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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: Adams, Gina; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Child care can be an insurmountable barrier for low-income parents seeking education and training so they can get better jobs to support their families. Helping families with child care can also be challenging for programs trying to help these parents get ahead. Despite funding and policy barriers, there are programs that have taken on this challenge. This brief summarizes a longer study and lays out six steps that local and state programs can take to address the child care needs of parents in education and training. This is part of the Urban Institute’s series of reports from the Bridging the Gap project, which focuses on what we know about the child care needs of parents needing education and training. (Author abstract)

    Child care can be an insurmountable barrier for low-income parents seeking education and training so they can get better jobs to support their families. Helping families with child care can also be challenging for programs trying to help these parents get ahead. Despite funding and policy barriers, there are programs that have taken on this challenge. This brief summarizes a longer study and lays out six steps that local and state programs can take to address the child care needs of parents in education and training. This is part of the Urban Institute’s series of reports from the Bridging the Gap project, which focuses on what we know about the child care needs of parents needing education and training. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Pilkauskas, Natasha; Bir, Anupa; Lerman, Bob
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) is a key component of the healthy marriage demonstration strategy of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to determine how public policies can best support healthy marriages and child well-being. The community healthy marriage demonstrations discussed in this report are funded through waivers granted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Two concepts underlie the CHMI strategy. One is that community coalitions can be an effective vehicle for developing a range of healthy marriage and healthy family activities, including classes that build marriage skills, partnerships with clergy and others, celebration days, and media messages about the value of marriage and healthy families. The second is that communities with a critical mass of such activities can lead to positive outcomes for families, individuals and couples as a direct result of their participation in classes and other services and indirectly through their interactions with friends, family,...

    The Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) is a key component of the healthy marriage demonstration strategy of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to determine how public policies can best support healthy marriages and child well-being. The community healthy marriage demonstrations discussed in this report are funded through waivers granted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Two concepts underlie the CHMI strategy. One is that community coalitions can be an effective vehicle for developing a range of healthy marriage and healthy family activities, including classes that build marriage skills, partnerships with clergy and others, celebration days, and media messages about the value of marriage and healthy families. The second is that communities with a critical mass of such activities can lead to positive outcomes for families, individuals and couples as a direct result of their participation in classes and other services and indirectly through their interactions with friends, family, and others in the community who were themselves influenced by a local marriage-related activity sponsored by the local coalition. The goals of the section 1115 healthy marriage waiver initiatives are to achieve child support objectives through healthy marriage activities.

    This report focuses on the implementation of three OCSE funded Section 1115 CHMI projects:  the demonstrations in Boston, Massachusetts; Jacksonville, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois. CHMI projects generally involve local coalitions that aim to provide their communities with marriage education, relationship skills training, media messages, and other related activities. Although each site has its specific mix of services, all attempt to engage a coalition of public, private, secular, and religious organizations to sponsor their own activities and thereby promote the overall goals of the initiative. All are trying to implement community-level strategies to encourage healthy marriages and parenting and improve child support outcomes, thereby generating benefits for children as well as couples. (author abstract)

  • 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: Cassell, Carol; Santelli, John; Gilbert, Brenda C. ; Dalmat, Michael ; Mezoff, Jane ; Schauer, Mary
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    The Community Coalition Partnership Programs for the Prevention of Teen Pregnancy (CCPP) was a seven-year (1995–2002) demonstration program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health conducted in 13 U.S cities. The purpose of the CCPP was to demonstrate whether community partners could mobilize and organize community resources in support of comprehensive, effective, and sustainable programs for the prevention of initial and subsequent pregnancies. This article provides a descriptive overview of the program origins, intentions, and efforts over its planning and implementation phases, including specific program requirements, needs and assets assessments, intervention focus, CDC support for evaluation efforts, implementation challenges, and ideas for translation and dissemination. CDC hopes that the experiences gained from this effort lead to a greater understanding of how to mobilize community coalitions as an intervention to prevent teen pregnancy and address other public health needs. (author abstract)

    The Community Coalition Partnership Programs for the Prevention of Teen Pregnancy (CCPP) was a seven-year (1995–2002) demonstration program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health conducted in 13 U.S cities. The purpose of the CCPP was to demonstrate whether community partners could mobilize and organize community resources in support of comprehensive, effective, and sustainable programs for the prevention of initial and subsequent pregnancies. This article provides a descriptive overview of the program origins, intentions, and efforts over its planning and implementation phases, including specific program requirements, needs and assets assessments, intervention focus, CDC support for evaluation efforts, implementation challenges, and ideas for translation and dissemination. CDC hopes that the experiences gained from this effort lead to a greater understanding of how to mobilize community coalitions as an intervention to prevent teen pregnancy and address other public health needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Anderson, Jacquelyn; Wavelet, Melissa; Gardiner, Karen N.; Fishman, Michael E.
    Reference Type:
    Year: 2002

    The welfare reforms of the 1990s dramatically increased the need for effective strategies to help low-income parents work more steadily and advance in the labor market; long-term reliance on public assistance is no longer an option for most families. Yet, while a great deal is known about how to help welfare recipients prepare for and find jobs, there is little hard evidence about what works to promote employment retention and advancement. The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation is the most comprehensive attempt thus far to understand which program models are most effective in promoting stable employment and career progression for welfare recipients and other low-income workers. Conceived and sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the ERA project includes up to 15 random assignment experiments across the country. The evaluation is being conducted under contract to ACF by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. MDRC, with...

    The welfare reforms of the 1990s dramatically increased the need for effective strategies to help low-income parents work more steadily and advance in the labor market; long-term reliance on public assistance is no longer an option for most families. Yet, while a great deal is known about how to help welfare recipients prepare for and find jobs, there is little hard evidence about what works to promote employment retention and advancement. The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) evaluation is the most comprehensive attempt thus far to understand which program models are most effective in promoting stable employment and career progression for welfare recipients and other low-income workers. Conceived and sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the ERA project includes up to 15 random assignment experiments across the country. The evaluation is being conducted under contract to ACF by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. MDRC, with assistance from the Lewin Group, is also providing technical assistance to help make the ERA programs as strong as possible. This first report on the ERA evaluation, which began in late 1999, describes the emerging ERA programs and identifies some early lessons on the design and implementation of relatively large-scale retention and advancement programs. (author abstract)

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