FFCWS changes name to The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study

Jan. 6, 2023

The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study team is pleased to announce that our name has formally changed to The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study. We will still use the same acronym, FFCWS. 

Since beginning in 1998, the focus of FFCWS has evolved and expanded in exciting ways. The decision to change our name honors the significance of this history as well as a continued commitment to the wellbeing of children, youth, and families.

FFCWS began with nearly 5,000 children born between 1998 and 2000 and is the United States’ only contemporary birth cohort study of today’s young adults. FFCWS is a unique source of data on births to unmarried parents and includes a very diverse sample with a large number of Black, Hispanic, and low-income families.  

The study includes many components such as surveys with parents, children, adolescents, and young adults, interviewer observations, and health indicators. The study has many partner studies that collect more detailed data from some of the respondents. Looking ahead, we are excited to be starting to collect information on the young adults’ children – FFCWS generation 3 – as well as to continue to follow the original parents – FFCWS generation 1 – and the young adults – generation 2. 

FFCWS aims to build upon the foundation provided by study co-founders Sara McLanahan (12/27/1940 - 12/31/2021), Irwin Garfinkel and Ron Mincy. The impact of their commitment to FFCWS has allowed this study to navigate groundbreaking dimensions of research and inquiry, supporting generations of scholars’ research on family structure, relationship trajectories, parenting, child development, and safety net participation, among others. Under the present leadership of Principal Investigators Kathy Edin and Jane Waldfogel, the FFCWS team continues to follow the original birth cohort sample while also broadening the study as these young adults transition to adulthood and form their own families. 

Our team is grateful to the FFCWS survey respondents, funders, partners, scholars, and practitioners who have shaped this study’s past, present, and future. Thank you for supporting The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study at this significant moment.

FFCWS is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01HD036916, R01HD039135, and R01HD040421, as well as a consortium of private foundations.