Category: Family

Resource Category Topic Type
After Great Recession, More Married Fathers Providing Child Care
The U.S. economy lost 8.7 million jobs between December 2007 and January 2010.1 Sixty-nine percent of the jobs lost during the recession were held by men, 2 and the employment rate of married fathers (whether working full or part time) with employed wives decreased from 92 percent in 2005 to 88 percent in 2011.3 The large job losses and persistently high unemployment from the Great Recession and its aftermath prompted families to adapt to financial hardship and reallocate fathers’ and mothers’ time spent in the labor force and in the home.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family, Unemployment Publication
As Opioid Use Climbs, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Rises in New Hampshire
The opioid crisis besetting every region of the United States directly affects more than just those who use substances. For a pregnant woman, a consequence of substance use can be neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)—withdrawal symptoms experienced by the newborn (see Box 1).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Drugs, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Substance Abuse Publication
Child Care Costs Exceed 10 Percent of Family Income for One in Four Families
Access to quality, affordable child care is critical for American working families, and it is a major focus of efforts to bring about more family-friendly workplaces. In this brief, we analyze families’ child care expenses and identify, among families with young children (under age 6) who pay for child care, the share that are “cost burdened,” defined here as spending more than 10 percent of their gross income on child care. Using data from the 2012–2016 Current Population Survey, we present our findings by number of children; age of youngest child; parental characteristics; family income measures; and U.S. region, metropolitan status, and state. Unless otherwise noted, families include only those with children under age 6 who had any child care costs in the previous year.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Community Development Finance, Family Publication
Child Care Expenses Make Middle-Class Incomes Hard to Reach
Most Americans believe that through hard work and saving they can secure an economically sound, middle-class lifestyle.1 But for many working families, the high price of child care makes this goal extremely challenging.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Family Publication
Child Protective Services May Link Families to Needed Income Supports
The adverse effects of poverty on child and adolescent development are well documented and have been of interest to policy makers for several decades.1 Childhood poverty has a number of lasting impacts, including negative educational and cognitive outcomes, social and emotional behavior problems, poor adult economic outcomes, and health problems.2 For some children, these challenges are coupled with other family stressors including child maltreatment: children in poor families are approximately five times more likely to experience maltreatment than children in non-poor families.3 A number of public safety-net programs exist to help improve the economic well-being of vulnerable children,4 but little is known about the extent to which families with a child maltreatment report receive these services over time. In this brief, we examine the incidence of receiving four types of income support both immediately after the child maltreatment report and eighteen months following. Receipt of benefits immediately after the making of a report may suggest that families were connected to support services prior to their engagement with child protective services (CPS); receiving them only later may suggest the influence of the CPS engagement on support service use. The income supports analyzed include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps; Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); housing assistance; and the Social Security disability support. We also examine whether there are differences in the use of these income supports across rural and urban settings.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Coös County Teens’ Family Relationships
This fact sheet examines Coös County, New Hampshire teens’ perceptions of their family relationship experiences using data from the Coös Youth Study collected in 2011 from 418 eleventh graders in all Coös County public schools. Authors Corinna Jenkins Tucker and Desiree Wiesen-Martin report that Coös older adolescents feel close to their parents and siblings but also argue with them. A small group of youths report perpetrating violence on a family member.
New Hampshire Coös Youth Study, Family, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Coös Teens’ View of Family Economic Stress Is Tied to Quality of Relationships at Home
Family economic hardship during adolescence affects family relationships and the social, emotional, and behavioral development of a substantial number of American youth.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Family, New Hampshire, Wages, Young Adults Publication
Data Snapshot: Poorer Working Families With Young Children Are Unlikely to Afford Child Care
Low-income families with working parents face significant burdens paying for child care, which can function as a barrier to work and often means parents must rely on child care arrangements that are less formal and less stable.1 Amid national concerns about the high cost of child care, it is important to keep this issue at the forefront. Given the especially high costs of care for very young children, this snapshot highlights the child care costs faced by families with a child under age 3. Figure 1 shows the share of families paying for child care (bottom sections) by their income level. As a family’s income-to-poverty ratio rises, they are more likely to pay for child care. Poorer families who do pay for child care are much more often paying over 7 percent of their income on child care, the current benchmark of affordability from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.2
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Family, Income Publication
Data Snapshot: Working Families with Young Children and No Out-of-Pocket Child Care Struggle Financially
Working families with young children face substantial barriers in accessing and affording quality child care. Figure 1 shows that among working families with a child under age 3, those who do not pay for child care are more likely to live in poor or low-income families than those who do pay for child care (61 percent versus 45 percent).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Family Publication
Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distress
The U.S. drug overdose problem has reached epidemic levels, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency. Since 2000, 786,781 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last three years alone.
