Resources

Policy Briefs

Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer

March 22, 2022

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.

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

October 26, 2021

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.

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

July 1, 2021

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.

Improving Access to Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs

May 1, 2021

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…

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

April 1, 2021

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…

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

February 1, 2021

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.

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

February 1, 2021

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.

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

February 1, 2021

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.

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

January 1, 2021

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…

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

November 1, 2020

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…

Reframing Law Enforcement’s Approach to Domestic Violence Calls

October 1, 2020

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…

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

August 1, 2020

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,…

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

August 1, 2020

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,…

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

August 1, 2020

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…

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

July 1, 2020

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.

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

June 1, 2020

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…

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

May 1, 2020

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.

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

April 1, 2020

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

Devastating Impact of COVID Crisis on Working Families

April 1, 2020

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

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

April 1, 2009

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.