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Policy Paper

Child Care is a Barrier for Parenting Students

June 2023

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.

(9 pp)

Michelle H South Carolina Executive Summary (1)
Policy Paper

Ending Barriers to Support: Five Arguments Against Work Requirements

May 2023

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.

Download the infographic featured in the brief.

(3 pp)

Thumb Cover Five Arguments Against Work Requirements
Video

SPARC-ing Equity for CalWORKs Parenting Students: Our New Data & Student-Driven Solutions

April 2023

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.

Sparcing Equity For Calworks Parenting Students Our New Data & Student Driven Solutions
Policy Paper

Let Us Rise: How Parents and Caregivers Would Design a Permanent Child Allowance to Advance Racial and Economic Justice

May 2023

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.

(26 pp)

Let Us Rise--How Parents and Caregivers Would Design a Permanent Child Allowance to Advance Racial and Economic Justice
Brief

Understanding the Experiences of Parenting Students and their Families

April 2023

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 who parenting students are and their experiences navigating public systems.
 
(10 pp)
Understanding The Experiences Of Parenting Students And Their Families
Brief

Meeting Basic Needs is a Challenge for Parenting Students

April 2023

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.

(8 pp)

Meeting Basic Needs Is A Challenge For Parenting Students
Brief

Administrative Burdens Create Barriers for Parenting Students

April 2023

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 about parenting students' experiences navigating complicated program rules and requirements, including paperwork. This administrative burden creates significant hurdles for parents as they work toward their educational certificates and degrees.

(6 pp)

Administrative Burdens Create Barriers For Parenting Students Parenting CalWORKS CSSP
Video

A Day in the Life of Parenting Students Who Participate in CalWORKs

April 2023

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 video tells the story of how parenting students balance enormous responsibilities while navigating a range of public systems not designed for their families’ needs.

Calworks Animated Video
Policy Paper

The Biden Administration’s Budget Recognizes Investments in Families Are Long Overdue: Now Let’s Get To Work

March 2023

In its annual budget released in March 2023, the Biden administration once again proposed critical investments in families, including restoring the Child Tax Credit, establishing a national paid family and medical leave program, and expanding access to high quality child care and early education. This fact sheet shares how the Biden administration's proposals reflect what Black, Indigenous, and Latinx parents and caregivers have told us that they need.

Cover Small The Biden Administration’s Budget Recognizes Investments In Families Are Long Overdue
Brief

Supporting Young Adults through a Guaranteed Income (Two-Pager)

February 2023

Young adults ages 18 to 25 are in a critical transition period as they set up their career paths, establish families of their own, and navigate newfound financial responsibilities. It is crucial to invest in this moment so that young people have what they need to thrive and to support their contributions to their families and communities. This two-pager offers top takeaways from Supporting Young Adults through a Guaranteed Income.

Guaranteed Income One Pager