Social Policy

Unusual insight into complex social problems related to the impact of public policy on individuals, communities and institutions

Population change during trying times

Authors

  • Mathew Hall

The first official census counts revealed population changes in Illinois, including declining populations in Chicago, growing collar counties, and changes to racial demographics.

Highlights 

1. Illinois grew by 411,399 during the 2000s—a relatively small increase of 3.3 percent


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Policy Initiative: none

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Working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, and depression risk

Authors

  • Margaret L. Usdansky

Mothers of young children face difficult decisions when it comes to employment. Some feminists warn mothers that staying home is a financial and emotional trap. Some neo-traditionalists counter that employment robs women of a unique parenting opportunity. But such one-size-fits-all arguments may miss the mark.

           

Research by sociologists Margaret L. Usdansky (Syracuse University), Rachel A. Gordon, Xue Wang, and Anna Gluzman (University of Illinois at Chicago) provides insight into how the decision to work for pay affects mothers' mental health.

 


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Immigration ambivalence in suburbia

Authors

  • Matthew Hall
  • Patrick Washington

One local-level trend related to the growth of the immigrant population has been the influx of immigrants into the Chicago suburbs, either from the city, or directly from their home countries. Lake County, a region that includes the suburbs Highland Park, Highwood, North Chicago, Round Lake/Round Lake Beach, and Waukegan, has experienced a 332 percent increase in its largely Latino immigrant population since 1980. That’s a near tripling of the population in less than 35 years.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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How do childcare centers and preschools weather funding disruptions?

Authors

  • Anna C. Colaner
  • Danny Lambouths, III

This Preschool Policy Forum documents the many funding sources for Chicago area childcare centers and preschools as well as the frequency and impact of funding disruptions between 2011 and 2012. The study surveyed 229 center directors in 33 ZIP Codes on the west and north sides of Chicago as part of the Chicago Area Study series at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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School's out

Authors

  • Peter Mulhall

This Policy Forum summarizes the presentations of three national experts and a local planning committee at a 2007 IGPA Family Impact Seminar devoted to after-school programs in Illinois. We begin by comparing Illinois to other states in terms of availability of after-school programming and innovation in design and funding of these programs. We then summarize insights into how successful after-school programs achieve their goals, and how program quality can be assessed for program self-improvement and for accountability.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Racial segregation in metropolitan Chicago housing

Authors

  • Tyrone Forman

The United States is experiencing rapid demographic changes that are altering its racial and ethnic landscape, particularly in urban centers. According to the 2000 census, 56 percent of residents of the 100 largest U.S. cities are nonwhite. Moreover, there is diversity in the composition of this nonwhite population. For instance, Chicago, historically a black and white city, is now 36 percent black, 31 percent white, and 28 percent Latino, with the remaining 5 percent mainly being Asian.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Illinois families under stress

Authors

  • Richard J. Winkel
  • Peter Mulhall

The demand for long-term care is large and growing rapidly throughout the nation. In Illinois alone there are almost 800 nursing homes with more than 100,000 beds. In addition, about 1.24 million family caregivers provide more than 1.33 billion hours of care each year, conservatively valued at more than $13 billion. Clearly, both the formal and informal long-term care sectors are quite large. Less evident is that both sectors will need to expand and function very well, both separately and together, to meet the predicted growth in demand over the next decades.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Utilizing a couples approach to promote employment stability

Authors

  • Kristin Abner
  • Carolyn J. Heinrich

IGPA's Policy Forum looks at the effectiveness of joint employment and relationship-building programs, and offers an evaluation of a program using a couples approach to improve service delivery and self-sufficiency for vulnerable families.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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The demography of the immigrant population in Illinois

Authors

  • Matthew Hall

Perhaps the most profound demographic trend over the last three decades has been the rapid growth in the immigrant population: the rise in the number of foreigners living in the U.S. is transforming communities, politics, and the economy. While overshadowed to some extent by debates over healthcare, the financial meltdown, and the Great Recession, immigration policy continues to be a highly contentious issue that cuts across traditional party lines and ideologies.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Child care food subsidies

Authors

  • Kristen Abner
  • Sanders Korenman

More than a dozen federal programs provide food and nutrition support to children and families. One such subsidy is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program reimburses caregivers for meals and snacks provided to children in child care centers, family day care homes, after-school programs, and homeless shelters, as well as to adults in adult day care centers. Children account for more than 95 percent of CACFP expenditures. The authors discuss the effectiveness of the CACFP, and offer suggestions to improve the targeting of nutritional assistance and child care subsidies.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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