Archive: 2014-2015 Academic Year
ICYFP Researchers Received the Lawrence R. Klein Award
Alison Earle, Kimberly Geronimo, Pamela Joshi and Dolores Acevedo-Garcia received the Lawrence R. Klein Award from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This award was for a paper published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Labor Review titled “Job characteristics among working parents: differences by race, ethnicity, and nativity.” While in Washington for the reception, they also had the opportunity to meet with federal agencies and organizations and discuss their research.
Diana Serrano Accepted to Public Policy Fellowship at Rappaport Institute
March 16, 2015
Diana Serrano, second year PhD student in the Children, Youth and Families concentration, has been accepted to the Public Policy Summer 2015 Fellowship program at the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston strives to improve the governance of Greater Boston by strengthening connections between the region's scholars, students, and civic leaders. A university-wide entity housed at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Institute pursues this mission by promoting emerging leaders, producing new ideas, and stimulating informed discussion. For ten weeks, Diana Serrano will be placed in a public-sector agency in the Boston area working closely with others on high-level content in the field of early childhood education accessibility for children of immigrants.
Rosenfeld Gives Talk on Policy Evaluation of MA School Nutrition Standards
March 3, 2015
Dr. Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, ICYFP Scientist and Lecturer, gave a talk to the Heller School community titled, “The NOURISH Study: A Policy Evaluation of New School Nutrition Standards in Massachusetts” as a part of the school's Tuesday Talks series. In 2012, Massachusetts adopted comprehensive school competitive food and beverage standards that closely align with Institute of Medicine recommendations as well as new "Smart Snacks in Schools" national standards. The NOURISH study is a policy evaluation that explores the impact of an unfunded State mandate to schools. Do school districts [middle and high schools] comply? What do food service directors say about the process? Are finances affected? Rosenfeld discussed early findings and anticipated analyses from the first two years of data from this landmark research project.
Rosenfeld Awarded Grant from American Occupational Therapy Foundation
January 23, 2015
Dr. Lindsay Rosenfeld, ScD, ScM, ICYFP Scientist and Lecturer, has been awarded a grant from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation as a subrecipient in partnership with Dr. Jessica Kramer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University. The project involves adapting Project TEAM, a promising intervention for youth with disabilities, to create a training program for parents of children with special needs. The focus of this work will be on parents' ability to recognize and address environmental barriers.
Dodson Publishes Article: "We Don't Fight Poverty Anymore"
January 15, 2015
Lisa Dodson, PhD, MPH, Senior Scientist at ICYFP and professor of sociology at Boston College, has published an article in The Conversation titled "We Don't Fight Poverty Anymore," in which she discusses the legacy of former President Lyndon Johnson's now-distant War on Poverty. Dodson describes a lack of national conviction and public policy in the present-day United States to provide a safety net for struggling families and their children. An overwhelming proportion of children in our country--nearly half--live in or near poverty and a disproportionate number of them are black or Hispanic. Dodson calls for a renewed conversation about "the elephant in the room," namely the responsibility to offer fair and living wages to workers that will allow them to care for themselves and their children.
PBS NewsHour Interviews diversitydatakids.
org Researchers on Policy Equity Assessment
December 16, 2014
"Can government policies correct race and ethnicity disparities in child health?" asks PBS NewsHour in a recent interview with Project Director Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and Policy Research Director, Dr. Pamela Joshi. The interview focuses on their article "Integrating Racial/Ethnic Equity into Policy Assessments to Improve Child Health," recently published in the December theme issue of Health Affairs. In the interview, Joshi and Acevedo-Garcia discuss their research in the context of the current U.S. climate on racial/ethnic equity, as well as how projects elsewhere are using these data to further their work. Read the Full Interview online.
