To help inform how programs and policy can better serve Hispanic children and families, Child Trends launched the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families in 2013. The Center is a hub of research aimed at improving the lives of low-income Latinos by working across three priority areas: poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and early care and education. Funded by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation within the Administration of Children & Families, Department of Health & Human Services, the Center is led by a strong team of national experts on Hispanic children and families.
Child Trends recently completed a random-assignment comprehensive evaluation study of nearly 1,000 parents enrolled in the Abriendo Puertasprogram. This program is designed for Latino parents with preschool children. The ten-session program, offered in schools in 28 states, teaches low-income Latino parents skills to strengthen parenting behaviors, build their knowledge of early childhood development, and advocate for their children’s healthy development.
Child Trends conducted the first rigorous, independent analysis of all the existing research in the field of integrated student supports — Integrated Student Supports: The Evidence. Child Trends presented the results of this extensive study at the national forum on ISS programs held by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and its President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in March 2014. ISS is a promising approach for closing the educational achievement gaps that is taking hold in communities across the country to promote students’ academic success through coordinated academic and non-academic supports. More than 1.5 million students in some 3,000 public schools participate in these programs, with Hispanics and blacks representing an estimated 75 percent of total enrollment. The study found that ISS models resulted in: decreases in grade retention, dropout rates, and absenteeism; increases in attendance rates and math scores, and GPA; and provide a positive return on investment.