PACES Year 2 Evaluation Report

The Preventing ACEs Through Collaboration and Economic Supports (PACES) project, which was created by Foundation Communities in Partnership with United Way for Greater Austin, aims to increase receipt of federal tax credits in order to help low-income families reduce financial hardship and increase protective factors against Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). An evaluation by the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing (TXICFW) suggests that the PACES project is making progress toward achieving these goals.

 
Foundation Communities has contracted with TXICFW to conduct a 3-year evaluation of the PACES project. The project aims to reduce financial strain and promote protective factors against ACEs for families living in Austin’s Eastern Crescent, an area with a high concentration of families experiencing poverty. The PACES project works to increase the receipt of federal tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) by providing targeted training to staff serving low-income families to increase awareness about the EITC and CTC, and by providing free tax preparation services directly to low-income families to improve uptake of these federal credits.

The PACES Year 2 Evaluation Report shows:

  • Significant increases in staff knowledge about tax credits and tax preparation services
  • Higher likelihood of staff sharing information about tax credits and tax preparation services with low-income families
  • Significantly higher rates of EITC and CTC claiming among Black families in 2021 compared to the previous tax year
  • Tax refunds for nearly all low-income families who filed their taxes
  • Significantly lower levels of hardship and significantly more protective factors for families who claimed the EITC  compared to non-filers

 

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