Trend Lines Blog

Welcome to Child Trends’ blog, Trend Lines, where we share key findings from child and youth research and offer insights to inform  policies and programs.

Collective Impact: We Can’t Take It for Granted

Group of Multiethnic Teenagers Taking a SelfieCollaboration is one of those ideas whose value seems obvious, but is notoriously difficult to pin down .

Many significant social problems that plague children and families—violence, lack of economic opportunity, poor school achievement, unhealthy water and air, substance abuse, social isolation—cannot be turned around by a single program. The reason is that the causes of these problems are complex and multidimensional, and they call for population-level changes, not just the progress—however significant—of clients who participate in a particular program. Instead, they call for an “all hands on deck” response that includes participation from multiple sectors of a community, and not just formal programs, but the informal efforts of residents themselves, acting as friends, neighbors, and citizens. Read More

Why Normalcy is Important for Youth in Foster Care

I entered foster care in Los Angeles when I was five years old. I spent the majority of my time in care with a foster parent whose adopted daughter was like a little sister to me. In the five years...

Support for Foster Parents Means Better Lives for Foster Youth

Imagine you are a child who has just been removed from your home and placed in foster care. While waiting to return to your family or move into a permanent home, there’s a good chance you will move around a...

How contraception can boost social mobility

This blog was originally published by Brookings. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. This is a problem. Women who have unintended pregnancies are at greater risk of suffering from mental health problems and physical abuse....

For kids’ sake, let’s get lead out of the water

I read the news of lead-tainted water in Flint, Newark, and elsewhere with sadness and outrage—but also with some puzzlement. Many of us believed that we solved the problem of childhood lead poisoning years ago. Nationwide data have reported that...

Why Positive Youth Development Works

Practitioners and policymakers have spent decades trying varied approaches to the prevention of problem behaviors among youth and to helping youth navigate the transition to adulthood. Most of these efforts, however, have had only modest success, and some have actually...

Connected at the Table: The Importance of Family Meals

The best part of my day always comes toward the end, when I sit down for dinner with my wife and our two children. Nina and Albert are 9 and 4, so it’s rarely a quiet or orderly occasion: food...
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