Single-Parent Families

Single-parent families are more likely than two-parent families to live in poverty. Not surprisingly, many of the participants in MDRC’s evaluations and demonstrations across policy areas are single parents and their families.

The Latest
Brief

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice principles (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief describes the parents in the PJAC study sample and what led them to the point of being in contempt of court for nonpayment.

Methodology

Semistructured interviews involve an interviewer asking some prespecified, open-ended questions, with follow-up questions based on what the interviewee has to say. This Reflections on Methodology post describes a semistructured interview protocol recently used to explore how children who experience poverty perceive their situations, their economic status, and public benefit programs.

Key Documents
Report

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project examines the 27,000 single parents who participated in the studied programs to understand the characteristics of those who successfully advanced in the labor market.

Infographic

As the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States, the BIAS project demonstrated the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.