Cornell Project 2Gen works to strengthen and develop synergistic relationships between Cornell faculty and students and New York policymakers. We provide outlets for sharing research with policymakers both locally and nationally and are developing new strategic partners with community, state, and national organizations and government agencies to support parents and children simultaneously.
Below we highlight a few of these recent activities.
Cornell Project 2Gen in Albany
Cornell Project 2Gen hosted its first annual presentation connecting Cornell researchers with New York policymakers, “Supporting Vulnerable New York Families” on April 24th, 2018. This event brought researchers to the State Capitol to give a large-group presentation in the morning, followed by one-on-one meetings with key legislative staff and governor’s staff.
This event, funded by Engaged Cornell and the Scholars Strategy Network, is a collaborative effort of Cornell faculty, staff, and students. Undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience communicating with policymakers and planning an event to bridge research and policy.
New York State Policy on Child Welfare and Two-Generation Approaches
Who develops New York’s child welfare policy?
New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) has multiple state agencies committed to various formats of child welfare, including the Division of Child Care Services (DCCS), Division of Child Welfare and Community Services (DCWCS), and Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY).
What two-generation programs does New York offer?
New York is increasing its two-generational approach to child and adult poverty through programs like the Child Care Subsidy Program, the NYS Close to Home initiative, Healthy Families NY, Advantage and Empire After School Programs, and state-sponsored pre-schools, among others. These programs are overseen by the Office of Child and Family Services, and rely on state funds to provide a large portion of their services, supplemented by federal grants and philanthropic organizations.
Do these programs work?
The Division of Child Welfare and Community Services runs annual program evaluations, reporting back to the OCFS and the state assembly, to ensure continued funding. For example, Healthy Families New York is a program that offers services through home visits for expecting families up until the child is five years old, in the interest of supporting parents through pre-natal education, encouraging bonding activities, and helping parents monitor their children for developmental milestones. It has been classified by the federal government as an evidence-based program, having been evaluated for over fifteen years in research control trials and with continuous quality improvement through monitoring performance measures. Measurements of success include a 50% reduction in confirmed child abuse and neglect in home-visited families, children were 50% less likely to repeat the first grade, and parents utilize strategies to engage with their children and develop non-violent discipline strategies more often. This support of both parents and children has resulted in triple returns on investment by the child’s seventh birthday, demonstrating that the money spent on helping children and parents develop stability and knowledge saves state money.
By Nora Smithhisler, 2018 2Gen Scholar