Policy Update: March 2021

SRCD's Policy Update monitors policy developments in Washington, D.C., including federal priorities for developmental science, and legislation and programs relevant to child development. It also contains information on conferences and training opportunities, new reports, and requests for comments. Policy Update also highlights the work and experiences of SRCD Policy Fellows in the column Spotlight on the SRCD Policy Fellow.

SRCD Child and Family Policy News

ICYMI: SRCD Survey: What Do You Want to See in Policy Update?

For over 15 years, SRCD’s Policy Update, and its predecessors Policy Watch and Washington Update, have kept its readership informed about SRCD policy-related activities as well as federal legislative and executive agency activities that are relevant to child development. We strive to ensure Policy Update’s content remains informative and meets the interests of our readership. We would greatly appreciate your participation in a brief survey about your policy interests. The information collected from the survey will help guide future content included in Policy UpdateClick here to complete the survey. 

Please complete the survey by April 2, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

New Social Policy Report: Seeking Safety and Humanity in the Harshest Immigration Climate in a Generation

SRCD recently released the new Social Policy Report by Drs. Kelly L. Edyburn and Shantel Meek, “Seeking Safety and Humanity in the Harshest Immigration Climate in a Generation: A Review of the Literature on the Effects of Separation and Detention on Migrant and Asylum- Seeking Children and Families in the United States during the Trump Administration.” The report provides an overview of the federal immigration policies under the Trump Administration that impacted migrant children and families. It also summarizes research on the effects of the Administration’s policies on children’s physical safety and health, development, family wellbeing, and education. The report concludes with policy recommendations to support the health and well-being of immigrant children and families moving forward.

Register Now! SRCD’s Biennial Meeting is Just One Week Away

The SRCD 2021 Virtual Biennial Meeting, held from April 7 -9, 2021, is an innovative conference experience designed to bring together developmental scientists from around the world. Register early to attend the open house the day before the meeting on Tuesday, April 6th so you can familiarize yourself with the virtual venue and avoid delays in accessing the conference. Visit SRCD's website to register for SRCD2021.

Highlights from SRCD 2021 include:

  • A diverse, interdisciplinary invited program with 28 sessions,
  • More than 50 invited speakers,
  • More than 700 research presentations from which to choose over 3 days (available on-demand for one month after the meeting),
  • Popular events like SRCD Pre-conferences (held on April 6) and Chat with Leaders (formerly Lunch with Leaders),
  • 19 professional development sessions,
  • 14 poster sessions with more than 200 posters at each (available for viewing throughout and after the meeting),
  • Caucus and Student & Early Career Lounges with programming and networking,
  • The Annual Awards Ceremony recognizing the contributions of child development researchers,
  • A virtual Exhibit Hall with information from publishers and other research-oriented vendors,
  • And more!

Questions? Please contact SRCD’s Meetings and Events Team at programoffice@srcd.org.

Register Now! 2021 Zigler Policy Pre-Conference

Policing and Anti-Racism: Racial and Gender Disparities in Criminal Justice Experiences and Youth Development 

When: Tuesday, April 6th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Eastern
The 2021 Zigler Policy Pre-Conference, honoring the memory and legacy of Dr. Edward Zigler, will focus on racial and gender disparities in policing and the criminal justice system, and the implications of these systems for child and youth development. Presentations by leading scholars and practitioners will delineate key research findings, identify knowledge gaps, and discuss the translation to racial justice advocacy and anti-racist policies. The Zigler Policy Pre-Conference is co-organized by the SRCD Science and Social Policy Committee, SRCD Student and Early Career Council, and the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium. The 2021 Zigler Policy Pre-Conference will feature keynote presentations by: 

  • Nikki Jones, Professor, African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley 
  • Hedwig Lee, Professor of Sociology, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, & Equity, Washington University in St. Louis 
  • K. Ricky Watson, Jr., Executive Director, National Juvenile Justice Network 
  • Sheretta Butler-Barnes (moderator), Associate Professor, Washington University in St. Louis 

The registration fee for the Zigler Policy Pre-Conference is $20; Register now to guarantee a spot through SRCD’s Biennial Meeting registration website

Check Out Federal Agency Sessions and Posters at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting

