Institute for Families in Society

Early Childhood

The Institute for Families in Society (IFS) works with various partners to develop innovative research tools and information products that allow users to investigate a wide range of topics and geographic areas. With funding from The Duke Endowment and as part of the Children’s Health and Resource Geographic Exploration for Data-Driven Decisions (CHARGED3) collaboration, the IFS has put a special emphasis on the study of young children in South Carolina (ages 0-5) and the unique risks and challenges they face. South Carolina has approximately 280,000 children within that age range, one quarter of whom live below the poverty level and two thirds live in Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas.


As part of the CHARGED3 project, IFS developed an online hub of resources that provides helpful background and spotlight topical information, a snapshot infographic, and a Geospatial Environmental Scan© (GeoEScan©). This GeoEScan© product, one of several developed by the IFS, is an interactive research tool designed to explore gaps in children’s access to health care, continuity of care, and the availability of family support and resource programs.

Most importantly, it equips stakeholders to improve the lives of SC’s youngest by identifying geographic clusters of health advantage and disadvantage within the state, helping visualize patterns, and providing context for needs assessments, program planning, and service delivery.

Click the video below to see how the CHARGED3 GeoEScan© works.