Spring 2020

Early Childhood Education

This spring 2020 semester, our POSC 395 Policy Research Internship students researched improvements that the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can institute to improve early childhood education. They presented their extensive research and policy suggestions to our partner, California Strategies.

Adam Jackman, a freshman majoring in Political Science, said this about his research experience, “I had the great opportunity of participating in the POSC 395 on-campus research program. I worked with four excellent student researchers, analyzing data for lobbyist Steve Cahn at California Strategies on the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Our team found community outreach opportunities, alternate funding resources, and other agencies to work with DCFS so that young children in LA County wouldn’t be left behind during the most important part of their educational development. Being able to work with the course supervisor, Professor Auerbach, on such an important topic improved my own presentation and research skills exponentially.”

Project: Los Angeles DCFS: Accountability and Sustainability

USC Students: Adam Jackman, Arman Nadim, Chris Boyd, Henry Zhao, and Victor Qiu

Research Question: What improvements can the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services institute to improve early childhood education?

Policy Recommendations:

  • Expand scope of current faith based relationships to not just foster care but child welfare system
  • Expand communication of existing services using social media, and improving their priority by receptionists
  • Assess workers more frequently in order to ensure they are following their original training and not submitting mistake.
  • Continue to create & push community engagement efforts so that they are publicized.
  • Work towards increasing DCFS role in home visitation programs
  • Be proactive in data sharing and creating a cooperative network
  • Advocate for more public investment to stimulate early learning for low-income and disadvantaged communities
  • Partner with more non-profits to build stronger community-based funding and programming
  • Present economic benefit in the long run to secure funding
  • Focus on tracking child development using modeling and data collection

Read the group’s full research presentation on Early Childhood Education.

Watch their video presentation.