The 2021 SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting includes representatives from a wide range of federal agencies that support children and caregivers through a variety of programs, research, and evaluation activities. During the Federal Agency Poster Session, members will have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with agency representatives and learn more about the work of their agency. The Professional Development sessions will cover a broad array of topics, including funding opportunities, research-relevant resources, and career development opportunities of interest to SRCD members. The Federal Agency Poster Session will take place on Thursday, April 8th from 11:45 to 12:45 pm EDT and include representatives from the following agencies: 

  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF), United States Department of Health and Human Services (e.g., Office of Child Care, Office of Head Start)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health
  • National Institute of Justice (NIJ), United States Department of Justice
  • Institute of Education Sciences, United States Department of Education (e.g., National Center for Education Statistics, NCES).
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Federal Agency Professional Development Sessions at the 2021 Biennial Meeting include: 

  • Child Development Data for Secondary Analysis from the Departments of Education & Health and Human Services (Federal agencies represented: NCES, NIDA, NICHD, and OPRE). When: Wednesday, April 7th from 10:00 – 11:30 am Eastern.
  • How to Apply for Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Research Funding Opportunities and Understand the Scientific Peer Review Process (Federal agency represented: IES). When: Friday, April 9 from 4:20 – 5:50 pm Eastern.
  • Federal Support for Early Learning and Development Research: Current Research Priorities (Federal agencies represented: CDC, IES, NICHD, NIDA, and OPRE). When: Wednesday, April 7 from 11:35 – 1:05 pm Eastern.
  • Federal Interagency Forum on Children and Family Statistics: Resources and Opportunities for Child Development Researchers (Federal agencies represented: NICHD, NCHS, and OMB). When: Wednesday, April 7 from 2:45 to 4:15 pm Eastern.
  • New Opportunities to Study the Understudied: Secondary Analyses with Two Federal Datasets (Federal agency represented: OPRE). When: Friday, April 9 from 10:00 to 11:30 am Eastern.
  • Child Development Research at the National Institutes of Health (Federal agencies represented: NIAAA, NICHD, NIDA, NIMH, and NIMHD). When: Friday, April 9 from 11:35 to 1:05 pm Eastern.

Visit SRCD’s website to learn more about the Federal Agency and other policy-relevant sessions at the 2021 Biennial Meeting. 

Spotlights on SRCD Policy Fellows - Jenn Finders & Ellen Litkowski

Jenn Finders, Ph.D., is a SRCD State Policy Post-doctoral Fellow who is placed in the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning (OECOSL) at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Read about Jenn’s work to help Indiana’s child care system respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as further preexisting priorities of the state’s child care and education systems. 

Ellen Litkowski, Ph.D., is a SRCD Federal Executive Branch Policy Fellow who is placed in the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Read about how the fellowship has informed her understanding of how the federal government conducts relevant and ethical work, incorporates different perspectives, and advances research forward for all people.

Are you interested in learning more about the 2020-2021 SRCD U.S. Policy Fellows? Consider attending SRCD's Policy Fellowship Panel on Thursday, April 8 at 2:45pm Eastern at our upcoming 2021 Virtual Biennial Meeting. Visit the SRCD website to read Spotlights describing the contributions SRCD U.S. Policy Fellows have made at their placements.


Legislative Branch Updates

COVID-19 Relief Update

President Biden Signs American Rescue Plan Act into Law 

On March 11, President Biden signed H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” a $1.86 trillion COVID-19 relief package into law. The U.S. House of Representatives previously advanced H.R. 1319 with a 220-211 vote on March 10, following the Senate’s passage on March 6 with a 50-49 vote. Votes in both chambers were along party lines. 

H.R. 1319 includes multiple provisions of interest, which include but are not limited to: direct payments of up to $1,400; extended unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021 (e.g., extending Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), among other unemployment assistance programs); expanded tax credits (e.g., the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit); and additional child care and Head Start funding. H.R. 1319 includes $39 billion for child care: approximately $24 billion for Child Care Stabilization grants and $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, and $1 billion for Head Start.

H.R. 1319 also includes $600 million in research relief for the National Science Foundation, funding hat would support new and current research grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, apprenticeships, and more. Similarly, the package includes $100 million for the Institute of Education Sciences, within the U.S. Department of Education Sciences, to address COVID-19-related learning loss, support homeless students, children in foster care, and more. Read the Senate’s summary of H.R. 1319 provisions for more information about the package.  

House Passes the American Dream and Promise Act and Other Immigration Measures

On March 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the “American Dream and Promise Act of 2021” with a 228-197 vote. H.R. 6 would provide undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors (or “Dreamers”) and immigrants with temporary protections (e.g., Temporary Protected Status (TPS) workers) with a pathway to citizenship.  