The diversitydatakids.org Policy Equity Assessment featured in Health Affairs Theme Issue on Child Health
December 8, 2015
Giapponi Presents at 2014 APPAM Fall Research Conference
November 7, 2014
Kate Giapponi, fourth-year CYF PhD student and graduate research assistant on ICYFP’s Massachusetts Child Care Research Partnership Project, presented last week on ICYFP child care subsidy research at the 2014 APPAM fall research conference. The presentation, titled "The Impact of the Eligibility Reassessment Process on the Stability of Child Care Subsidy Receipt and Child Care Arrangement," reflects research conducted in partnership with ICYFP Associate Director and Senior Scientist Dr. Pamela Joshi, PhD, '01, ICYFP Fellow Erin Hardy, MS, and BU Assistant Professor Dr. Yoonsook Ha, PhD, MSSW. The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) 2014 fall research conference, "Global Challenges, Global Perspectives," was held November 6-8 in Albuquerque, NM. Kate's presentation was part of a panel titled "Understanding Child Care Instability Using a Mixed-Methods Approach" and included co-presenters Julia Henly (University of Chicago), Caroline Krafft (University of Minnesota) and panel discussant Marci Ybarra (University of Chicago).
Joshi Presents at 2014 Annual Meeting of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium
November 13, 2014
Dr. Pamela Joshi, PhD, '01, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of ICYFP, presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium (CCPRC) in Washington DC on November 13, 2014. She presented on child care subsidy research related to the Massachusetts Child Care Partnership Project (of which Dr. Joshi is the Principal Investigator) during the second plenary session, titled "Stability/Instability in Context." Dr. Joshi presented alongside plenary participants Julia Henly (University of Chicago) and Alexander Mayer (MDRC).
Rosenfeld Presents on Brandeis/March of Dimes Panel on Prematurity
November 11, 2014
Dodson Publishes Paper in Family Relations on Social Network Development among Low-Income Single Mothers
November 11, 2014
Lisa Dodson, PhD, MPH, Senior Scientist at ICYFP and professor of sociology at Boston College, has published an article with co-author Dr. Amanda L. Freeman in the December 2014 issue of Family Relations. Family Relations is an interdisciplinary journal of applied family studies produced and published by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The article, titled "Social Network Development among Low-Income Single Mothers: Potential for Bridging, Bonding, and Building," explores the ways in which social networks may assist low-income mothers in balancing work and family obligations.
Abstract: This article explores the potential for community-based social networks to help low-income mothers manage responsibilities of work and family. This 3-year ethnographic study examined the experiences of low-income single mothers participating in an antipoverty program in Boston, Massachusetts, through 73 in-depth interviews. The data refute the claim that bonds within the community hinder women in their attempts to move their families out of poverty. The authors observed benefits from social networks that emerged as a result of program participation in the following categories: practical support, emotional support, modeling and mentoring, and expansion of information resources. The authors also uncovered a new kind of social network formed among low-income women who were actively pursuing a path out of poverty. These hybrid networks, building social networks, form among people who are straddling two worlds and, as such, are uniquely positioned to help one another.
Health Affairs Special Issue on "Collaborating for Community Health" Publishes Paper on the diversitydatakids.org Child Opportunity Index
November 3, 2014
The November Special Issue of Health Affairs includes a number of studies looking at how social services and community support programs can improve the health of local residents. Researchers from diversitydatakids.org and the Kirwan Institute published an article titled “The Child Opportunity Index: Improving Collaboration Between Community Development and Public Health” finding that minority children are more likely to live in neighborhoods that are less conducive to healthy development. Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP at Brandeis University and coauthors developed a surveillance system, coined the “Child Opportunity Index,” to gauge neighborhood-based opportunities conducive to healthy development. Researchers scored neighborhoods using 19 indicators ranging from the presence of quality early-childhood education, to poverty, to proximity to parks and healthy food. They found that across the 100 largest metropolitan areas, 40% of black children and 32% of Hispanic children reside in the lowest opportunity neighborhoods within their metropolitan areas, compared with 9% of white children and 12% of Asian and Pacific Islander children. Black and Hispanic children are even more concentrated in very low–opportunity neighborhoods in areas with higher levels of racial segregation. The authors say that the index could inform collaborations between the health care sector and community development programs that seek improved child health equity.
