Israel is one of MDRC’s senior field liaisons and technical assistance team members, as well as a project director. For nearly two decades, she has worked side by side with program staff members across the human-services system: nonprofit organizations that serve families, government agencies providing public benefits, child support offices, public health offices, youth employment training programs, and programs that serve participants with health problems and other barriers to employment. While rigorous research is often what brings her together with practitioners, in practice her efforts help partners strengthen program implementation continuously. She helps them to reflect on the knowledge they gain from the work, use their data constructively, and listen to participant and staff voices. She is an affiliate of MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and trained in human-centered design approaches. Israel has worked on several federally sponsored demonstrations of new programs and policies, as well as evaluations of existing services. She has a BA from Oberlin College and a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy.
From Unexceptional to Unforgettable: How Fatherhood Programs Can Engage Clients Using Behavioral ScienceSeptember, 2022
This infographic uses before-and-after examples to demonstrate how fatherhood programs can use lessons from behavioral science, which studies how people process information and make decisions, to improve the effectiveness of their communications to fathers.BriefMarch, 2022
In 2020, MDRC and its partners conducted a literature review and held a series of conversations on the subject of engaging fathers in fatherhood programs that included practitioners, fathers, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. This publication collects engagement approaches practitioners and other stakeholders have tried or are considering.Brief
A Roundup of Findings from the Building Bridges and Bonds StudySeptember, 2021
The Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study tested innovative, interactive, skill-building approaches to address parenting and economic stability in the context of existing fatherhood programs. This brief highlights findings from the three tests and summarizes lessons from the B3 study experience common to all the tested interventions.Issue Focus
Lessons from the Pandemic Year for the FutureApril, 2021
The InPractice blog is MDRC’s place for sharing resources and tips developed by practitioners, for practitioners. This review of the past year’s posts shows how our program partners adjusted to difficult, uncertain conditions and continued to deliver services during the worst of the pandemic.Issue Focus
Looking Ahead to “In Practice” Blog Posts in 2020January, 2020
MDRC launched the In Practice blog in April 2019, to reflect lessons learned from program managers and staff in various partnerships. Posts in 2020 include Designing Programs Around Real People’s Real Needs, How to Use Data to Improve Programs, Making Evidence-Based Practices a Priority, and Improving Programs by Improving Training.Issue Focus
Tips to Keep Participants Coming Back for MoreSeptember, 2019
In just seven seconds, most people form a first impression. For program participants, this initial encounter can mean the difference between signing up for services – or walking away. The September 2019 In Practice blog post offers tips for programs seeking to have an impact from the get-go.Issue Focus
GIFs and Memes as Tools for EngagementJuly, 2019
The July 2019 In Practice web series looks at how to use a range of media — and humor — to keep program participants engaged in services. Find out how memes and GIFs can transform an outreach strategy.Brief
The Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) StudyApril, 2017
This practitioner brief describes three new approaches in the B3 evaluation of enhancements to Responsible Fatherhood programs: a cognitive behavioral workshop that builds skills for employment stability; Just Beginning, an interactive approach to high-quality parenting; and DadTime, a mobile app to encourage active participation by fathers with their children.Report
Impacts on Health and Employment at Twelve MonthsFebruary, 2011
This demonstration tested the effects of earlier access to health care coverage and related services for new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. After one year, the program increased health care use, reduced reported unmet medical needs, and modestly improved health and functioning. It also increased job prep and search activities but did not raise employment levels.
Michalopoulos, Charles, David Wittenburg, Dina A. R. Israel, and Anne Warren. 2012. “The Effect of Health Care Benefits on Health Care Use and Health: A Randomized Trial for Disability Insurance Beneficiaries.” Medical Care 50, 9: 764-771.
ProjectsDina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, Charles Michalopoulos, Rebecca Behrmann, Meghan McCormick, Patrizia Mancini, Viktoriya Syrov, Xavier Alemañy, Diego Quezada, Emily Marano
The Testing Identified Elements for Success in Fatherhood Programs (Fatherhood TIES ) project hopes to answer the question: What are the elements of fatherhood programs that lead to better outcomes for the fathers who take part in them?