H.R. 6 includes individuals who entered the United States when they were 18 years old or younger, including individuals who were included in the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). President Biden released a statement about H.R. 6, noting the bill “... is a critical first step in reforming our immigration system and will provide much needed relief to TPS holders and Dreamers, young people who came here as children and know no other country.” 

The House passed a second immigration bill this month, H.R. 1603, the “Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021” with a 247-174 vote. H.R. 1603 would provide pathways to permanent residency for farmworkers. Both bills go to the Senate for consideration.

According to CQ, some lawmakers hope the passage of immigration measures “... will help build momentum to advance the White House-backed comprehensive immigration bill, which would overhaul the U.S. immigration system and provide a path to legal status for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.” 

House Passes Justice in Policing Act

On March 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1280, the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021” with a 220-212 vote. Last summer, the House passed a similar bill, but the bill did not advance in the Senate. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement when the bill was reintroduced, noting “... the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will address systemic racism, curb police brutality and save lives. This legislation includes bold reforms, which ban chokeholds, stop no-knock warrants, end the court-created qualified immunity doctrine, combat racial profiling, and establish strong new standards and protections to prevent and combat police misconduct…We must act decisively and urgently to end the injustice.” H.R. 1280 goes to the Senate for consideration. 

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans 

On March 18, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on “Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans.” Chairman, Steven Cohen (D-TN) opened the hearing by calling for a moment of silence for the victims of the recent tragedy in Atlanta, Georgia. In his opening statement, Chairman Cohen noted “for many Asian Americans, Tuesday’s shocking events felt like the inevitable culmination of a year in which there were nearly 3,800 reported incidents of anti-Asian hate—incidents that grew increasingly more violent over time as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened and some people wrongly blamed Asian Americans.... I want to make clear to all Asian Americans—who are understandably feeling hurt and afraid right now and wondering whether anyone else in America cares—that Congress sees you, we stand with you, and we will do everything in our power to protect you.” 

Witnesses covered a vast array of topics during the hearing from the increased prevalence of discrimination and violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the compounded effects of discrimination and violence for women. Witnesses highlighted key data, including: 

  • An increase of 149% in anti-AAPI hate crimes was documented in 16 major U.S. cities during 2020.
  • Between March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021, 3,795 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate. While reported incidents are undoubtedly an undercount of the total number of incidents, they help to illustrate the range and severity of experiences: 68% involved verbal harassment, 21% involved shunning, 11% involved physical assault and 9% involved civil rights violations, such as workplace discrimination or refusal of service. Women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men. 

Witnesses included Congressmembers, advocates, and academics. View the full recording and read witness testimonies for more information.

Additional Hearings of Interest

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence
On March 23, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on “Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence.” Witnesses included: Robin Brule, Advocate; Selwyn O. Rogers, Jr., Chief, M.D., MPH, Section Of Trauma And Acute Care Surgery Founding Director, Trauma Center, University of Chicago Medicine; Fernando C. Spagnolo, Chief Of Police, Waterbury Police Department; Robyn Thomas, J.D., Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence; Amy Swearer, J.D., The Heritage Foundation; Geneva Solomon, Owner Of Redstone Firearms, Director of Internal Communications, National African American Gun Association; Suzanna Gratia Hupp, Former State Legislator And Author; and Chris Cheng, History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 Champion. View the full recording and read witness testimonies.  

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 and the Mental Health and Substance Use Crises 
On March 11, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations held a hearing on “COVID-19 and the Mental Health and Substance Use Crises.” Witnesses included: Lisa Amaya-Jackson, Co-Director, UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress; Arthur Evans Jr., Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, American Psychological Association; Verna Foust, Chief Executive Officer, Red Rock Behavioral Health Sciences; and Mark Stringer, Director, Missouri Department of Mental Health. View the full recording and read witness testimonies.

House Committee Holds Hearing on the U.S. Research Enterprise and COVID-19 Impacts and Recovery 
On February 25, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on “Building Back the U.S. Research Enterprise: COVID Impacts and Recovery.” Witnesses included: Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Christopher Keane, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, Washington State University; Felice Levine, Ph.D., Executive Director, American Educational Research Association; and Thomas Quaadman, J.D., Executive Vice President, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. View the full recording and read the opening statement and witness testimonies.


