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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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  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Kleinman, Rebecca; Kauff, Jackie; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing...

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing voucher. FUP vouchers offer up to 18 months of rental subsidy and supportive services to help such youth gain skills for independent living.

    FUP functions as an interagency collaboration between local public housing agencies (PHAs) and public child welfare agencies (PCWAs). Participating communities decide whether to apply for FUP vouchers, and, if awarded vouchers, whether to serve families, youth, or both in their FUP programs. In communities using FUP for youth, PCWAs refer eligible youth to PHAs and offer supportive services to those who receive a FUP voucher. When PHAs receive youth referrals, they verify HCV eligibility and subsidize the rent of eligible youth who are able to find and secure housing.

    This report describes the extent to which—and how—communities are using FUP to support youth. The research draws on findings from a survey of PHAs administering FUP, a survey of PCWAs partnered with PHAs that serve youth, and site visits to four areas that use FUP to serve youth. The surveys were designed to identify the universe of communities providing FUP vouchers to youth and to gather basic information about how they administer the program. The site visits sought to provide a finer grained understanding of how communities are using FUP to serve this population and sought to identify promising practices and lessons learned. (author summary)

  • Individual Author: Kauff, Jacqueline; Derr, Michelle K. ; Pavetti, LaDonna; Martin, Emily S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) provided a block grant to states to create the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  In doing so, it required states to engage certain minimum percentages of their TANF caseloads—50 percent of all families and 90 percent of two-parent families—in specified work and work-related activities for a specified number of hours per week.  Sanctions, or financial penalties for noncompliance with program requirements, have long been perceived as a major tool for encouraging TANF recipients who might not be inclined to participate in work activities to do so.  The logic behind sanctions is that adverse consequences—such as a reduction in the TANF cash grant (a partial sanction) or gradual or immediate termination of the TANF grant (a full-family sanction)—can help influence the participation decisions that welfare recipients make.

    In reauthorizing the TANF program, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) changed the way the work participation rates are calculated and thereby...

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) provided a block grant to states to create the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  In doing so, it required states to engage certain minimum percentages of their TANF caseloads—50 percent of all families and 90 percent of two-parent families—in specified work and work-related activities for a specified number of hours per week.  Sanctions, or financial penalties for noncompliance with program requirements, have long been perceived as a major tool for encouraging TANF recipients who might not be inclined to participate in work activities to do so.  The logic behind sanctions is that adverse consequences—such as a reduction in the TANF cash grant (a partial sanction) or gradual or immediate termination of the TANF grant (a full-family sanction)—can help influence the participation decisions that welfare recipients make.

    In reauthorizing the TANF program, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) changed the way the work participation rates are calculated and thereby effectively increased the rates required of states.  Work participation rates are calculated by dividing a numerator consisting of “participants”—families engaged in federally acceptable work activities for the requisite hours per week—by a denominator that is a count of “total families.”  Largely because states received credits in their participation rates for caseload reductions that occurred after 1995 and because the count of “total families” included only certain TANF recipients, the real rates that states had to meet prior to the DRA were substantially below 50 and 90 percent.  As of fiscal year 2007, states will receive credits in their participation rates for caseload reductions that occur after 2005 and the count of “total families” will include TANF recipients as well as families receiving assistance through separate state programs that count toward maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements.  Because of these changes, states now face the challenge of achieving participation rates that are considerably higher and close to the 50 and 90 percent standards set in the law.  As states consider their options for meeting the higher work participation rates, they are likely to consider how they might redefine their TANF and separate state programs and make better use of sanction policies and procedures to encourage higher levels of participation in program activities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle K.; Douglas, Sarah; Pavetti, LaDonna
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) shifted the emphasis of the welfare system from providing ongoing cash assistance to needy individuals to moving them into jobs. This shift created new expectations and opportunities for nearly all poor families seeking government assistance, including those facing multiple and significant barriers to employment. In the past, these hard-to-employ individuals were rarely required to meet work requirements, either by working or participating in an approved work activity. As a result, few states had specialized services to address barriers to employment. With the new emphasis on work, however, programs targeted to hard-to-employ welfare recipients have recently emerged in an effort to help these individuals find and keep a job.

    In this report, we profile the efforts of four states (Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah) to address the mental health conditions of welfare recipients, one of the many barriers that they may face. This report is based on the findings from a study that Mathematica...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) shifted the emphasis of the welfare system from providing ongoing cash assistance to needy individuals to moving them into jobs. This shift created new expectations and opportunities for nearly all poor families seeking government assistance, including those facing multiple and significant barriers to employment. In the past, these hard-to-employ individuals were rarely required to meet work requirements, either by working or participating in an approved work activity. As a result, few states had specialized services to address barriers to employment. With the new emphasis on work, however, programs targeted to hard-to-employ welfare recipients have recently emerged in an effort to help these individuals find and keep a job.

    In this report, we profile the efforts of four states (Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah) to address the mental health conditions of welfare recipients, one of the many barriers that they may face. This report is based on the findings from a study that Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) conducted for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. This study was designed with three purposes in mind: (1) to identify and provide detailed information about the design and structure of mental health services developed by state and local welfare offices to address the mental health needs of welfare recipients, (2) to highlight options for delivering these services, and (3) to discuss the key implementation challenges involved in and the lessons learned from providing mental health services to welfare recipients.(author abstract)

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