Improving the family environment in which children are raised is vital to any serious effort to reduce poverty and expand opportunity. Twenty-five years of extensive and rigorous research has shown that children raised in stable, secure families have a better chance to flourish.
The family structure in and of itself is an important factor in reducing poverty: children raised in single-parent families are nearly five times as likely to be poor as those in married-couple families.
In Chapter 3 of a new report from the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity, the Working Group recommends policies that:
- Promote marriage as the most reliable route to family stability and resources;
- Promote delayed, responsible childbearing;
- Promote parenting skills and practices, especially among low-income parents; and
- Promote skill development, family involvement, and employment among young men as well as women.