Fatherhood programs are designed to help fathers connect with their children, improve fathers’ relationships with their...Jean Grossman, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Barbara Condliffe, Dina A. R. Israel, Jedediah J. Teres, Hannah Dalporto, Sonia Drohojowska, Lauren Scarola, Frieda Molina, Rebecca Schwartz, Mei Huang, Rebecca Davis, Julia Walsh
The pandemic has led to unfinished learning for a broad swath of students. This unfinished learning has also exacerbated existing disparities in student outcomes by race and ethnicity, income, and geography. Research has shown that high-dosage tutoring is the most effective way for improving learning for many students. But high-dosage tutoring is cost- and resource-...Dina A. R. Israel, Xavier Alemañy, Rebecca Behrmann, Emily Brennan, Virginia Knox, Michelle S. Manno, Emily Marano, Meghan McCormick, Charles Michalopoulos, Frieda Molina, Diego Quezada, Keri West, Samantha Wulfsohn, Donna Wharton-Fields
Over the last three decades, MDRC has established itself as a leader in providing technical assistance to organizations that deliver services to fathers through such projects as Parents’ Fair Share , Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood ( HMRF ) Training and Technical Assistance , Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs ( SIRF ) , and...Dina A. R. Israel, Frieda Molina, Donna Wharton-Fields, Samantha Wulfsohn, Stephanie Rubino, Diego Quezada
Since 2005, the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood ( HMRF ) programs have received funding from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance ( OFA ), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support services, as well as research and evaluation activities. These programs contribute to OFA ’s larger goal of...Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, Emily Brennan, Emily Marano, Donna Wharton-Fields, Erika Lundquist, Rebecca Behrmann, Kureem Nugent, Yana Kusayeva, Diego Quezada
Since 2006, Responsible Fatherhood programs across the country have received federal funding administered by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These programs aim to promote positive father-child interactions, improve parents’ relationship with each other and their capacity...Megan Millenky, Dan Bloom, Susan Scrivener, Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Johanna Walter, Lauren Cates, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Emily Marano, Viktoriya Syrov, Douglas Phillips, Kyla Wasserman, Lily Freedman, Osvaldo Avila, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Gilda Azurdia, Frieda Molina, Shelley Rappaport, Clinton Key, Nandita Verma, Cynthia Miller, Jared Smith, Shawna Anderson, Kelsey Schaberg, Caitlin Anzelone, James A. Riccio, Keri West, Caroline Schultz, Ethan Feldman
Many Americans struggle in the labor market even when overall economic conditions are good. Unemployment is persistently high for some demographic groups and in certain geographic areas, and a large proportion of working-age adults — about two in five in 2019 — tend to be out of the labor force. Factors such as systemic racism embedded in the economy and...Melanie Skemer, Dan Bloom, Dina A. R. Israel, Louisa Treskon, Douglas Phillips, Rebecca Behrmann, Caroline Mage, Jennifer (Jenny) Hausler, Yana Kusayeva, Cassandra T-Pederson, Jayce Helpley
The Office of Child Support Enforcement launched the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt ( PJAC ) demonstration to test the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles into child support practices as a cost-effective alternative to contempt. In this context, contempt is a legal action involving the use of civil court proceedings against...Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, Dan Bloom, JoAnn Hsueh, Charles Michalopoulos, Virginia Knox, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Rebecca Behrmann, Samantha Wulfsohn, Douglas Phillips, Patrizia Mancini, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Bret Barden, Kureem Nugent
Fathers play a unique role in their children’s lives and development, but some fathers face personal or societal barriers to positive involvement with their children — such as low levels of education, stigma from criminal records, declining wages for low-skilled men, or family instability. Responsible Fatherhood programs aim to improve the well-being of low-income...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Rebecca Behrmann, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Jessica Kopsic, Noemi Altman, Caroline Mage, Helen Lee
Adverse birth outcomes result in significant emotional and economic costs for families and communities. One promising avenue for helping expectant women is home visiting programs, which work with parents to promote prenatal care and improve infant health. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start ( MIHOPE -Strong Start) will evaluate the...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Carolyn Hill, Rebecca Behrmann, Ximena Portilla, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Mallory Undestad, Emily Davies, Cullen MacDowell, Marissa Strassberger, Sharon Rowser, Livia Martinez, Helen Lee
Home visiting programs operate around the country to prevent child maltreatment, improve maternal and child health outcomes, and increase school readiness. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 authorized the creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting ( MIECHV ) program, expanding federal funding of home visiting programs....
While welfare agencies and the federal disability system have common goals of supporting people with disabilities and helping them become more independent, the two systems often have diverging interests as well. Differing missions, programmatic and financial challenges, definitions of disability, and rules and incentives related to work make it challenging for the...Cynthia Miller, Dan Bloom, Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, John Martinez, Megan Millenky, Louisa Treskon, Sally Dai, Caroline Mage, Sharon Rowser
Making the successful transition to adulthood had become increasingly challenging for disadvantaged young people. Two changes in the labor market have contributed to this trend. First, the rise in demand for higher skilled workers, while increasing the payoff to college, has resulted in declining real wages for less-educated workers. On top of this, youth are finding...
The Accelerated Benefits Demonstration tested whether making medical benefits immediately available to new Social Security Disability Insurance ( SSDI ) beneficiaries would improve their health and increase the likelihood they would return to work. SSDI pays cash benefits to eligible workers who are disabled. Financed by Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers...Dan Bloom, Lauren Cates, JoAnn Hsueh, Dina A. R. Israel, Charles Michalopoulos, Johanna Walter, Sally Dai, Ximena Portilla
Fueled by a strong economy and passage of the 1996 federal welfare law, which imposed new work requirements and time limits on cash benefits, welfare caseloads declined precipitously during the 1990s. Between 1993 and 2000, the number of families on welfare dropped 56 percent nationally, with individual states experiencing reductions ranging from 20 percent to more...