Ten Topics You’d be Remiss to have Missed

BlogJan 3 2014

Like many of you, dear readers, we did a lot last year. To inform your work in 2014, take a look back at some of these insights from 2013:

1. The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States

January is the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. 49 years later, in 2013, 48 percent of U.S. children ages birth through two were in low income families; 13 percent lived in deep poverty (their family’s income was half or less than half of the poverty level). This report, commissioned by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to spark a dialogue and garner support around America’s youngest, offers a huge amount of data on infants and toddlers, their parents, communities, and resources that exist to support them.

2. Kids who Bully

For every child who has been bullied, there’s at least one child who’s done the bullying. There were too many stories this year about kids who bullied other kids, either physically or mentally, and via social media. Here’s what we know about kids who bully, and the interventions that work to help them stop (and here’s an infographic!).

3. Changing the Course for Infants and Toddlers: A Survey of State Child Welfare Policies and Initiatives

Almost 200,000 children under age three come into contact with the child welfare system each year. High-quality, early interventions can prevent or minimize the negative effects of maltreatment on these children. Child Trends and ZERO TO THREE set out to find out what states are doing to intervene. This report and the recommendations within are the result of a multi-state survey of child welfare agencies. Also see associated fact sheets and this index of state policies and practices.

4.  The Class of 2013

This year, for the first time, Child Trends released a profile of the 2013 graduating class (featured in a New York Times column by Charles Blow), and another of the entering class of kindergartners. 98 out of 100 entering kindergartners smile or laugh a lot!

5. Home Front Alert: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families

Nearly half-a-million children under age six have a parent in the military, and some have two. With parents returning from war, it might seem that the hardest part is over for these kids. But even a reunion with a parent who’s been deployed can present challenges for—and take a lasting toll on—young children in military families. Here are some of the issues they might face, and implications for policymakers. Thanks to The Irving B. Harris Foundation for its support!

6. The Research Base for a Birth through Age Eight State Policy Framework

In 2013 there was bipartisan and business support building for investing in early childhood. This document provides the research base behind a list of policy options for state leaders, released by the Alliance for Early Success. (Here’s the short version.)

7. What Can Schools Do to Build Resilience in their Students?

We needn’t spell out why today’s students need help bouncing back from adversity or trauma. Schools are recognizing the importance of students’ well-being in promoting positive outcomes. But what does it mean to be resilient? And which strategies work to build resilience in schools? Check out this blog, drawn from our work with U.S. Department of Education Safe and Supportive Schools grantees, for a start.

8. Reducing Teen Childbearing among Latinos

Last summer, the CDC announced that Hispanic teen birth rates had fallen by an average of 34 percent between 2007 and 2011. Despite this, more than 40 percent of Hispanic teens become pregnant before age 20. With support from The JPB Foundation, this study, with associated briefs and infographics, includes findings about teen contraceptive use, communication with parents, attitudes about dating, and more, to guide practitioners and policymakers in their work.

9. Homelessness among LGBT Youth: A National Concern

About 1.6 million youth in the U.S. experience homelessness for at least one night each year; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are more at risk of homelessness than other youth. In this blog post, which sheds light on this oft-missed issue, we explain why understanding and reducing homelessness among LGBT youth is a critical part of reducing homelessness, period.

10. World Family Map 2013: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes

In 2013 we and partners (here and abroad) launched the World Family Map Project, designed to monitor the health of family life worldwide, and to learn about how family trends affect children’s well-being. Here’s our first report, in English and Español.

We welcome your thoughts on this work, and your suggestions on topics you’d like to learn about in 2014. Just enter a comment below.

Happy New Year!