Sarah Halpern-Meekin


College of Letters & Sciences | School of Human Ecology | Department of Human Development & Family Studies | La Follette School of Public Affairs

Hometown: Manchester, Massachusetts

Sarah Halpern-Meekin is a professor in the School of Human Ecology and the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She does research in the US on instability in family relationships and family finances, and the role of government policy in intervening in those areas. She has published two books: It’s not like I’m poor: How working families make ends meet in a post-welfare world, and Social poverty: Low-income parents and the struggle for family and community ties.


On-again/off-again romantic relationships

On-again/off-again romantic relationships are common but often ignored by researchers and practitioners and can be baffling to family, friends, and even those in them. In this talk, Sarah Halpern-Meekin explains what on-again/off-again relationships are, how common they are, and what some of their consequences might be.

Social safety net policies and poverty in the US

This talk can encompass a variety of topics depending on an organization’s needs. This could include the experiences of families in poverty in the United States and coverage of various US policies, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (one of the central ways the federal government offers support to working families in the US), unconditional cash transfer or basic income programs, and other assistance programs (e.g., food assistance).