Many articles from this special issue, including “The Child Opportunity Index: Improving Collaboration Between Community Development And Public Health,” were discussed at a November 5th briefing at the National Press Club. This issue of Health Affairs is supported by The Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Dodson Invited to Discuss Inequality and Care at The Democracy Center
October 31, 2014
Lisa Dodson, PhD, MPH, Senior Scientist at ICYFP and professor of sociology at Boston College, gave a talk at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, MA on October 31 regarding "Have and Have-Nots: Inequality and Care in the U.S." The talk focused on the right to provide care for family members, with a special emphasis on paid family and medical leave for employees. Dodson discussed issues of growing inequality in the U.S. among low-income workers. In particular, she discussed how low-quality jobs combine with work and family conflicts to undermine health and family life for low-income working parents. This talk was sponsored by the Democracy Center and Women Explore of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Giapponi Wins Graduate Student Research Grant for Dissertation Research
October 8, 2014
Kate Giapponi, fourth-year CYF PhD student and graduate research assistant on ICYFP’s Massachusetts Child Care Research Partnership Project, has been awarded the Early Care and Education Scholars Child Care Graduate Student Research Grant to fund her dissertation research. This is a grant provided through the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Child and Families. Funds for Child Care Research Scholars grants “are available to support dissertation research on child care policy issues. These grants are meant to focus research on questions that have direct implications for child care policy decision-making and program administration, and to foster mentoring relationships between faculty members and high-quality doctoral students." Kate received a score of 94 out of 100 for her grant application and will be funded for two years under the grant—she is one of only six people nationwide to receive this grant award. Kate says “I am thrilled to win this grant, which will not only help to fund my dissertation research, but will also afford me the opportunity to exchange ideas with a nationwide network of researchers and policymakers in the child care field.”
Dr. Pam Joshi, PhD ’01, ICYFP Senior Scientist and Associate Director, will serve as Kate’s faculty mentor on the grant. Dr. Joshi says “offering a high-quality mentoring experience is an extremely important part of my job. Working with Kate has expanded my child care policy research agenda.” As a mentored grant, Kate and Pam Joshi will attend an ACF sponsored conference and two days of meetings together in Washington, D.C., and will continue to work closely on Kate’s dissertation progress. In addition to mentoring Kate on this grant, Pam has mentored Kate throughout her studies at Heller and involved Kate in grant-funded ICYFP projects in the past. Pam also sits on Kate’s dissertation committee along with Heller School faculty members Marji Erickson Warfield (Chair) and Dominic Hodgkin, and Yoonsook Ha of Boston University.
The title of Kate’s dissertation is "Insights into the Black Box of Child Care Supply: Predictors of Provider Participation in the Child Care Subsidy System.” An excerpt from her dissertation proposal abstract reads:
“High quality child care providers that accept subsidies are the linchpin to supporting parental employment and the child development needs of low-income families. Without the voluntary participation of private providers in child care subsidy systems, families may not be able to realize these critical benefits. However, little is known about which providers agree to participate and what factors may influence their participation. To help fill this void in the literature on child care subsidies, this multi-method dissertation will seek to identify and model predictors of provider participation in the Massachusetts child care subsidy system.”
Acevedo-Garcia Joins Advisory Board for HUD Journal Cityscape
September 26, 2014
Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP, has been asked to join the advisory board of Cityscape, the scholarly journal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Katherine O’Regan, Assistant Secretary of HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research, notes that the "Advisory Board helps to identify subjects, authors, methods, and trends that deserve wider recognition...Cityscape’s goal is to 'ask probing questions, challenge long-held assumptions, critique new initiatives, and encourage innovative thinking, creative policy, and sensible programmatic approaches' about the broad range of issues that fall within the Department’s mission." Dr. Acevedo-Garcia notes that she is "honored by the invitation to join the board of Cityscape, a publication that has been an important resource for me throughout my career." Past issues of Cityscape may be found at: http://www.huduser.org/
Robyn Powell Publishes Article in the Boston Bar Association's Health Law Reporter
September 22, 2014
Robyn Powell, Esq., first year PhD student in the Child, Youth and Families concentration at the Heller School, has published an article in the Boston Bar Association's Health Law Reporter. The article, titled "From the Delivery Room to the Courtroom: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities" examines the persistent discrimination that adults with disabilities face in their fundamental right to raise a family. The article provides a historical overview of parenting rights and a description of the areas in which parents with disabilities systematically face discrimination. It also describes the current state of affairs in Massachusetts, specifically, and provides a call to action to policymakers and advocates in the state to eradicate discriminatory practices and provide training on these issues to relevant personnel.
