Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care

Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care. Urban Institute. Gina Adams, Semhar Gebrekristos. August 8, 2018

 Many low-income Americans face challenges in the job market because of inadequate education and job skills and low-income parents face particular challenges enrolling in activities to improve their skills and education levels because of the lack of affordable, quality child care. Local workforce development boards (LWDBs) set policies for and oversee a set of workforce programs and services funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As such, they are the front line for low-income parents who need education and training. This report provides insights into how LWDBs can help address child care barriers by presenting findings from interviews with administrators from five LWDBs across the country (Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development in Colorado, CareerSource of Broward County in Florida, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, and North Central SkillSource in Washington). Although not representative of the actions of all LWDBs, each of the five sites had a broad vision of the importance of child care, understood the multifaceted benefits of child care across generations and how it fit their mission, and discussed the role child care plays for employers and the economy. We found that LWDBs can play an important role in meeting the child care needs of their parent clients and supporting child care in their communities, but they are constrained by funding limitations and an inadequate child care market. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].

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Housing for Young Adults in Extended Federally Funded Foster Care: Best Practices for States

Housing for Young Adults in Extended Federally Funded Foster Care: Best Practices for States. Urban Institute. Amy Dworsky, Denali Dasgupta. August 8, 2018

 In 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act gave states the option to extend the age of eligibility for federally funded foster care to 21. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have extended or are in the process of extending federally funded foster care with a safe, stable, and developmentally appropriate place to live. There are gaps in our knowledge of best practices for housing young adults in extended care, the housing options currently available to those young adults, and how those options vary across and within states. This brief begins to address these knowledge gaps by gathering information form a purposive sample of officials from public child welfare agencies in states that have extended federally funded foster care to age 21 and a group of stakeholders who attended a convening on the topic. The brief also highlights suggestions for future research. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 17 pages].

Kids’ Share 2018: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2017 and Future Projections

Kids’ Share 2018: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2017 and Future Projections. Urban Institute. Julia B. Isaacs et al. July 18, 2018

 Public spending on children aims to support their healthy development, helping them fulfill their human potential. As such, federal spending on children is an investment in the nation’s future. To inform policymakers, children’s advocates, and the general public about how public funds are spent on children, this 12th edition of the annual Kids’ Share report provides an updated analysis of federal expenditures on children from 1960 to 2017. It also projects federal expenditures on children through 2028 to give a sense of how budget priorities may unfold absent changes to current law.  [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 68 pages].

The Nature of Work and the Social Safety Net

The Nature of Work and the Social Safety Net. Urban Institute. Pamela J. Loprest, Demetra Smith Nightingale. July 23, 2018

 Work is at the core of the American dream, bringing to people the promise of income, dignity, and security. The US social safety net has historically reinforced this work ethic, premised on employer-provided benefits in combination with public programs, policies, and workplace laws and regulations.

Yet shifts in the economy and the nature of work have created challenges for the social safety net. There is growing concern that the safety net is increasingly at odds with current and future labor market realities. This report examines these changes, discusses the implications for the social safety net, and offers potential policy solutions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 19 pages].

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit: How It Works and Who It Serves

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit: How It Works and Who It Serves. Urban Institute. Corianne Scally, Amanda Gold, Nicole DuBois. July 12, 2018

 The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a complex but crucial tool for the production and preservation of affordable rental housing. Despite its broad popularity and almost 3 million financed rental units, it is still not well understood. By enhancing national understanding of LIHTC—how it works, who it serves, and the challenges it faces—this report advances the discussion of how to maximize this vital program’s effects on the production and preservation of affordable rental housing across the country and how to improve its ability to serve low-income households as a key component of our federal safety net. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 28 pages].

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Categorical Eligibility

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Categorical Eligibility.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Randy Alison Aussenberg, Gene Falk. June 22, 2018

 The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides benefits to low-income, eligible households on an electronic benefit transfer card; benefits can then be exchanged for foods at authorized retailers. SNAP reaches a large share of low-income households. In FY2017, a monthly average of 42.2 million persons in 20.9 million households participated in SNAP. 

 [PDF format, 22 pages].

Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related?

Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Working Paper 18-4. Jason Furman and Peter Orszag. June 2018

Income growth for typical American families has slowed dramatically since 1973. Slower productivity growth and an increase in income inequality have both contributed to this trend. This paper addresses whether there is a relationship between the productivity slowdown and the increase in inequality, specifically exploring the extent to which reduced competition and dynamism can explain both of these phenomena. Productivity growth has been uneven across the economy, with top firms earning increasingly skewed returns. At the same time, the between-firm disparities have been important in explaining the increase in labor income inequality. Both these findings are consistent with the observed reductions in competition, as evidenced by increasing concentration and economic rents, and business dynamism. The authors also explore the scenarios under which government policies can help mitigate, or contribute to, declining competition and dynamism. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages].