Washington Area Women's Foundation

Stepping Stones Research Update – September 2009

We’ve partnered with The Urban Institute to provide continuing information and resources related to the goals of Stepping Stones. Below you’ll find a summary of the latest research on issues of economic security and financial independence for women and their families. This research is summarized and compiled for The Women’s Foundation by Liza Getsinger of The Urban Institute, NeighborhoodInfo DC.

The following are excerpts of the research update.  For the full update, including summarized key findings, click here.

Financial Education and Wealth Creation News
The median household income in the District of Columbia rose from $56,400 in 2007 to $57,900 in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; however, DC residents with the lowest levels of education saw their incomes fall significantly from 2007 to 2008. (Full text)

Jobs and Business Ownership News
One fifth of all families with children are headed by working single mothers. The families of single mothers have a high poverty rate – 28.3 percent. The persistent gender wage gap continues: in 2007, women who worked full-time, year-round earned only 78 cents for every dollar earned by full-time, year-round male workers. These findings suggest that a number of changes in policy and practice are needed to improve women’s earnings. You can read the details about these findings by clicking here.

Child Care and Early Education News
A new Child Trends research brief explores the issues that judges consider when making decisions about termination of parental rights (TPR) and adoption of foster children. Several judges reported that the absence of TPR limits the adoption recruitment efforts of the child welfare agency. Some judges report a need for more discussions with older children to explore and address their concerns about adoption. (Full text)

Health and Safety News
Today, there are about 1.1 million people with HIV/AIDS living in the U.S., including nearly 280,000 women. Women of color, particularly black women, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The impact of HIV on younger women is particularly notable – more than 6 in 10 new HIV infections among women were among those ages 13-39 in 2006. 76% of women with HIV/AIDS who were receiving medical care had children under 18 in their homes, which may complicate their ability to manage their illness. (Full text)

Other News and Research
The Urban Institute surveyed District permanent supportive housing (PSH) agencies and specific PSH projects. The research includes a look at how the District might move forward toward fulfilling its commitment to create 2,500 new units of PSH and eliminate chronic homelessness. (Full text)