Acevedo-Garcia Contributes to Discussion on Comparative Perspectives on Segregation
September 17, 2014
Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP, published a commentary in The Dream Revisited, a "slow debate" blog run by the NYU Furman Center's Integration Research Initiative. Dr. Acevedo-Garcia contributed to the seventh discussion in the series, which examines comparative perspectives on racial/ethnic and economic residential segregation. Her response to the discussion, titled "Reflections on a Comparative Perspective Within the U.S.," asks readers to consider the perspective of Latino residential segregation in comparison to the paradigm of black/white residential segregation. Her commentary calls to the forefront recent research from the diversitydatakids.org Child Opportunity Index which demonstrates high concentrations of black and Latino children and youth in metropolitan neighborhoods with the lowest levels of opportunity.
September 8, 2014
Lisa Dodson, PhD, MPH, Senior Scientist at ICYFP and professor of sociology at Boston College, co-authored an article with Nancy Folbre in The American Prospect titled "What Happens When the Person Taking Care of Your Mom Can't Earn a Living Wage?" on September 8th, 2014. The article examines the recent Supreme Court decision to prohibit unions from collecting dues from the home care workers they represent, and describes recent research on the quality of personal care attendants' jobs and responsibilities. Despite the complexity of their work, members of the care workforce (disproportionately women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants) receive a median national wage of $9.57 per hour, or $20,000 per year. Dodson and Folbre state that as the population of elderly clients grows, care workers are increasingly in demand--yet continue to lack the collective bargaining power that would greatly improve their job quality and ultimately, the quality of care for clients as well.
Joshi and Giapponi Present on Child Care Subsidy Research at NAWRS Conference
August 19, 2014
Pamela Joshi, PhD, '01, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of ICYFP and Kate Giapponi, CYF PhD student at the Heller School, presented at the National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) 2014 Annual Workshop on August 19, 2014. Their presentation was titled “Insights into Child Care Providers Decisions to Accept Subsidies: A Preliminary Analysis of Provider Recruitment Strategies and Participation Rates in Massachusetts.”
This presentation draws on the results of an HHS/OPRE-funded child care research partnership study and initial analyses from Ms. Giapponi’s doctoral dissertation research conducted in Massachusetts. The presentation utilizes qualitative and quantitative data including interviews with CCR&R agency staff, EEC’s licensed provider data, and U.S. Census data to produce descriptive statistics about providers, and make policy/program recommendations. By providing a detailed visual map of demand (eligible children) and supply (provider capacity) along with CCR&R agency staff perspectives, this presentation will provide much needed insights about how to collaborate with and increase the capacity of providers to improve the effectiveness/efficiency of the subsidy system.
July 24, 2014
Students participated in site visits across Greater Boston, policy critiques, and critical written and oral reflections weaving together research literature and participant observation. They provided media writing (e.g. tweets, Facebook posts, captioned photos, blog posts, and OpEds) to three site visit hosts: Shape Up Somerville, Groundwork Lawrence, and Milton Public Schools to gain a deeper understanding of these organizations' work and to give back for the time provided to the group's learning. Students also worked with the American Diabetes Association, Joslin Diabetes Center, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Health Communication Core, Brandeis University Institutional Review Board, ChildObesity180 (Tufts), Center for Youth Wellness-Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, and the Waltham Fields Community Farm. In addition, students participated in semester-long reflection with "chat partners" who were not involved in the JBS as well as explored assessments techniques for the food, playground, health literacy, and built environments.
Throughout the semester, students used a social determinants of health lens to critically analyze how systems and environments (e.g. health care, food, schools, built environment/neighborhoods, community organizations and more) are situated within a context of local, national, and global inequities and struggles for justice. In using this lens, students learned how to critically explore what impact race, gender, socioeconomic status, neighborhoods, and more have on health. Together with the content of the two other JBS courses: Diabetes and Food & Nutrition, students gained a multi-layered perspective of the diabetes and obesity epidemics useful for future academic work/research, exciting jobs/internships, and engaged citizenship.
Diana Serrano Takes on Education Pioneers Fellowship at Superintendent's Office in Washington, DC
July 7, 2014
Diana Serrano, 2nd-year PhD student in the Child, Youth, and Families concentration at the Heller School, has been placed at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, DC this summer as part of her Fellowship with Education Pioneers. During this placement, Diana will work to answer two research questions. The first question aims to identify the District of Columbia public schools, charter schools, and community-based organizations that serve Pre-K 3- and 4-year old children with high concentrations of English language learners. Once identified, Diana will conduct interviews and distribute a survey to identify the process that schools employ to assess limited English proficiency eligibility and the types of services those children receive. The second question focuses on the intersection of students who are English language learners and have learning disabilities in Washington, DC. Currently, OSSE has a limited understanding of the characteristics of this population; Diana’s role, therefore, will be to describe the characteristics of this population as well as identify student-level characteristics that contribute to successful outcomes.
