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The Power of Talking to Your Baby

The New York Times

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By the time a poor child is three, she will have heard 30 million fewer words than a 3-year-old child from a professional family. Research shows that word gap is what makes the poor less likely to do well in school. The city of Providence, RI, is doing something about it.

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The Best Way to End Homelessness

The Atlantic

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America has the largest number of homeless women and children in the industrialized world - it’s a depressing statistic exacerbated by a housing crisis that forced thousands of families out onto the street. The first-ever large-scale study on the topic finds that permanent, stable housing can be ...

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A Families-First Approach to Foster Care

The New York Times

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The foster care system is widely acknowledged to be 'broken', and to ignore those who age out of the system. A program in Memphis is improving the lives of at-risk youths by working to reunite them with their original families.

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Trusting Families to Help Themselves

The New York Times

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To give support to struggling families without prescribing solutions requires respect and discipline. The Family Independence Initiative (F.I.I.) encourages low-income families to define their own goals and work towards them in mutual support groups, while carefully documenting their successes.

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For Drug Users, a Swift Response Is the Best Medicine

The New York Times

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Drug and alcohol addicts are more likely to become criminals. In Vermont, a judge and a family services organization created RapidReferal, a process which offers addicts treatment immediately and has lowered recidivism.

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Guiding Families to a Fair Day in Court

The New York Times

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Millions of families of arrested individuals do not know what to do to help, how to obtain a lawyer, or what the process entails in the court system. Created by Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, participatory defense is a type of community organizing that teaches and empowers people who face cr...

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Out of Poverty, Family-Style

The New York Times

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A non-traditional program called the Family Independence Initiative (F.I.I.), uses a radically different approach from the traditional American social service model to empower entire families alleviate themselves from poverty. The results in multiple states thus far have been so striking, that th...

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In the Long War on Poverty, Small Victories That Matter

The New York Times

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A panoply of responses to poverty has emerged to address poverty in the United States and abroad. The responses share in three key tactics: Measuring impact, paying for success, and collaboration.

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In a centuries-old tradition, families in Geel, Belgium, take in those with mental illness

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Those who struggle with mental illness receive undesirable social stigmas and are often shunted to living on the street or in squalid housing conditions. Geel, Belgium has a mental health system that places non-violent individuals with psychiatric illnesses in decent homes as boarders, where they...

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Prison Born

The Atlantic

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More women are being incarcerated around the United States and that has spurred more institutions to create prison nurseries, which allow women to be with their newborns. It's not a new idea, but it's finding support among prison advocates as well as budget hawks because research shows nurseries ...

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