Executive Branch Updates


President Biden Issues Executive Orders on Gender Equality and Policy

On March 8, International Women’s Day, President Biden issued two Executive Orders about gender equality and policy. The first Executive Order titled, “Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” emphasizes, “... all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” The order directs the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Attorney General, to review regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and related agency actions that may conflict with this order and provide the Director of the Office of Management and Budget with the findings. Read the Executive Order for more information. 

The second Executive Order titled “Executive Order on Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council” notes “advancing gender equity and equality is a matter of human rights, justice, and fairness. It is also a strategic imperative that reduces poverty and promotes economic growth, increases access to education, improves health outcomes, advances political stability, and fosters democracy.  The full participation of all people — including women and girls — across all aspects of our society is essential to the economic well-being, health, and security of our Nation and of the world.” The Executive Order institutes a White House Gender Policy Council within the Executive Office of the President. Read the full Executive Order for more information.

For a comprehensive list of recent executive actions, visit WhiteHouse.gov.

NIH RFI: Inviting Comments and Suggestions to Advance and Strengthen Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a request for information (RFI), “Inviting Comments and Suggestions to Advance and Strengthen Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Biomedical Research and Advance Health Disparities and Health Equity Research.” NIH requests feedback on strategies to improve racial diversity, equity, and inclusion within the biomedical research workforce and information regarding opportunities to scale-up research to ameliorate or eliminate health disparities and inequities. The goal of this RFI is to identify concrete and effective procedures, practices, and policies the NIH can implement to both enhance the research portfolio on health disparities as well as create a more inclusive and diverse research environment.

The RFI notes, “As a global leader in biomedical research, NIH carries a weighted responsibility to address systemic challenges and barriers affecting the NIH workforce and NIH-supported biomedical community that hinder the progress necessary to support true health equity. Enhancing workforce diversity and equity across the biomedical enterprise are critical steps to achieving progress. NIH acknowledges the experiences of those affected by race-based discrimination and is committed to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities within our workplace, the NIH-supported external scientific workforce, and the NIH-funded research portfolio. NIH leadership established the UNITE initiative, a new effort that involves all 27 NIH Institutes and Centers and the Office of the Director, to promote and advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

Comments can be made by stakeholders across clinical practice, scientific research, non-scientific, and advocacy communities. Comments are especially requested from racial equity organizations and institutions historically committed to the education of students from underrepresented groups. Read the request for information for more information and consider submitting a comment. Interested parties should submit comments by April 9, 2021.

NIMH: James Jackson Memorial Award 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently launched the inaugural James Jackson Memorial Award, which will honor an outstanding researcher who has demonstrated exceptional individual achievement and leadership in mental health disparities research and excellence in mentorship, influence, and support of students (particularly BIPOC students). This award is named in honor of the late Dr. James Jackson, a renowned social psychologist who was the Daniel Katz Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Jackson’s research on race, ethnicity, racism, health, and mental health has had a profound on disparities research and minority mental health.

Read the announcement for more information about this opportunity. Applications are due by 11:59 pm (ET) on April 16, 2021.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Interdisciplinary Frontiers of Understanding the Brain

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) titled "Interdisciplinary Frontiers of Understanding the Brain.” NSF seeks community input on a specific set of questions. Please note feedback will inform future NSF investments. 

Read the full Dear Colleague Letter for more information about this opportunity. Interested parties should consider submitting a response by March 31, 2021.

Department of Education COVID-19 Handbook: Strategies for Safely Reopening Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S Department of Education (ED) are sharing evidence-based recommendations to provide critical support for schools, district leaders, and educators facing COVID-19-related challenges. Last month, the Department of Education released the first volume of their COVID-19 Handbook, titled “Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools.” The handbook delineates mitigation strategies to safely reopen schools during the pandemic and identifies opportunities to promote equity for communities of color and individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions.

According to ED, the handbook “... supplements CDC's Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation.” The ED COVID-19 Handbook will be released in two volumes. To read the Department of Education’s press release, visit their website.

Office of Child Care Initiative: Supporting the Social and Emotional Wellness of Children

The Office of Child Care within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently released a guide titled, “A Resource Guide for Developing Integrated Strategies to Support the Social and Emotional Wellness of Children.” The guide recognizes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children, identifies strategies to support children, and highlights Child Care and Development Fund grantee partnerships that have fostered implementation success. Read the resource guide for more information and watch Office of Child Care webinars on this initiative. 


