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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 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: Mitra-Majumdar, Mayookha; Fudge, Keith; Ramakrishnan, Kriti
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Transitional youth are young people ages 16 to 24 who leave foster care without being adopted or reunited with their biological families and/or who are involved in the juvenile justice system, where they may be in detention or subject to terms of probation. With childhoods often marked by trauma and a lack of stability, transitional youth face notoriously poor outcomes across many areas of life. Pay for success (PFS) may provide an opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by transitional youth and the difficulties in serving them. To further explore this opportunity, the Urban Institute initiated a Community of Practice, a collaborative of researchers, practitioners, and local government officials that came together to discuss the most pressing challenges facing youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice system and the potential for PFS to fund programs that address these challenges. This brief summarizes insights drawn from Community of Practice conversations and provides recommendations for local governments, service providers, and other...

    Transitional youth are young people ages 16 to 24 who leave foster care without being adopted or reunited with their biological families and/or who are involved in the juvenile justice system, where they may be in detention or subject to terms of probation. With childhoods often marked by trauma and a lack of stability, transitional youth face notoriously poor outcomes across many areas of life. Pay for success (PFS) may provide an opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by transitional youth and the difficulties in serving them. To further explore this opportunity, the Urban Institute initiated a Community of Practice, a collaborative of researchers, practitioners, and local government officials that came together to discuss the most pressing challenges facing youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice system and the potential for PFS to fund programs that address these challenges. This brief summarizes insights drawn from Community of Practice conversations and provides recommendations for local governments, service providers, and other partners considering PFS as a tool for financing interventions serving transitional youth. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bird, Kisha; Okoh, Clarence
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty. Children who are born poor—and are persistently poor—are significantly more likely than those not poor at birth to experience poverty in adulthood, unemployment, and underemployment. Persistent childhood poverty (living below the federal poverty level for at least half of one’s childhood) is prevalent among Black children. To lift children—particularly children and youth of color—out of poverty, they must have access to work and a career path leading into adulthood. Beyond eventual economic security and social mobility, there are...

    Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty. Children who are born poor—and are persistently poor—are significantly more likely than those not poor at birth to experience poverty in adulthood, unemployment, and underemployment. Persistent childhood poverty (living below the federal poverty level for at least half of one’s childhood) is prevalent among Black children. To lift children—particularly children and youth of color—out of poverty, they must have access to work and a career path leading into adulthood. Beyond eventual economic security and social mobility, there are many short and long-term benefits to youth employment. Employed teens are more likely to graduate high school, and recent research studies suggest that employment during the summer months can prevent involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Moreover, employment in the teen years is a significant predictor of successful attachment to the labor market into adulthood. It is also linked to increased earnings in the short-term and later in life. In fact, older youth have almost a 100% chance of being employed in a given year if they have worked more than 40 weeks in the previous year. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Curry, Susanna R.; Abrams, Laura S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Youth who age out of the foster care system often experience a difficult transition to adulthood in several important domains, including housing. Although high rates of homelessness are well documented, scant research has examined how youth navigate housing and living arrangements in the immediate years following emancipation. In addition, little is known about the relationship between social support and housing stability for this population. In this paper, we argue that in policy and practice regarding emancipated foster youth there is a central tension between the goal of “self-sufficiency” and the practical need to maintain and create supportive social connections. We suggest that programs for emancipated youth could benefit from more research and policy attention on this tension and how it may play a role in housing outcomes. In building our argument, we first review the literature on housing and emancipated foster youth in the transition to adulthood period. Next, we discuss the body of research literature exploring the role and function of social support for youth who have...

    Youth who age out of the foster care system often experience a difficult transition to adulthood in several important domains, including housing. Although high rates of homelessness are well documented, scant research has examined how youth navigate housing and living arrangements in the immediate years following emancipation. In addition, little is known about the relationship between social support and housing stability for this population. In this paper, we argue that in policy and practice regarding emancipated foster youth there is a central tension between the goal of “self-sufficiency” and the practical need to maintain and create supportive social connections. We suggest that programs for emancipated youth could benefit from more research and policy attention on this tension and how it may play a role in housing outcomes. In building our argument, we first review the literature on housing and emancipated foster youth in the transition to adulthood period. Next, we discuss the body of research literature exploring the role and function of social support for youth who have aged out of care. We highlight how policies appear to favor the development of self-sufficiency for aged-out youth over the development of a social support network and suggest key directions for future research, policy and practice concerning emancipated foster youth and housing. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edelman, Peter B.; Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author...

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author abstract)

    Also published as IRP Discussion Paper 1412-13.

  • Individual Author: Dion, Robin; Bradley, M.C.; Gothro, Andrew; Bardos, Maura; Lansing, Jiffy; Stagner, Matthew; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    How can programs advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk youth? This report attempts to answer this important question by presenting a research-based framework for efforts to help at-risk youth enter a career workforce trajectory and prepare to become well-functioning, self-sufficient adults. The framework presented is particularly relevant for youth who are or could be served by ACF programs—especially homeless youth, youth in the foster care system, and teen parents—but it may also apply to other programs. The framework suggests the possibility of using evidence-informed interventions to address two primary areas: youths’ resilience and human capital development. It suggests finding tailored solutions grounded in a trusting relationship between youth and program staff to help move youth toward both healthy functioning and economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. This report was written as part of the Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

    How can programs advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk youth? This report attempts to answer this important question by presenting a research-based framework for efforts to help at-risk youth enter a career workforce trajectory and prepare to become well-functioning, self-sufficient adults. The framework presented is particularly relevant for youth who are or could be served by ACF programs—especially homeless youth, youth in the foster care system, and teen parents—but it may also apply to other programs. The framework suggests the possibility of using evidence-informed interventions to address two primary areas: youths’ resilience and human capital development. It suggests finding tailored solutions grounded in a trusting relationship between youth and program staff to help move youth toward both healthy functioning and economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. This report was written as part of the Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

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