Research

Policy Briefs

Families and Parenting
Poverty and Inequality
Race Equity

Net Worth Poverty and Child Development

These findings provide evidence that net worth poverty has negative associations with children’s development. Net worth poverty predicts lower reading and applied problem scores and increased behavioral problems.

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K-12 Education
Poverty and Inequality

Measuring Educational Opportunity in North Carolina Public School Districts

This research brief examines two measures of educational opportunity in North Carolina public school districts, average achievement and achievement growth. The first measure— average achievement—indexes the average level of student achievement at a single point in time. The second measure—achievement growth—indexes the rate of growth in student achievement over time.

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Child Welfare
Families and Parenting
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer

Behavioral economics (BE) combines economics with social psychology and cognitive decision-making to offer a broader framework for understanding factors that affect people’s decisions and actions. It provides a way to examine how decisions can be shaped not only by information and costs but by how choices are designed, as well as the context and circumstances of the moment in which decisions are made.

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Early Care and Education
K-12 Education

The Benefits of Early Childhood Education Can Persist in the Long Run

This brief examines how the benefits of high-quality ECE might simultaneously diminish and persist in the long run. Strategies are then discussed to sustain the impacts of ECE during elementary school.

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Poverty and Inequality
Race Equity

Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty

This brief summarizes the findings from Net Worth Poverty in Child Households by Race and Ethnicity, 1989–2019 in the Journal of Marriage and the Family and offers historical context for U.S. policies that have contributed to racial and ethnic differences in net worth poverty in child households.

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COVID-19
Poverty and Inequality

Improving Access to Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs

Participants of the study pointed to a number of actionable recommendations to increase program participation and enhance the participant experience in the nutrition assistance programs SNAP and WIC: Federal and state WIC programs should strengthen vendor management to improve the shopping experience. State and local agencies should develop peer programs to educate WIC participants on…

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Families and Parenting
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Impacts of Heightened Immigration Enforcement on U.S. Citizens’ Birth Outcomes

Key Takeaways: Harsher immigration law enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement leads to decreased use of prenatal care for foreign-born mothers and declines in birth weight. The uptick in ICE activities under the Trump administration may have long-lasting, harmful effects on U.S.-born citizens. Sheriffs and local governments should terminate their 287(g) agreements with ICE…

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Early Care and Education

Promoting and Protecting Early Relational Health For Infants & Toddlers in Child Care

The science that informs best practice in early intervention, early childhood education, and early childhood mental health is clear: the most important resource infants and toddlers have is the relationships they develop with adult caregivers. For young children in child care programs, relationships with their teachers are a resource they depend on.

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K-12 Education
Race Equity

Equity and Access in Gifted Education: An Examination within North Carolina

The disproportionality between the representation of white students and students of color in gifted education programs is both persistent and pervasive. Attempts over the years to remedy the issue have done little to narrow this disparity.

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COVID-19
K-12 Education
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Social and Emotional Learning During COVID-19 and Beyond: Why It Matters and How to Support It

Social and emotional development was in peril prior to the pandemic. After this time apart, it will take systematic, intentional, and intensive efforts to get social and emotional learning back on track.

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Poverty and Inequality
Race Equity
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Reimagining Policing: How Community-Led Interventions Can Improve Outcomes for Domestic Violence and Mental Health Calls

In response to police killings of Black people and the ensuing protests that took place in communities across the country in 2020, media coverage in North Carolina and in much of the nation this past year has focused heavily on instances of police violence and the protests and counterprotests that have since occurred throughout the…

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COVID-19
Families and Parenting
Poverty and Inequality

Working Families’ Experiences of the Enduring COVID Crisis: Snapshot from Midsummer

Key Takeaways: Economic instability remains high among hourly service workers — from both job and household income loss. Food insecurity has increased significantly among working families. Safety net programs can help families maintain their incomes and reduce food insecurity, however benefits are not reaching everyone. Keeping vulnerable families afloat during the pandemic will require policymakers…

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Child Welfare
Families and Parenting

Reframing Law Enforcement’s Approach to Domestic Violence Calls

The Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy partnered with the Durham Crisis Response Center, the Exchange Family Center, the Center for Child and Family Health, and the Durham County Department of Social Services to create the Durham Integrated Domestic Violence Response System (DIDVRS). DIDVRS is an evidence-based, community-led approach to more appropriately address…

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COVID-19
K-12 Education

Connecting with K-12 Students During COVID-19: Findings and Recommendations from a Survey of North Carolina Teachers

This brief uses data from a survey of educators in nine districts participating in the North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project on the challenges of remote learning and education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers recommendations for improving educational equity during remote learning, addressing the following areas: technology access, availability of adult support, student well-being,…

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COVID-19
K-12 Education
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

K-12 Social-Emotional Support During COVID-19: Reflections and Recommendations from a Survey of North Carolina Teachers

This Brief Will Cover Emotional and Mental Health Support for Teachers. Survey data from N.C. teachers on their concerns about returning to school in the fall. Recommended strategies for helping school administrators promote wellness among school staff upon their return. Re-envisioning the Way Students and Schools Interact. Recommended practices for promoting relationship building among teachers,…

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COVID-19
Early Care and Education
Families and Parenting
Poverty and Inequality
Race Equity
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

“New Normal” for Children and Families: Developing a Universal Approach with a Focus on Equity

This brief provides an overview of the various channels through which COVID-19 has affected the lives of children and families, and proposes 4 key actions to help communities heal and build stronger, equitable systems: Create a “new” public health system centered upon a universal approach to care with a focus on equity. Invest in early…

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COVID-19
K-12 Education

Lessons Learned about Online Schooling for Young Children from K-1 Classroom and ESL Teachers

This brief provides an overview of lessons learned about online schooling for young children during the COVID-19 pandemic from K-1 classroom and ESL teachers, and 5 recommendations for how to support the continuation of online learning into the next school year.

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COVID-19
Poverty and Inequality

The Added Benefit of North Carolina’s Evictions Moratorium: Protecting Vulnerable Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Key Takeaways: Government officials halted housing evictions in North Carolina as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. We analyze administrative data on evictions from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts and on public school children in Durham to identify characteristics of children who experience eviction. Our analysis shows that an additional benefit of the…

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COVID-19
Families and Parenting
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Ensuring Vulnerable Children and Families Have Access to Needed Health Services and Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This policy brief focuses on how necessary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic alter the health and social service landscape for children and families, particularly those who were already vulnerable, and offers policy guidance.

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COVID-19
Early Care and Education

Strategies to Support the Well-Being of Essential Child Care Staff and Young Children During COVID-19

Inside: Protecting the Physical Well-Being of Essential Child Care Providers and Young Children Supporting the Social-Emotional Well-Being of Essential Child Care Providers and Young Children Caring for Older Children Supporting Child Care Administrators Whose Facilities are Staying Open to Meet Essential Needs

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COVID-19
Families and Parenting
Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Devastating Impact of COVID Crisis on Working Families

This brief provides an overview of key ways in which COVID-19 has impacted working families, as drawn from our study’s survey analysis. 1. Drastic Reductions in Work Hours and Increase in Job Loss 2. Harmed Well-Being of Both Parents and Their Children 3. Policy Supports Not Reaching Families 4. Employer-Provided Benefits Reaching Some Families

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Child Welfare

Multiple Response System and System of Care: Two Policy Reforms Designed to Improve The Child Welfare System

Child abuse and neglect is a serious problem in the United States. From 2004 to 2005 the number of substantiated reports of maltreatment increased by 27,000 cases from 872,000 to 899,000.

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