MDRC develops and studies programs that serve two-parent families that have low incomes, some focusing on addressing their workforce and income security needs and others on supporting the continued growth of their relationship and parenting skills.

The Latest

Some 10.5 million children in this country live in poverty, yet little is known about how they and their families view their daily experiences of poverty. In this report, children, adolescents, and their parents who participate in social safety net programs discuss their perceptions of poverty, wealth, and economic inequality.


This report describes how the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the economic circumstances and emotional well-being of a small sample of families with younger children and low incomes. It adds meaningful context to the nationally reported aggregate statistics about the pandemic and its effects on families and children.

Key Documents

Building on findings that the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) resulted in higher rates of marital stability among two-parent recipient families who participated in this initiative that provided financial incentives to welfare recipients who worked, this report documents MFIP’s long-term effects on marriage and divorce among participants in the program’s sample of nearly 2,500 two-parent families who were married or cohabiting at study entry.


This report seeks to answer two policy questions: whether providing subsidies to families whose incomes are just over the state’s eligibility limit affects their child care and employment outcomes, and whether extending the length of time before families must reapply for subsidies affects the receipt of subsidies and related outcomes.


Presented Before the Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate