Child & Family Stability
Common sense suggests and research confirms that children and youth do best in stable households where they know what to expect and where they feel safe and secure.
All parents juggle the competing demands of raising a family, but caregivers who are experiencing poverty or near poverty circumstances are more challenged to navigate these demands and provide stable environments and consistent support for their children. On a daily basis, they may have difficult choices: pay for food or for child care; take a sick child to the doctor or risk losing their job; or attend a parent/teacher meeting or find a new place to sleep that night. Chronic, cumulative, and potentially toxic stress can be overwhelming for the entire family and have lasting impacts on the lives and outcomes of children.
Strategies to Address Child and Family Stability
Encourage the formation and maintenance of committed two-parent families.
Ensure young women and men have the necessary information about and sources for reproductive health care so they can plan for pregnancy when they are ready to raise a child.
Improve birth outcomes of all children and their mothers.
Help more families get on and stay on a path to living-wage income and asset building.
Take dramatic steps to address our affordable housing crisis, which will stabilize working families, prevent family homelessness, and minimize the disruption of a large number of children who move from school to school due to housing affordability issues.
Create a more connected community to ensure all families have ready access to employment, shopping, service areas, schools, parks, and other daily destinations.
Develop efforts focused on addressing mental health issues and/or reducing the mental health impacts of living in low-opportunity environments.
Invest in strategies that support comprehensive criminal justice reform, and create a community where families are not destabilized due to interactions with the criminal justice system.
Re-envision a human services system in which the needs of families are addressed holistically and services and support are coordinated to achieve the best possible outcomes.