Jesse's Role: Organizer
Project: In-depth dinner conversations with families throughout Boston.
"Integrating Resources to Strengthen Low-income Families –An Update from the Field" Project Document, May 2016
Authors: 9to5 National Association of Working Women, Lisa Dodson, and Françoise Carré
"This project is a partnership of 9to5 National Association of Working Women (Linda Meric) with CSP’s Françoise Carré and Lisa Dodson (Institute for Children, Youth and Family Policy, Brandeis University and Boston College). Now in a 12-month pilot phase, this research and policy project aims to engage with, and learn from, low-income parents and their local allies towards strengthening and integrating safety net programs and workplace standards.
The project addresses a “new twist” to an old challenge; neither wages nor public supports have been sufficient to support low-income families. Recently, low-income families have been reporting even more difficulties with holding and keeping jobs as well as making use of public supports. An even newer twist is that as work schedules have become more irregular, people do not know when they will be called into work; they cannot count on steady work hours, resulting in additional challenges negotiating family care and budgets. In the national conversation on these challenges, the voices of women dealing with the situation day to day are often missing as well as are their input into how policy arguments are made.
The research will systematically document experiences and perspectives of low-income parents from three states—Colorado, Georgia and Massachusetts—who have engaged with low-wage jobs and public supports. It will draw on perspectives of parents through focus groups (directed by Dr. Dodson) and key informants directly involved in public assistance programs and workplace standards. CSP researchers will gather state-specific program data on TANF, child care, minimum wage, and paid leave, the information necessary to contribute to the analysis of focus groups. 9to5 will take the lead on cultivating networks of community-based allies in each state to root the project in local and state efforts, collaborate with other national networks and provide leadership on campaigns that bridge the welfare and work divide. This pilot project fits within a multi-year plan to expand and involve additional states in subsequent years."