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
Issue Focus

Many families with young children experienced severe strains during the pandemic—unemployment, increasing poverty, and increased anxiety and depression. State program administrators can help by strengthening home visiting services and using pediatric visits to reach families. This brief offers recommendations based on evidence of promising strategies, and insights from MDRC’s work.

Brief

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief explains which parents these agencies refer to civil contempt for not paying child support, and describes the business-as-usual contempt proceedings.

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.