Introduction to the Children, Youth, and Families Concentration

As part of the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) concentration at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, you quickly discover that all issues fall into the CYF realm. In one way or another, all policy is family policy. Due to its all-encompassing nature, students and faculty within the concentration have a wide range of interests, including but not limited to:

  • Early childhood development
  • LGBTQ+ youth
  • Youth & family homelessness
  • Education policy
  • Children in Foster care and those aging out of Foster care
  • Disability policy
  • Food security

Within this concentration, the Master of Public Policy program provides students with the opportunity to develop skills needed to be effective leaders in fields that foster the healthy development of children, youth, and families. Classes are founded on theory and emerging field research, which inform our class discussions and strategy development as we move towards action.

The Heller School houses two important research institutes that contribute to the continued advancement of knowledge within the field. The Institute for Children, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) is focused on both quantitative and qualitative research to understand the disparities that exist and to inform social policies that impact the development of these populations.

Believing wholeheartedly that “enough is known for action”, the Center for Youth and Communities (CYC) turns to action by supporting the development of programming that will prepare youths for “education, work, and life”. The center utilizes science-based research and practical experience to improve program efficiency, government policies, and non-profit strategy.

Professor Susan P. Curnan heads the Center for Youth and Communities in conjunction with working as the Chair of the CYF concentration within both the MPP and MBA programs at Heller.

Children, Youth, and Family classes currently offered include:

  • Perspectives on Youth Policy, Program Management, and Systems Design;
  • Contemporary Issues in Policies and Programs for Children, Youth, and Families;
  • American Gay Rights Movement: Social Justice and Social Policy;
  • National and International Perspectives on Youth Policy and Programs

Sophie Pingul
MPP/MBA ’17
Children, Youth, and Family Concentrator

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CYF Concentrators in Perspectives on Youth Policy, Program Management, and Systems Design

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