakers & advocates through a variety of opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels including courses, research opportunities, and fellowships.

Longitudinal Studies

Researchers at the Center for Child and Family Policy have designed and implemented, often in partnership with researchers at other universities, longitudinal studies researching that examine how biological, cultural and familial processes impact child and youth development.

Family Connects International

The Center's long history of strong community-research partnerships, development of research-based strategies to promote positive outcomes for children and families, top-notch researchers, and strong research infrastructure have supported Family Connects from its conception to its development into a proven evidence-based supporting families in communities across the US.

NC Education Research Data Center

For more than twenty years, the successful partnership between CCFP and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has facilitated research on pressing education issues by researchers both at Duke and other universities.