Current Projects

Preschool Development Grant, Birth Through Five – Needs Assessment

August 2021 - July 2022

Together with the Hunt Institute, researchers from CCFP are implementing a collaborative partnership to support NC DHHS’ Division of Child Development and Early Education in completing updates to North Carolina’s Preschool Development (Birth Through Five) Needs Assessment, including information on the impact of COVID-19 on the child care and early education experiences of children and families.


Families & Communities Rising Evaluation

August 2021 - October 2022

CCFP researchers are working with Families and Communities Rising to select, implement, and evaluate a school readiness assessment at their Head Start sites across Durham and Orange Counties.


Study of Out-of-School Time Coordinating Entities Response to Covid-19

May 2021 - November 2022

This study examines the essential nature of coordinating entities during a crisis by comparing the experiences of out-of-school time (OST) stakeholders in cities with coordinating entities to OST stakeholders in cities that may have elements of an OST system (e.g., common data system) but not a coordinating entity.


Great Smoky Mountains Study of Rural Aging

April 2021 - January 2026

Project to augment the longitudinal Great Smoky Mountains Study (GSMS) to create a national data resource, the Great Smoky Mountains Study of Rural Aging (GSMS-RA), for the study of early determinants of the aging experience in a rural context. The GSMS began collecting data on children, now participants are entering their 40s.


Developing and Evaluating Progressive Prosecution in Durham, NC

October 2020 - June 2024

The purpose of this project is to support the development and evaluation of new evidence-based plea bargaining policies and practices in the Durham District Attorney’s Office.


Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity

September 2020 - September 2022

This research will provide an in-depth view of variation in state-level policy rules and program administration across WIC and Medicaid in three states and illuminate the consequences for policy beneficiaries’ ability to access benefits, engage with programs, and function as democratic citizens.


Parenting Across Cultures: COVID-19

July 2020 - June 2022

This project builds on the ongoing Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) longitudinal study that began in 2008 with recruitment of a sample of 1,417 8-year-old children and their mothers and fathers from nine countries. In 2020, COVID-19-related questions were added to assess behavioral and emotional functioning in relation to the rapidly-evolving situation in each country’s response to the pandemic.


WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina

May 2020 - May 2022

Investigate the barriers and facilitators of applying for, receiving, and redeeming safety net program benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in North Carolina. Including before and during COVID-19.


Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being

December 2019 - December 2024

This study is evaluating a local program in Durham, NC, that waives the fees of those who have a suspended license due to failure to pay, in order to discover how reinstating drivers’ licenses can reduce barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.


Early Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Cross-Agency Processes and Outcomes

December 2019 - Ongoing

Local social service agencies and health care providers routinely make decisions regarding a child’s risk for maltreatment. Yet, providers have limited information to guide their decisions and rarely receive feedback regarding the children’s long-term outcomes.


Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

September 2019 - August 2022

The objectives of this study are to understand mechanisms in the global context through which exposure to different types of adverse experiences in childhood increases risk of adverse behavioral and psychosocial outcomes into early adulthood.


Guilford County Incredible Years Preschool Sustainability Project

September 2019 - August 2022

In 2017-18 and 2018-19, with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, we provided training to 54 classrooms in Guilford County to promote the implementation of two of the Incredible Years Series of Programs: Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management and Incredible Years Dinosaur School.


Evaluating the Philadelphia Fair Workweek Standard to Identify the Consequences of Scheduling Regulation on Workers and Families

September 2019 - June 2022

Evaluation of a new labor law, the Fair Workweek Standard, which went into effect January 1, 2020 in Philadelphia.


Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Economic and Psychological Well-Being of Hourly Service Workers and their Families

September 2019 - June 2022

Around 1,000 hourly service workers with young children in a large US city were sampled with an initial focus on work schedule unpredictability and worker and family well-being. The data collection then shifted with the emergence of COVID-19 to reflect pandemic-related concerns such as food insecurity, job loss, income, and access to pandemic-specific and broader social safety net policy supports.


Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children

September 2019 - September 2023

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families is a collaboration between Child Trends and three university based research partners and serves as a hub of research-based information on low-income Hispanic children and families.


Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

September 2019 - August 2022

Childhood adversity impacts both neurobiological and psychological development and is frequently found to be a strong predictor of adverse outcomes in adulthood, including risk behaviors such as interpersonal violence, alcohol problems, and sexual risk-taking.


Evaluation of the Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY)

September 2019 - August 2024

Evaluation of a unified strategy to early childhood development called Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY). READY was created by a Durham-based nonprofit in partnership with early care and education, pediatrics, family support, mental health, and homeless services organizations and professionals.


