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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    This set of selections focuses on homeless families and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

    This set of selections focuses on homeless families and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.

  • Individual Author: Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    This set of selections focuses on trauma, youth, and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.
    See more at:https://www.opressrc.org/content/ssrc-selections-executive-functioning

    This set of selections focuses on trauma, youth, and self-sufficiency. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.
    See more at:https://www.opressrc.org/content/ssrc-selections-executive-functioning

  • Individual Author: Kendall, Jessica R.
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    Posted by Jessica R. Kendall, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    The demand for a highly skilled workforce continues to rise. While the unemployment rate today is low, many skilled positions remain open as American workers’ educational levels or skills don’t match business’s needs. Simply put, increasing the capacities of low-skilled workers is necessary.

    Earlier welfare-to-work evaluations, however, showed educational or training programs, by themselves, had minimal positive effects on participants’ employment outcomes or welfare receipt.

    But, since the Great Recession, next-generation strategies have begun to take more comprehensive...

    Posted by Jessica R. Kendall, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    The demand for a highly skilled workforce continues to rise. While the unemployment rate today is low, many skilled positions remain open as American workers’ educational levels or skills don’t match business’s needs. Simply put, increasing the capacities of low-skilled workers is necessary.

    Earlier welfare-to-work evaluations, however, showed educational or training programs, by themselves, had minimal positive effects on participants’ employment outcomes or welfare receipt.

    But, since the Great Recession, next-generation strategies have begun to take more comprehensive approaches to help individuals acquire in-demand skills and industry-recognized credentials. They do so, in part, by increasing coordination across education, training, human service, and business efforts.

    A joint letter released by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, in 2012 (and later with additional agencies in 2016), promoted these career pathways approaches as participant-centered and efficient. They defined career pathways as "a series of connected education and training strategies and support services that enable individuals to secure industry relevant certifications and obtain employment within an occupational area and to advance to higher levels of future education and employment in that area."

    Since then and based on a growing body of literature, federal agencies have developed tools and resources for the field to design and implement career pathway strategies. The Department of Labor’s 2016 toolkit suggests six key elements to a career pathways approach: (1) building cross-agency partnerships and clarifying roles; (2) identifying industry sectors and engaging employers; (3) designing education and training programs; (4) identifying funding needs and sources; (5) aligning policies and programs; and (6) measuring systems change and performance.

    In addition to resources, early analyses from several evaluations—many of which are federally funded—increase the body of evidence assessing the effectiveness of career pathway strategies, including:

    Accelerating Opportunity (AO): This quasi-experimental study assessed the education and employment outcomes for low-skilled adults participating in integrated career pathway programs at community or technical colleges across four states. The impact analysis showed that AO students earned more credentials with fewer credits, suggesting an accelerated learning path. AO also showed strong positive earning impacts for some subgroups of students (e.g., those recruited from career and technical education (CTE) programs or adult education), but not significant gains for all students during the several quarter follow-up period.

    Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program (TAACCCT): The U.S. Department of Labor’s four rounds of TAACCCT grants aim to increase the ability of community colleges to offer career-focused education and training that meets employer demands. Data and results to date show that over 60 percent of program participants have either completed the program or were retained as of 2015. In comparison, a 2016 study found that about 66 percent of students at two-year institutions failed to earn any credential within six years. Of employed participants, 32 percent experienced a wage increase at some point after starting the program. Almost 60 percent of completers who were employed before or during the first three months after exit kept their jobs at least through the following two quarters.

    The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE): The PACE project is a rigorous evaluation of nine career pathway strategies. Using a random assignment methodology, the evaluation is assessing programs in community colleges, community-based organizations, and workforce agencies. An early report from the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County site found that its Health Careers for All program increased the number of participants enrolled in healthcare-related training in an 18-month follow-up period. There was no impact, however, on credential receipt or total hours of training. Later reports will assess the program’s impacts on job placement and earnings. Key features of the program include case management services, tuition-free access to training, employment services, and financial assistance. Similarly, an early report from the Pima Community College site in Tucson, Arizona found increased hours in healthcare occupational training and credentials received among program participants. The program had limited effects on employment 18-months after random assignment. Despite this, evaluators found positive impacts on self-assessed progress towards career goals, increased confidence in career knowledge, and access to career supports. Key features of Pima’s program included five healthcare career paths with stackable credentials, career counseling, scholarships, compressed basic skills programming, and job search assistance.

    As a next-generation, education and employment strategy, career pathways approaches show promise. Ongoing studies will provide a more in-depth understanding of their short and long-term impacts on helping low-income individuals not only increase their skills but find careers that last and improve family self-sufficiency.

    Learn more about career pathways from the SSRC:

    The SSRC Library contains numerous reports and stakeholder resources about career pathways, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more. 

  • Individual Author: Kendall, Jessica R.
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    Posted by Jessica R. Kendall, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Core features of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) promoted work and job preparation among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash recipients. Welfare reform was influenced by a sizeable volume of research on welfare-to-work programs taking place at the time. Since PRWORA’s passage, newer—albeit fewer—studies have assessed more recent welfare-to-work efforts.

    What have these studies found and what have we learned from them?  

    In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a surge of legislatively supported random assignment evaluations to test the effectiveness of mandatory welfare programs...

