In recent years, the importance of stability in promoting children’s healthy development and well-being has emerged as a critical area of concern. However, there remains much we need to learn about instability in the lives of children: why it happens, who it affects and how, and what can be done about it. Based on interviews with leading experts and a quick scan of this field, this brief describes what we know about some of those questions and what information is still needed to help families, communities, and public/private institutions stabilize children’s lives and promote their healthy development.

This report by the Urban Institute, lays out a framework for understanding how stability, and instability, impact children’s lives and how programs and policies can work to improve stability.