Demography Drugs, Family, Mortality, Substance Abuse Publication
Employment Rates Higher Among Rural Mothers Than Urban Mothers
As men's jobs in traditional rural industries, such as agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, the survival of the family increasingly depends on women's waged labor. Rural mothers with children under age 6 have higher employment rates than their urban counterparts but have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and lower family income, placing rural mothers and their children in a more economically vulnerable situation than urban mothers.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Families Continue to Rely on Wives As Breadwinners Post-Recession
This brief presents an analysis of the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and after the Great Recession, focusing on changes in the contribution of employed wives’ earnings to family earnings by state, region, metropolitan areas, and nonmetro residence.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Income Publication
Family-Friendly Policies for Rural Working Mothers
For working parents, family friendly work policies like paid sick days, flexible time, or medical insurance can reduce work-family conflict and lead to less absenteeism and higher productivity. Working parents in rural America, however, have less access to these policies than their urban counterparts.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves millions of low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutritional risk by providing checks or vouchers for nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals.1 Foods eligible for WIC are high in certain nutrients and designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.2 Research has shown that WIC is a successful and cost-effective program. Numerous studies find that WIC participation improves pre- and postnatal health outcomes; families’ overall nutrition; access to prenatal care, health care for children, and immunizations; and children’s cognitive development and academic achievement.3 In 2015, the average monthly WIC benefit was $43.58 per person. Easing the costs associated with buying nutritional foods frees up family resources for other necessities, like housing and medical costs. Families with pre-tax incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for the program.4 WIC benefits are especially important for rural families, as the poverty rate is higher in rural than in urban areas (18 percent compared with 15 percent in 2014).5 It is important to consider uptake differences by place type as research indicates that rural women perceive more stigma surrounding participation in government assistance programs compared with women in urban areas.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Forty-three Percent of Eligible Rural Families Can Claim a Larger Credit with EITC Expansion
This policy brief on the changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit in the ARRA also shows that families with three or more children and married couples will receive an increased refund under these new EITC rules for tax years 2009 and 2010. Many families in urban and suburban communities will also see increased benefits under these new provisions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Homeless Teens and Young Adults in New Hampshire (co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire)
More than 1,000 adolescents and young adults in New Hampshire are homeless, and their numbers are growing. The brief, co-published with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, provides an estimate of homeless youth in New Hampshire calculated from national and state data and describes the needs of homeless youth based on interviews and a survey of providers of homeless services in the state.
Evaluation, New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Housing, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Household Reports of Energy Assistance Receipt Increased 48 Percent During Recession: Proposed Cuts Threaten Vulnerable Families
This brief examines heating assistance usage and the implications of President Obama's 2012 budget proposal to cut $2.5 billion from the $5.1 billion energy assistance fund for low-income families at a time when families are struggling with higher energy costs amid a difficult economy. The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists vulnerable families in paying their home heating and cooling bills. Nationwide, from the winter of 2006/2007 to the winter of 2009/2010, there was a 48 percent increase in households receiving energy assistance. This growth appears to have accelerated with the recession, particularly in the rural Northeast and Midwest. Many more families are eligible than receive assistance. Brief author Jessica Carson discusses how proposed cuts would have a concrete and immediate impact on families, particularly those in rural areas and in harsh winter climates.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Housing, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
How Far Would You Drive for Fresh Food? How Some Rural New Hampshire Residents Navigate a Dismal Food Landscape
Lack of access to food stores with healthy and affordable food is one of the central obstacles to eradicating hunger in America. Approximately 23.5 million Americans live more than a mile from a supermarket, which makes accessing healthy food more challenging. Among low income populations, especially those with young children and limited transportation, this distance can severely limit access to affordable and healthy foods. This brief reports the challenges that eighteen rural New Hampshire mothers face to secure healthy, affordable, and quality foods and suggests ways to help address these challenges.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Low Income, New Hampshire, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Increased Reliance on Wives as Breadwinners during the First Year of the Recession
Among low-income families, the wages of employed wives account for the majority of family earnings, according to this Carsey brief. The analysis finds that in 2008, women contributed 56 percent of total family earnings, up from 51 percent in 2007. Also, husbands' education level and race are factors in how much wives contribute to family earnings.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Gender, Wages, Women Publication
Indicators of New Hampshire Youth Well-Being (co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire)
According to a new study, New Hampshire youth, ages 13 to 24, are more likely to complete school, be employed, and have lower obesity rates than their peers nationwide but fare worse in national measures of alcohol and substance abuse. This brief, a co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, provides an overview of youth well-being in New Hampshire calculated from national and state data and compares Granite State youth with peers across the country.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Demography, Education, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Poverty, Young Adults Publication