Baby’s First Years Study

August 2019 - August 2040

Baby’s First Years is a pathbreaking study of the causal impact of monthly, unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers and their children in the first three years of the child’s life. The cash gifts are funded through charitable foundations. The study will identify whether reducing poverty can affect early childhood development and the family processes that support children’s development.


Children of Color in the (Southern) Welfare State: How Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy Implementation Shape Child Development in the Rural South

July 2019 - July 2024

Thia study draws from quantitative and ethnographic data across three rural counties to examine how the distinct features of rural southern communities inform organizational practices of public welfare agencies in ways that reinforce racial inequality and negatively influences family processes and adolescent development outcomes. This study examines how rural contexts shape access to four prominent safety net programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Child Care Subsidy, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).


Factors in Persistence Versus Fadeout of Early Childhood Intervention Impacts

April 2019 - March 2024

This project seeks to understand whether, for whom, and how the effects of successful early childhood school readiness interventions are sustained across a child’s development.


Diseases of Despair in Young Adulthood: Risk, Resilience, and Prevention

October 2018 - June 2022

Despite many years of research and rising suicides and a nationwide opiates public health emergency, we lack accurate and appreciable predictions of who will succumb to deaths of despair and who will be shielded from them.



September 2018 - Ongoing

The Infant-Toddler Trauma-Informed Care (ITTI Care) Project leverages the existing early childhood education workforce support system to expand and strengthen trauma-informed knowledge and practice within the communities they serve.


DCCS Program: ESL and Classroom Teachers Working Together with Students and Families

July 2018 - June 2023

This study tests a new teacher professional development program, Developing Consultation and Collaboration Skills (DCCS), for increasing the language and literacy skills of young Latino English learners. The DCCS model has three key components that coaches work with classroom and English as a Second Lanuage (ESL) teachers.


Reducing the Need for Out-of-home Placements: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Examine the Effects of Family Centered Treatment on Well-Being Outcomes and Public Dollar Costs

February 2018 - June 2023

This project is a state-wide randomized controlled study of Family Centered Treatment. The project is implemented in partnership with the Family Centered Treatment Foundation (FCTF), a nonprofit organization serving over 60 sites across 10 U.S. states. FCTF provides licensing, training, and oversight of the Family Centered Treatment (FCT) model to human service organizations.


Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

September 2017 - August 2022

Many childhood interventions target low-income and high-risk children, with evidence that some early interventions improve adult health and wellbeing. This study asks whether children who benefit from early interventions grow up to become better parents and, subsequently, have children who experience fewer health problems, educational challenges, and emotional problems.


Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence

July 2017 - June 2022

Using the most diverse, prospectively studied, multi-national sample to date, this study will generate empirical findings to develop a model of child- and family-level mediators and culture-level moderators of the role of childhood risk factors and young adult competence and maladaptation. Cross-cultural comparisons will inform domestic models of young adult maladaptation.


N.C. Resilience and Learning

July 2017 - Ongoing

The North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project is a partnership with the Public School Forum of North Carolina to promote and support trauma-informed schools across the state. The project team works closely with districts and schools to provide professional learning and ongoing coaching to meet school-specific needs and goals. Our work aims to create systems-level change by shifting the culture and mindset of an entire school so that staff begin to see a child’s behavior in the context of their life experiences, in consideration of possible trauma history or stress response system triggers.


Targeted Reading Intervention: Investigating the Efficacy of a Web-Based Early Reading

July 2016 - June 2022

The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI) with young English language learners. TRI is an instructional intervention and professional development program for early reading, designed to help classroom teachers acquire key diagnostic strategies for use with young, struggling readers.


Partnering for Excellence

July 2012 - Ongoing

This project is an evaluation of Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE), a model that seeks to improve the well-being of children and families in contact with the child welfare system and reduce the need for higher end behavioral services through a more trauma-informed community, which can result in reduces in behavioral healthcare expenditures.


Durham Children’s Initiative Evaluation

July 2011 - Ongoing

Project Description The Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) (formerly East Durham Children’s Initiative) is a place-based, nonprofit organization that supports children and families from cradle to college or career. Established in 2010, DCI’s vision is that all children in Durham graduate from high school ready for college or career. To achieve this vision, DCI provides children…


Prospective Study of Infant Development

January 2010 - April 2023

The Prospective Study of Infant Development is a randomized control trial evaluation of the Family Connects program (formerly Durham Connects). In order to examine the ways in which family characteristics and community services are associated with family well-being, the Prospective Study of Infant Development interviewed families who had participated in Durham Connects on multiple aspects of family life, including parents’ opinions about parenting, child health and medical care, access and receipt of family services, and mothers’ well-being.