Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: Children

La Follette School faculty members Jason Fletcher, Yang Wang, and Christine Durrance received funding to support their research from UW–Madison’s Understanding and Reducing Inequalities Initiative. Their projects were among only 15 selected from 73 proposals.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Anna Sucsy, MPA

Having attended a small college for my undergraduate education, the La Follette School’s small class sizes and opportunities to get to know faculty well were a big reason I chose the program. The La Follette School has the same feel as a small school while providing access to the perks of a large university.

Children in families characterized as minorities, those without health insurance, or those with low socioeconomic status experience less upward health mobility and greater downward health mobility relative to their more advantaged peers, according to research by La Follette School Professor Jason Fletcher and Katie Jajtner, a postdoctoral associate at UW–Madison’s Center for Demography of Health and Aging.

State agencies and nonprofit organizations are among the many partners seeking assistance from La Follette School students during their capstone course, Workshop in Public Affairs (PA 869). In spring, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) asked how the state might improve access to Emergency Assistance grants for survivors of domestic violence.

Many families working to move out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency face benefit cliffs – when increases in income do not compensate for losses in benefits from state and federal programs.

The Center for Financial Security Retirement and Disability Research Center (CFS RDRC) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison received a second year of funding from the US Social Security Administration (SSA). One of just four RDRCs in the country supported by SSA, UW–Madison’s is the only one focusing on the financial well-being of economically vulnerable families, older people, people with disabilities, low-wealth households, and children.

Evidence-based federal policy recommendations for reducing U.S. child poverty by half in 10 years will be presented by Timothy Smeeding, UW–Madison professor of public affairs and economics, Tuesday March 12. The hour-long public event begins at 4:30 p.m. in the School of Education Building's Wisconsin Idea Room. A reception will follow the seminar.

A diverse group of more than 30 state lawmakers, legislative staff members, legislative service agency analysts, and staff from the Governor’s office attended the second Office Hours at the Capitol – presented by the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and the La Follette School – on Wednesday, May 16.

La Follette School Professor Bobbi Wolfe will present her emerging research with Psychology Professor Seth Pollak during Neuroscience, Poverty, and Policy - a public presentation in Milwaukee on March 8.

With funding from the Herb Kohl Public Service Research Competition, University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty members Barbara (Bobbi) Wolfe and Seth Pollak hosted an academic workshop on neuroscience, public policy, and poverty September 27 and 28 in Milwaukee. Discussion focused on children in poverty.

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