    Posted by Jessica R. Kendall, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Core features of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) promoted work and job preparation among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash recipients. Welfare reform was influenced by a sizeable volume of research on welfare-to-work programs taking place at the time. Since PRWORA’s passage, newer—albeit fewer—studies have assessed more recent welfare-to-work efforts.

    What have these studies found and what have we learned from them?  

    In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a surge of legislatively supported random assignment evaluations to test the effectiveness of mandatory welfare programs that offered employment services, education and training, or both. During this period federal law authorized one of the largest welfare-to-work evaluations to-date, the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS). This multi-year study assessed initiatives in 11 different welfare-to-work programs across the country. Primary strategies evaluated offered pre-employment short-term job assistance and rapid job placement or longer-term skilling building opportunities. All programs studied increased employment and earnings and decreased welfare receipt. But no program made families materially better off—neither increasing income nor reducing poverty.

    Around the same time, many states conducted their own random assignment evaluations under waiver provisions of the federal Social Security Act. A range of program strategies were tested in these studies—from mandatory work requirements to earning supplements and time limits. Each included an impact analysis of program effects and many became the basis for states’ TANF programs. One such study—of Minnesota’s Family Investment Program—evaluated strategies that offered financial incentives, which included allowing participants to keep more of their cash assistance when they went to work compared with other welfare participants. It also included paying child care expenses directly to providers, combined welfare, family general assistance, and food stamps, and required participation in a week-long job skills class, followed by seven weeks of supervised job search and group activities. Compared with the control group, the Family Investment Program’s relatively intensive supports increased employment and earning in the months following program entry and participants more quickly found jobs. The study also found positive impact on child well-being—noting that children exhibited fewer behavioral problems, did better in school, were more likely to be in a child care setting, and were more likely to have continuous health care coverage.

    Overall, earlier welfare-to-work studies showed positive, but small impacts on employment and welfare receipt—common program features that may be related to these results included job search supports, time limits, and financial incentives. 

    Following welfare reform, the federal government continued to fund experimental studies examining approaches to improve the impacts of welfare-to-work programs. Many of these studies showed limited or mixed results. The Employment Retention and Advancement Project (ERA), 1998-2011 evaluated strategies to promote employment retention and advancement among welfare participants and low-wage workers. It assessed 16 approaches in eight states. It found that earning supplements combined with employment services may have positive earnings results, but did not find positive results for programs that combined work and education. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation, 2001-2012 assessed the effectiveness of programs designed to enhance employment outcomes for current or former TANF participants and other low-income parents who have demonstrated difficulty entering and sustaining employment. It assessed four sites, each targeting different populations—from TANF recipients to ex-offenders, and Medicaid recipients. The studies had mixed results—subsidized transitional jobs did not show long-term impacts on employment or earnings; one program focused on TANF recipients with disabilities showed some positive earning impacts.

    Today, ongoing studies continue to test what works in welfare-to-work programming. Several focus on career laddering initiatives that seek to move participants into better paying jobs and sustained self-sufficiency. Some assess the intersection and coordination between different, but overlapping human service systems. Still others are testing enhanced case management and supportive interventions to build participant capacity and promote job retention. Few, however, have focused on various sub-populations of TANF participants, including those with specific barriers or children. Few early studies also included implementation analyses to more fully discern how various program features were executed and why. While there continue to be gaps in our understanding of welfare-to-work initiatives, larger policy and research questions have also arisen. Some suggest that a broader focus on TANF evaluation is in order. With only a small portion of today’s TANF funds being used for cash assistance programs—what are the impacts TANF funds have in supporting other programs that serve needy families and children?   

    Learn more about welfare-to-work from the SSRC:

    The SSRC Library contains numerous reports and stakeholder resources about welfare-to-work, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more. 

  • Individual Author: Calloway, Erik; Gundersen, Craig; Henchy, Geraldine; Abdi, Fadumo
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar on childhood obesity, Childhood Obesity: What Are the Options for Low-Income School-Aged Children?, on January 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST. This webinar focused on childhood obesity through the lens of social equity. It also discussed food environment, including natural and built environments, to highlight circumstances underpinning differences in obesity rates between children in different socioeconomic statuses and from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. During the free webinar, Dr. Craig Gundersen discussed the impact of food assistance programs available to low-income children and their families in the home and at school. Erik Calloway focused on the built environment of neighborhood factors impacting childhood obesity across various socioeconomic statuses. Finally, Geraldine Henchy closed with a discussion of the present and future of federal and state level efforts to reduce and prevent childhood obesity.

    This document is the transcript from Childhood Obesity: What Are the Options...

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar on childhood obesity, Childhood Obesity: What Are the Options for Low-Income School-Aged Children?, on January 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST. This webinar focused on childhood obesity through the lens of social equity. It also discussed food environment, including natural and built environments, to highlight circumstances underpinning differences in obesity rates between children in different socioeconomic statuses and from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. During the free webinar, Dr. Craig Gundersen discussed the impact of food assistance programs available to low-income children and their families in the home and at school. Erik Calloway focused on the built environment of neighborhood factors impacting childhood obesity across various socioeconomic statuses. Finally, Geraldine Henchy closed with a discussion of the present and future of federal and state level efforts to reduce and prevent childhood obesity.

    This document is the transcript from Childhood Obesity: What Are the Options for Low-Income School-Aged Children? Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The PowerPoint presentation from the webinar can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the webinar can be found here.

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