Federal Reports

New Reports and Briefs from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

Several new publications are available from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 

(1) Promoting Sustainability of Child Care Programs during the COVID-19 PandemicThis report provides basic background information about the structure of child care costs and revenues and shows how the pandemic and associated changes in regulations and demand have affected them. It also describes implementation issues for allocating financial resources to child care programs and offers considerations related to implementation (e.g., considerations related to determining program eligibility for grants, selection criteria for grants, and calculation of award amounts).

(2) Transitional Living Program (TLP) Special Population Demonstration ReportThis report describes a process study that documents how TLP Special Population Demonstration grantees designed and implemented their specialized program models, challenges encountered, and lessons learned.

(3) Economic Benefits of Delayed Sexual ActivityThis report provides summary estimates of the net lifetime benefit that accrues when a single adolescent chooses to delay voluntary sexual activity. These estimates are useful for valuing the type of changes in behavior that are possible in response to federally funded and other sexual risk avoidance and teen pregnancy prevention programs. As such, they can be used to inform decision making by program providers and policymakers.

(4) Administrative Data on Federal Policies and Programs that Support Young Children with Disabilities: Resource Guide for ResearchersThis report provides information for researchers about administrative data collected on federal policies and programs that (in whole or part) support young children with disabilities.

(5) Analyzing Data on Paired Partners in Program Evaluation: Strategies to Overcome Common Challenges. Many healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood (HMRF) programs serve paired partners simultaneously, such as couples seeking to improve their relationship or coparents raising a child together. This report describes challenges that evaluators face in correctly analyzing data from paired partners and offers some strategies researchers can consider for addressing them.

(6) Building Staff Co-Regulation to Support Healthy Relationships in Youth: A Guide for PractitionersThis report serves as a starting point for supervisors of healthy relationship programs for youth who want to more intentionally integrate co-regulation into program delivery. It inspires staff to explore the science of co-regulation, examine current practices, and identify opportunities to apply strategies and approaches through a step-by-step model of integration.

(7) Measuring Co-Regulation: A Draft Tool for Observing Educators in Youth-Serving ProgramsThis report describes a tool designed as a part of Self-Regulation Training Approaches and Resources to Improve Staff Capacity for Implementing Healthy Marriage Programs for Youth (SARHM) to measure educators’ co-regulation during group sessions, including their use of specific, theory-based co-regulation strategies.

(8) Family Development and Self-Sufficiency (FaDSS): Implementation Findings from the Evaluation of Employment CoachingThis report describes FaDSS’ design and goals, the target population and program participants, the implementation of coaching, and other services available to program participants. The findings are of interest to practitioners and policymakers considering implementing or supporting coaching interventions and will provide important context for understanding and interpreting the findings from the impact study and support future replication of employment coaching interventions.

New Reports and Briefs from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Several new publications are available from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  

(1) Key Programmatic Elements of Father Engagement to Promote Self-sufficiency (Keep Fathers Engaged)This resource includes three case studies of human services programs that have implemented strategies for keeping fathers safely engaged in their children’s lives and avoiding unintentionally or inadvertently excluding fathers—and their strengths and needs—in service delivery and program implementation.

(2) Improving Programs, Policies and Services to Promote Healthy Development in Middle Childhood in Afterschool SettingsThis resource includes various materials that identify interventions and practices implemented in afterschool settings that improve children’s social-emotional, behavioral and physical health. Project findings are based on a literature review and case studies of five afterschool program sites serving economically disadvantaged families in diverse geographic regions.

(3) Health Disparities by Race and Ethnicity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Current Evidence and Policy Approaches. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark health disparities among Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations in several areas, including infections, hospitalizations, death rates, and vaccination rates. This report describes current evidence related to COVID-19 related health disparities, and includes potential policy solutions to improve health equity.

(4) Common Principles and Emerging Practices in Social Capital. Social capital – or the value that arises from connections, networks, and relationships – can help human services programs improve participant outcomes. This report highlights common principles and emerging practices to inform practitioners who help participants build and use social capital to improve outcomes related to poverty, employment, and well-being.

(5) Lessons Learned from Virtual Human Services During COVID-19. Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic provided key takeaways to help promote effective, accessible, and equitable virtual service delivery. This report illustrates initial lessons learned across various elements of virtual service delivery, including tips for best meeting participant needs and supporting staff.

