For parents, knowing whether they are raising their children the “right” way can feel like an impossible task. Parenting programs can make a unique and indispensable contribution to child well-being, and ultimately give children the resilience to thrive, even in challenging circumstances.
Dionne Barnes-Proby started her career as a child welfare social worker and is now a social policy researcher at RAND. She brings the voices of clients and practitioners to the conversation, so that policies will reflect an understanding of the needs of the populations they're intended to improve.
Nearly 26.4 percent of children across the EU are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, poverty or social exclusion. The proposed Child Guarantee initiative might help address this issue. But it could also be worthwhile to encourage member states to look at funding mechanisms that are already in place.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked the public to donate to charities instead of sending wedding gifts. The causes they are passionate about include helping children with HIV, homelessness, hygiene programs for women in the slums of Mumbai, and bringing sport to disadvantaged youth.
It costs billions of dollars each year to investigate child abuse reports, counsel and support families, and provide foster homes for kids at risk. A greater focus on preventing abuse and neglect, and on placing children with relatives rather than strangers, could improve thousands of young lives.
At a moment of heightened awareness around sexual violence, America's colleges and universities have an opportunity to lead by example, through a commitment to full transparency about campus sexual assaults and openness to learning from each other's failures and successes.
The most comprehensive look to date at the benefits of early childhood education found that 102 of 115 programs improved at least one outcome for children beyond a statistical doubt. And the economic and social benefits continue to pay dividends, sometimes well into adulthood.
Parents shouldn't avoid buying smart toys during the holidays, particularly if these devices top children's Christmas lists. But parents should definitely be wary of the security and privacy risks that smart toys can pose.
The idea that bullying is experienced by only a few children and adolescents is false. Most cases are verbal, not physical, and victims tend to remain silent. Research has shown that bullying can have negative long-term effects on a person's life.
Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. This provides health benefits to both mother and child and saves health care costs. Paid maternity leave can boost breastfeeding rates, but few U.S. firms offer it.
Accurate reporting of sexual violence is important. But counting and reporting assaults shouldn't be confused with polices that focus on making sure universities have the resources and support systems they need to help victims.
Free school meal eligibility is not a perfect measure of student disadvantage, but it's the best there is. Other measures, such as parental education or neighborhood deprivation have also been used, but they are not as good at determining which schools are most in need.
Young children can understand concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and early development of STEM skills seems to support learning later in life. But an effective teaching system is needed before STEM learning can be fully integrated into early childhood education.
Global attention has turned to education as a way to counter extremism. But what has been missing from the conversation is a focus on learning in children's first years, when much brain development occurs. In the Middle East and North Africa, government underinvestment in formal programs for young children is the norm.
Despite the fact that service members, spouses, and their children experience frequent deployments to combat zones throughout the world, a recent study of more than 2,700 military families found that they generally fare well and adapt effectively to the stresses of deployment.
Behavioral health professionals and community agencies often do not consider the impact of parental depression on young children or focus on the adult's role as a parent. New guidelines recommending depression screening during primary care visits for pregnant women and new mothers are a critical first step.
Restorative practices are an alternative to zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Rather than mandating prescribed punishments for specific misbehaviors, this more tailored approach aims to empower students.
Funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program was extended through fiscal year 2017, without policy changes. If Congress decides to make policy changes to MIECHV in the future, research on home visiting programs can inform recommendations.
Poor coordination in government services has long been a source of frustration to users, and a cause of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The emerging debate about devolution of powers and responsibilities for some public services, and ongoing resource pressures, have encouraged innovative, locally developed approaches.
Single parents head 10.4 percent of households with children across Europe — 20.4 percent in the UK — and the socioeconomic gap between single- and two-parent households continues to grow. Accessible and flexible work policies are needed to improve employment conditions for single parents, especially mothers.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. Even in the UK there are still children who live in poverty and inequality, who experience violence, and who are not afforded rights on par with their peers.
Schools are in a unique position to recognize traumatic stress in children. But first, adults throughout the school system -- including teachers, staff, administrators, school resource officers, and parents -- must be aware of the issue, know how to detect signs of trauma exposure, and create a supportive environment.
The stigma surrounding mental health often leads young people to shy away from seeking the help and support they need. This year's celebration of the UN's International Youth Day (12th August) focuses on mental health and aims to remove the stigma.
The 20th anniversary of the International Day of Families on 15th May 2014 provides an appropriate occasion to celebrate the important role parents play in children's lives and the parenting skills that help children achieve their full potential.
The White House has mobilized an impressive coalition to address a critical national challenge, and used the power of research evidence to begin to structure the initiative. By drawing more lessons from research, the initiative can further bolster its chance to build strong and lasting ladders of opportunity and success for boys and young men of color.
One groundbreaking provision of the Affordable Care Act is its funding for home visiting programs that match the parents of young children with trained specialists who provide information, social support, parental skill instruction, and more.
Earlier this year, the European Commission renewed its commitment to promoting child well-being. One of the guidelines was to strengthen the use of evidence-based policy. This is noteworthy because it represents one of the first times that the EC has specifically advocated the use of evidence in policy making.
Research shows that engaged fathers have a positive influence on their children. Educational success, better social development, and higher self-esteem are some of the documented effects on children who have dads involved in their everyday life.
The historic objective of Children's Day — celebrated in many European countries on the first day of June — was not simply to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring attention to children around the world who suffer from exploitation, violence, and discrimination.
The toll of the tornado on school students in Moore, Oklahoma, cannot be overstated. To assist with recovery, RAND's CBITS program offers resources on psychological first aid for schools, as well as additional materials for educators and parents.
Federal and state initiatives to advance preschool program quality will further ensure that these investments in early learning programs will achieve their full promise and promote healthy child development — physically, socially, emotionally, and academically, writes Lynn Karoly.
High-quality early childhood interventions can improve academic achievement, reduce crime and delinquency, and enhance future labor market success. But the operative word is "high-quality." And for early childhood programs to be high-quality, they must have qualified instructors.
A optimal approach to strategically expanding access to early childhood programs is one that helps states and communities identify evidence-based approaches that address their particular needs, within the context of their characteristics, writes M. Rebecca Kilburn.
The 2013 SOTU address will be remembered for its impassioned call for greater gun control just two months after Sandy Hook. But President Obama's second-term agenda can be characterized by its sheer breadth, reflecting the broad range of policy challenges facing the United States today.
President Obama's task force on gun violence has raised the stakes in the policy debate on gun control and policy in the wake of the recent shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. Some of RAND's top researchers share what is, and what isn't, known about firearms and gun control.
Art Kellermann reviews what is known from broad outlines of the Newtown attack and past research on gun violence to offer some preliminary thoughts to the Obama Administration's task force and the public.
The United States has long relied on public health science to improve the safety, health, and lives of its citizens. Perhaps the same straightforward, problem-solving approach that worked well in other circumstances can help the nation meet the challenge of firearm violence, writes Arthur Kellermann.
Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve System Ben S. Bernanke cited RAND studies that have documented the importance of investing early in children's learning as he made the case that early education programs are one of the best investments that society can make in its future.
The impact of violence and trauma on children has led RAND and its partners to focus not only on studying the problem, but working collaboratively to find interventions that help address a significant public health need.
Boys and men of color—in particular, young African American men—are particularly vulnerable to racial and ethnic disparities. That such disparities exist should surprise no one. Nor should the fact that such disparities diminish the life chances of those affected, writes Lois M. Davis.