This report assesses the State of Kansas’ progress toward achieving the Performance Goals, Practice Improvements, and Outcomes of the McIntyre v. Howard Settlement Agreement (referred to herein as the Settlement Agreement or Agreement) for calendar year 2022 (CY 2022), as well as State data, as validated by Judith Meltzer and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the Neutral. It includes a summary of efforts made by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to meet the Settlement Agreement commitments.
Publications & Resources
CARES: Understanding How Transition Age Youth Experience their Communities
This report shares findings taken from a Community Analysis and identifies 1) structural challenges that communities face as they work to support transition age youth (TAY); 2) narratives about TAY that contribute to these challenges and policies and practices that create burdens for TAY in meeting their needs; and 3) creative solutions that build the capacity of communities to affirm, include, and support youth transitioning out of foster care.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Vital Resource for Children, Youth, and Families
This brief highlights the experiences of children, youth, and families with SNAP, and offers recommendations for improving SNAP so it can more effectively meet families’ needs moving forward. SNAP has the power to advance racial and economic justice.
Child Care is a Barrier for Parenting Students
Parenting students work hard every day to pursue their goals, often juggling work, classes, and caregiving responsibilities. Public systems and programs can provide critical support, but frequently create additional hurdles for parenting students and their families—especially those with low incomes. In 2022, the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Project SPARC conducted research to better understand the barriers experienced by parenting students participating in CalWORKs, California’s cash assistance program for families with children.
This brief highlights findings from the research on parenting students’ experiences with child care. For parenting students, the lack of accessible and affordable child care is a significant barrier because parents must first ensure that their children are taken care of before they can dedicate time and energy to class, study time, and work.
Caring for Each Other: What it Takes to Promote Mental Health and Well-Being
Our public policies and systems do not provide all families with the services and supports they deserve and have historically either excluded Black families. We must center families who are marginalized or excluded by our systems and policies, by creating shared principles that can guide efforts to promote health and well-being both within and outside of health systems. This brief shares eight things that we owe all children, youth, and families to promote mental health and well-being.
Ending Barriers to Support: Five Arguments Against Work Requirements
Safety net programs should ensure that everyone can get support when they need it, yet harsh and cumbersome work requirements put obstacles in the way of much-needed assistance. This brief shares five things everyone should know about work requirements.
SPARC-ing Equity for CalWORKs Parenting Students: Our New Data & Student-Driven Solutions
In 2022, CSSP partnered with the California Community Colleges CalWORKs Association’s Project SPARC (Student Parents Are Reimagining CalWORKs) to co-design research to better understand the barriers experienced by parenting students participating in CalWORKs, California’s cash assistance program for families with children. Together, SPARC leaders and CSSP conducted in-depth interviews with parenting students and community college campus CalWORKs staff, as well as surveyed over 600 parenting students. This presentation, led by SPARC parent leaders, shares the research findings, and tells the story of how parenting students balance enormous responsibilities while navigating a range of public systems not designed for their families’ needs.
Let Us Rise: How Parents and Caregivers Would Design a Permanent Child Allowance to Advance Racial and Economic Justice
To learn how a child allowance can be designed to meet families’ needs and advance racial and economic justice, CSSP interviewed more than 40 Black, Latinx, and other parents and caregivers of color with low and moderate incomes, asking about their goals for themselves and their families, their experiences with the Child Tax Credit and other programs that helped meet their needs, and what they would need from a permanent child allowance in order to support their families and fulfill their goals.
Understanding the Experiences of Parenting Students and their Families
Meeting Basic Needs is a Challenge for Parenting Students
In 2022, the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Project SPARC conducted research to better understand the barriers experienced by parenting students participating in CalWORKs, California’s cash assistance program for families with children. This brief highlights findings from the research on parenting students’ experiences meeting their basic needs, including securing housing, child care, transportation, and taking care of their physical and mental health. The high costs of meeting basic needs and inadequate and inaccessible government assistance creates barriers for parenting students as they pursue their educational certificates and degrees.