Lisa Dodson Presents at the Work-Family Researchers Network Annual Conference
June 20, 2014
Lisa Dodson, Ph.D., MPH, ICYFP Visiting Scholar, presented at the annual Work and Family Researchers Network conference in New York City last week. The theme of the conference was “Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy.” Dr. Dodson presented two diversitydatakids.org Data-For-Action Fact Sheets on Double Jeopardy and Unequal Family Leave in a panel discussion about how low-wage working parents, particularly Hispanic and black mothers, discuss the stigma that they encounter when trying to seek flexibility at work to take care of children’s health and schooling needs. The lack of quality childcare options coupled with the lack of access and affordability of family or medial leave is exaggerated for low-wage working mothers, especially Hispanic and black working mothers. To complemented the fact sheets, Dr. Dodson also presented qualitative research that included over 300 working mothers and 50 employers on the stereotypes that mothers face at work.
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia Joins March of Dimes Hispanic Advisory Council
June 19, 2014
Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, PhD, MPA-URP, Director of ICYFP, was selected to join the Hispanic Advisory Council at the March of Dimes, which convened its inaugural meeting earlier this month. In an effort to expand its message to Hispanic audiences, the March of Dimes has formed the Hispanic Advisory Council and launched a number of efforts aimed at improving birth outcomes for Hispanic infants. This has resulted in the creation of nacersano.org, a Spanish-language website that offers information about perinatal health and preventable birth defects to Spanish-speaking expectant parents. This month, the March of Dimes also released a special report on Maternal and Infant Health in US Hispanic Populations: Prematurity and Related Health Indicators.
Dr. Acevedo-Garcia is honored by the invitation to join the Hispanic Advisory Council. The work of ICYFP and its flagship project, diversitydatakids.org, is strongly aligned with the messages of data-driven health equity and improved health outcomes for all vulnerable children and their families.
Megan Madison Selected for Summer Doctoral Fellowship at MDRC
June 17, 2014
Megan Madison, a fourth-year PhD student in the Children, Youth, and Families concentration at the Heller School, was recently chosen to participate in the summer 2014 Doctoral Fellowship program at MDRC. Megan will be working in the MDRC's New York office, getting feedback on her dissertation methods and policy implications. Megan's dissertation is tentatively titled, "Professionalization Can't Mean Whitening: A Critical Race Analysis of Early Care and Education Workforce Policy." The MDRC summer dissertation fellowship is part of the Gueron Fund Minority Scholars Program and is intended to support PhD candidates who are pursuing self-directed research on economic and social problems that affect low-income Americans. Megan was selected for one of just two fellowship spots offered for summer 2014.
Kimberly Geronimo selected to participate in summer data workshop on Head Start Impact Study
June 16, 2014
Kimberly Geronimo, ICYFP research associate, has been accepted to attend the summer workshop “Maximizing the Head Start Impact Study: New Third Grade Follow-up Data, Contextual Variables, and Approaches to Understanding Variation in Impacts,” to be held July 16-18, 2014 in Ann Arbor, MI. This workshop will form part of the 2014 Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research's summer program in quantitative methods of social science research at the University of Michigan. Geronimo will utilize the resources and skills gained from this workshop in her work as a research associate on ICYFP’s diversitydatakids.org project.
This year’s Maximizing the Head Start Impact Study workshop will be highly applicable and helpful to the diversitydatakids.org project by allowing Geronimo to undertake analyses that have not yet been conducted. For example, the diversitydatakids.org team would like to build from recent analyses that found disparities in Head Start program quality by child race/ethnicity to examine how this relates to the reduction of racial/ethnic achievement gaps. The team is also interested in better understanding how this data can be used for neighborhood-level analyses of child opportunities and outcomes. Thus, the workshop will offer Ms. Geronimo important insights into the use of HSIS data that could address many of the team's policy analysis questions.