Supporting Women's Economic Mobility through Smarter Public Benefit Programs

Equality Can't Wait Challenge
National Center for Children in Poverty

The Family Resource Simulator provides policymakers with data-driven policy recommendations that support economic mobility and helps women navigate complex public benefits to achieve economic security.

Last Updated: January 2023
Competition Participation
Equality Can't Wait Challenge
Equality Can't Wait Challenge
Economic mobility
Current Work Location(s):
  • District of Columbia, United States
  • Pennsylvania, United States
  • New Hampshire, United States
  • Wisconsin, United States
  • New Jersey, United States
  • Georgia, United States
  • Puerto Rico
  • North Carolina, United States
  • Kentucky, United States
  • Ohio, United States
Priority Population(s):
  • Children
  • Women
  • Families
  • Caregivers
  • Indigenous peoples
  • American Indians
  • Immigrants
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income people
  • Working poor
  • People with disabilities
  • Unemployed people
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 1. No poverty
  • 5. Gender equality
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

Public benefits, like Medicaid, childcare subsidies, and food assistance, provide lifelines to millions of low-income women. However, public benefit rules trap many women in low-wage work because women can lose entire benefits due to small increases in income. Women must sacrifice a hard-won raise to keep essential supports, like childcare, or struggle to afford such supports. Many policymakers are unaware of these "benefit cliffs." The Family Resource Simulator (FRS) shows policymakers how current policies create cliffs and how better policies (e.g., slowly phasing outs benefits as incomes rise) can eliminate cliffs. To date, the FRS has helped strengthen policies in 14 states, improving economic well-being for over 4 million people annually. Further, FRSs, in job centers, calculate for women the effect of a new job on their financial resources, accounting for lost benefits, and provides recommendations (e.g., utilizing specific types of savings accounts) to reduce cliffs. This project will scale the FRS nationwide.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

National Center for Children in Poverty

Organization Headquarters
New York, United States
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
< 10
Annual Operating Budget
$1.0 to 5 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.

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