(6) Easy or Hard? Delivering Different Types of Human Services Virtually. Based on findings from interviews with 56 program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs in summer 2020, this report highlights tradeoffs and considerations in the relative ease or difficulty of delivering various types of human services virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(7) Choosing Platforms for Virtual Human Services Delivery. Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic provided great insight into the tradeoffs and relative advantages of choosing virtual platforms to administer services from. This report highlights key considerations for programs choosing and applying technology for program participants.

(8) Virtual Human Services for Different Populations. Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic offered rich information about how well virtual service delivery worked for different types of participants. This report highlights populations for whom virtual services more easily (or less easily) met their needs.

(9) Health Conditions Among Individuals with a History of Homelessness Research BriefThis report uses a proprietary data set with electronic health records of more than 54,000 individuals with ICD-10 code of homelessness between 2015 and 2019 to compare their prevalence of various health conditions to a comparison cohort of individuals matched on age and gender.

New Reports and Briefs from the Institute of Education Sciences

Several new publications are available from the National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education: 

(1) Outside Jobs Among U.S. Public School Teachers. This report examines the supplemental school year income earned at jobs outside the school system by public school teachers in the United States.

(2) Do College and Career Readiness and Early College Success in Indiana Vary Depending on Whether Students Attend Public, Charter, or Private Voucher High Schools? Indiana has a robust portfolio of high school options, including traditional public schools, charter schools, and private voucher schools that accept Indiana Choice Scholarships. This report and brief identify the type of high school enrollment among students enrolled in grade 9 in 2010/11–2013/14 and examine their performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success.

(3) Forum Guide to Strategies for Education Data Collection and Reporting (SEDCAR)This report was created to provide timely and useful best practices for education agencies that are interested in designing and implementing a strategy for data collection and reporting, focusing on these as key elements of the larger data process.

(4) National Institute for School LeadershipTM (NISL) Intervention Report. This report, conducted by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), summarizes the research on NISL, a professional development program that aims to develop effective, strategic school leaders focused on preparing schools to provide high-quality instruction in a supportive learning environment.

(5) Literacy Design Collaborative Intervention ReportThis report and brief conducted by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), summarizes the research on Literacy Design Collaborative, a professional development program that aims to support teachers' literacy instruction by providing access to high-quality literacy instructional materials for teachers of kindergarten through grade 12.

(6) Evaluating the Implementation of Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) in Education: An Applied Research Methods ReportThis report describes a study to develop a framework that can be used to evaluate the implementation of NICs in public prekindergarten (PK)–12 education and to apply this framework to the formative evaluation of the Minnesota Alternative Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (Minnesota ALC NIC), a partnership between Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, the Minnesota Department of Education, and five alternative learning centers (ALCs) in Minnesota.

(7) Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Intervention in the Elementary Grades.  
This report was developed by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) in partnership with a panel of experts including educators in both mathematics and special education. The panel distilled recent, rigorous mathematics intervention research into six practice recommendations for educators working with students in grades K-6.

(8) Early Childhood Data Use Assessment ToolThis tool is designed to identify and improve data use skills among early childhood education (ECE) program staff so they can better use data to inform, plan, monitor, and make decisions for instruction and program improvement.

(9) Understanding the Teacher Pipeline for Indiana's K-12 Public Schools. Leaders at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Department of Education are concerned about teacher shortages and want a better understanding of the educator pipeline for Indiana’s K–12 public schools. This report and brief examines the characteristics and outcomes for three cohorts of undergraduate education students in Indiana’s public colleges and universities.


U.S. Federal Funding Opportunities

The March 2021 FFO lists over 100 funding opportunities for research, evaluation, and dissemination. Below we highlight a few funding opportunities from this month's FFO: 

(1) A National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) funding opportunity to support research and related activities toward services, technologies, and other interventions to support parents with disabilities in their parenting roles. Applications are due by May 7, 2021.

(2) A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding opportunity to support investigator-initiated research proposals to rigorously evaluate approaches (programs, policies, or practices) for their impact on primary prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) perpetrated by youth or adults. Applications are due by May 10, 2021.

(3) A National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding opportunity to support the innovative analysis of existing (publicly available) nationally representative U.S. cross-sectional and longitudinal data, including the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), to investigate novel scientific ideas and/or to generate new models, systems, tools, methods, or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research in areas relevant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). Applications are due by October 8, 2021.

(4) A National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funding opportunity to support confirmatory efficacy testing of non-pharmacological therapeutic and preventive interventions for mental disorders in adults and children through an experimental therapeutics approach. Applications are due by June 15, 2021.

Read about these and other funding opportunities.