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Putting Principles Into Action: Building an Early Relational Health Ecosystem

April 2024

Early relational health  integrates science-based and experience-informed ideas, values, and practices which elevate the significance of the earliest attentive, responsive, nurturing, and reciprocal caregiver-child interactions in promoting children’s healthy development and well-being. This report outlines the actionable implications of 10 foundational principles of the early relational health paradigm.

(26 pp)

Putting Principles Into Action

Youth Thrive Alive! Forum: Concrete Supports through Direct Cash Transfer

April 2024

The YouthNPower: Transforming Care Collective, which in 2023 launched the first direct cash transfer (DCT) pilot for youth transitioning from foster care, designed with young people who have lived expertise in the child welfare system. This NYC pilot is part of a larger participatory research and advocacy project to document the impact of unconditional cash support for young adults who have recently left the child welfare system to learn more about the conditions facing young people as they navigate life after foster care, and to advocate for policy and program changes that will enrich their lives and help them thrive. The panel shared:

  • An introduction to the intergenerational YouthNPower collective and its approach combining research, advocacy, and organizing
  • Information about the Direct Cash Transfer pilot design
  • Preliminary findings of the pilot’s Participatory Action Research
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Michelle H., et al. v. McMaster: Progress Report: South Carolina Department of Social Services (April 1 – September 30, 2023)

March 2024

This report covers the progress of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) in meeting the requirements of the Final Settlement Agreement (FSA) entered in Michelle H., et al. v. McMaster and Leach, for the period April 1-September 30, 2023.

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Policy Paper

Strategies to Compensate Unpaid Caregivers: A Policy Scan

March 2024

Caregiving is essential work, but this work too often falls on individuals with little or no support from society as a whole. As a result, many caregivers experience severe economic security and hardship—especially women, and Black, Latinx/e, and other women of color and immigrant women in particular, who provide the most care. To better understand the current policy gaps and how we might better support unpaid family caregivers moving forward, this new report summarizes the policies in place to compensate family caregivers in the United States and abroad and offers recommendations for ensuring future policies more effectively support unpaid caregivers and their families.

(29 pp)

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Direct File: How Parent and Family Engagement in Design Can Improve Access to Refundable Credits

March 2024

The IRS, with the support of partners like the CSSP, has been ensuring that families who are most impacted by barriers to tax filing, such as the  complexity and costs, have been delivering feedback throughout the design and development process of this new Direct File program. Based on what CSSP heard through this engagement, several early lessons emerged not only about how to improve the tool based on feedback that reflects a diversity of circumstances and situations, but also about the needs that tax filers have as they go through the process that the tool itself cannot  address.

(3 pp)

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Expanding the Perspectives and Research Foundation for the Strengthening Families & Youth Thrive Frameworks

February 2024

This report expands on the perspectives and research evidence that inform the Strengthening Families and Youth Thrive frameworks by addressing key issues not highlighted in the initial research foundation reports.

(38 pp)

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FAQ for Behavioral Health Providers: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in School, Health, and Child Welfare Settings

February 2024

Given the unprecedented legal challenges to meeting the behavioral health needs of LGBTQI+ youth across the country, this document is meant to provide guidance for providers in clinical behavioral health, child welfare, and school settings supporting LGBTQI+2 youth.  Providers should use this document as a reference to federal laws and protections for youth they support and their families, but understand that this brief is not a substitute for legal advice.

(5 pp)

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Culture is Healing: Removing the Barriers from Culturally Responsive Services (Webinar)

January 2024

In this webinar, community providers discuss the challenges they face in providing responsive services, including building evidence and operating in the context of restrictive “evidence-based” standards, as well as recommendations for actions state and federal policymakers can take to ensure all families have the support they need through expanding access and availability of programs that are developed by and for communities of color.

Panelists and Moderator:

  • Alexandra Citrin, Senior Associate, Center for the Study of Social Policy (Moderator)
  • Esi Hutchful, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Paul Smokowski, PhD, Executive Director, North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center
  • Dana Kingfisher, ASA/Tobacco Program Coordinator, All Nations Health Center
  • Melvin Mason, LCSW, Executive & Clinical Director (retired), The Village Project, Inc.

Read the report here

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Policy Paper

Culture is Healing: Removing the Barriers Facing Providers of Culturally Responsive Services

January 2024

Ensuring child and family well-being requires a radically different, anti-racist response of supports that center the voices of diverse children and families of color, are dignified and strengths-based, and that are offered in spaces they trust. As this brief highlights, community-based organizations across the country are striving to answer that call despite numerous barriers. This brief lifts up the voices of those community providers, with the goal of highlighting and addressing the barriers that stand in the way of all families having the support they need.

Watch the webinar here

(19 pp)

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Policy Paper

A Policy Agenda for a Nation that CARES for Young Adults

December 2023

A product of a collaboration between CARES Ambassadors and CSSP, this policy agenda reimagines how policy supports young people in their families and communities, respects and affirms their whole identity, and sets us all up for success. Learn more about A Policy Agenda for a Nation that CARES for Young Adults here.

(25 pp)

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