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Evidence First

Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Therese Leung as she talks with MDRC researchers about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income people.
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Feb 22, 2017

Can working closely with employers make job training programs more effective?

Although many training programs exist, low-income individuals often cannot afford them, do not complete them, or do not obtain a marketable credential. At the same time, many employers claim that they cannot easily find people with the right occupational skills to meet their needs.

Oct 5, 2016

Can small changes based on the insights of behavioral science improve the effectiveness of social programs?

Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. For example, a change in the way messages or requirements are worded may increase the likelihood that program participants make positive choices. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services programs. With funding from the Administration for Children and Families, MDRC has been testing low-cost behavioral science interventions that can make programs more effective and, ultimately, improve the well-being of low-income children, adults, and families.

Join Therese Leung as she talks to three guests about MDRC’s work in behavioral science, with a particular focus on improving child support programs:

  • Susan Brown, Director of the Child Support Enforcement Agency, Franklin County, OH
  • Emily Schmitt, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michael Johns, Research Associate at MDRC
Dec 15, 2015

Girls are making up a larger share of the juvenile justice system than ever before. One program that’s trying to address this issue is the PACE Center for Girls in Florida. 

Sep 4, 2015

 

How do young adults fare after they age out of the foster care or juvenile justice systems? And are there services that can help these young people make a successful transition to adulthood?   

With funding from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, MDRC just released results from an evaluation of the Transitional Living Program (now called YVLifeSet) run by the organization Youth Villages. The program provides intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling. This is one of the few rigorously studied programs in this area and the first to find positive results for young adults across a wide range of outcomes, including earnings, housing stability, and economic well-being.  Join Therese Leung as she talks to Erin Valentine, a researcher at MDRC, about the evaluation.

 

 

Apr 6, 2015

What's worked to help disadvantaged youth get jobs? And how can we get more employers actively engaged in this issue? Therese Leung talks with Farhana Hossain, a researcher at MDRC, about the problem of youth unemployment.

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