Abt to Lead Study to Better Understand Needs of America’s Seasonal and Migrant Farmworkers and their Families

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Abt Associates will lead a national study of the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program to better understand the needs of the children and families of migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Abt Associates was recently awarded a contract to study the needs of the children and families of migrant and seasonal farmworkers who are served by the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program. The MSHS program, which is part of the overall Head Start program, provides early childhood education, social and support services to this culturally and linguistically diverse group of more than 30,000 children and families of farmworkers. The evaluation contract is for four years, and is valued at $3.9 million.

“This national study will provide a critically needed, updated understanding of the MSHS program and the migrant and seasonal children and families it serves,” said Dr. Michael López, one of the study’s co-principal investigators and a Principal Associate at Abt Associates. “Additionally, it builds upon Abt’s deep experience in both early childhood education issues and issues impacting the health and well-being of young Hispanic and Latino children and families across the country.”

MSHS comprises approximately 66 MSHS grantees and delegate agencies, which range in operational structure from small organizations providing MSHS services to young children and families in one locale to “super grantees,” which serve large numbers of children and families across multiple states.

Abt will implement the MSHS study on behalf of the Administration for Children and Families. It will be the first national MSHS study to include direct child assessments, which will provide valuable information about the characteristics and needs of MSHS children.

Joining Dr. López as co- principal investigator is Dr. Sandra Barrueco, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at Catholic University. Dr. Linda Caswell, a senior associate at Abt, will serve as project director. Also partnering with Abt Associates is Westat, who will help lead several data collection tasks, and several consultants, including Mr. Frank Fuentes, an independent consultant, and Dr. Rachel Chazan Cohen from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries. http://www.abtassociates.com

David L. Allen
(301) 347-5144

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David Allen
ABT Associates
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