About the ICFP
- To serve as a web-based center of information for policy-related activities and information
- To consolidate resources for learning about policy so that students at Columbia can more easily take advantage of what the University has to offer:
- expertise of faculty, researchers, and other students engaged in policy-relevant work across the University;
- courses offered that introduce and critically explore substantive and methodological issues in the study of social policy.
- To increase access to faculty, courses, and research with regard to policies that affect children and families;
- To present the impact of social policies on child and family well-being in a more visible and understandable manner;
- To identify the most significant and seemingly intractable problems confronting society in the United States and other countries (both developed and developing) regarding children and their families;
- To provide a new interdisciplinary model for training and research related to child and family policy;
- To increase the cadre of policy scholars well-versed in trans-disciplinary and cross-national issues, methodologies, and modes of practice.
The overarching goal of the Institute is to stimulate and coordinate the cross-disciplinary work required to make progress on a variety of policy issues facing the United States, with a particular focus on child and family policy. The expectation is that this University-based and University-wide Institute will continue to enhance and strengthen relationships between students and scholars at the professional schools and social science departments, with an eye towards increasing dialogue and collaboration among the next generation of policy makers and policy researchers.
The Institute is considered by Columbia University as the mechanism by which to organize intellectual work on policy issues, highlighting those that impact children and families. The basic rationale for the creation of the Institute is to find new forms of social organization within the University and between the University and policy makers that are more effective than traditional departments and schools in bringing to bear the powerful intellectual resources of the University on problems facing society, and children and their families.
While the Institute will draw on faculty and research scientists from specific disciplines and research centers within specific schools, it will be problem-focused, not discipline-focused.
To pursue its multi-disciplinary mission, the Institute draws on the resources of eight of the professional schools across Columbia University as well as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University, and on nationally recognized research centers within these schools. Three of these professional schools have taken the lead in shaping the mission of the Institute: the School of Social Work, Teachers College, and the School of Public Health. Five other professional schools have endorsed the Institute: the School of International and Public Affairs; the School of Journalism; the School of Law; the School of Business; and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Across these eight schools and the Graduate Faculties of Arts and Sciences more than 80 faculty members and research scientists are engaged in discipline-specific and inter-disciplinary policy relevant research, and in particular on child and family issues.
Initial funding for the Institute, and for the recent update of the website, was provided by Columbia University. Project-specific funding is being provided by foundations and public agencies.
The Institute seeks to achieve its mission and overarching goal through four sets of interrelated activities:
- The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth, and Family Policies
- The internal web-link (available through this site) to listings of policy-relevant courses and faculty involved in policy-related work, organized by the graduate or professional school at Columbia that serves as host
- The advanced doctoral seminar in Child and Family Policy (Cross-listed by the School of Social Work, Teachers College, and the School of Public Health)
- Up-to-date announcements about lectures, seminars, symposia, and/or conferences, and electronic postings of recent publications authored by members of the Columbia policy community
Go to the policy and program links page for information about other services of the Institute.
Structure and Leadership:
Dr. Sheila B. Kamerman, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children's and Youth Problems at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Co-Director of the Cross National Studies Research Program.
Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor in Child Development and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and founder and Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, the Adolescent Study Program at Teachers College, and the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center of Columbia University.
The Two Columbia Centers
The infrastructure of two of the Institute’s original founding Centers (the National Center for Children in Poverty at Mailman School of Public Health, and the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College) provides additional support.
The Steering Committee
The Institute has a Steering Committee and the Deans of each of the eight Schools are Ex Officio members of the Committee as are the Provost and the two Co-Directors.
Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Professor and Co-Director (Teachers College)
Sheila B. Kamerman, Professor and Co-Director (School of Social Work)