Public Systems Create & Compound Mental Health Challenges for Parenting Students

September 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 how public systems too often cause and exacerbate stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges for parenting students and their families. While parenting students persevere in order to support their children and pursue their goals, these systemic problems slow their progress and undermine their health and well-being over the long term.

(5 pp)