The Palm Beach County Family Study
Supporting Low-Income Parents of Young Children
For more than a decade, Florida’s Palm Beach County has been building a system of prevention and early intervention services to promote and support the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth to age 8. The county began this effort with a set of programs focused on serving families in four targeted geographic areas that have high levels of risk for poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, and child maltreatment. The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County commissioned Chapin Hall to conduct a multi-year, mixed-methods evaluation of how families use and are affected by this system of services. The 2011 report presents findings from the fifth and final year of the study, carried out when the focal child was between 4 and 4½ years of age, and looks at change in family characteristics, service use, and selected maternal and child outcomes over time. The report details opportunities, challenges, and recommendations for Palm Beach County’s broad-based effort, particularly in meeting the varied needs of foreign-born families and supporting the development of their children.