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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: Schulman, Karen ; Matthews, Hannah ; Blank, Helen ; Ewen, Danielle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the...

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the extent to which they provide financial and other supports to help programs improve. In most states, child care programs participate on a voluntary basis, although a few states require all regulated programs to participate. Despite these variations in their QRIS, states share a common objective of encouraging better child care options so that more families have access to high-quality child care that will support their children’s learning and development.

    Given that QRIS are used in a growing number of states and communities, it is helpful to examine the range of approaches these states and communities are taking in designing and implementing QRIS. It is also important to examine the opportunities and barriers for QRIS in achieving the goals of improving the quality of child care and increasing access to high-quality child care for families, particularly for the most vulnerable families. QRIS can be a tool for improving the quality of care accessed by low-income families who cannot afford high-quality care on their own. To gain more insight into different strategies for shaping and implementing QRIS, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) interviewed 48 child care center directors from nine states about their experiences with QRIS. The directors offered valuable perspectives on what is working in their QRIS and how the systems could be improved. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Spielberger, Julie; Gouvêa, Marcia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    For more than a decade, Florida’s Palm Beach County has been building a system of prevention and early intervention services to promote and support the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth to age 8. The county began this effort with a set of programs focused on serving families in four targeted geographic areas that have high levels of risk for poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, and child maltreatment. The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County commissioned Chapin Hall to conduct a longitudinal mixed-methods evaluation of how families use and are affected by this system of services. This paper presents selected findings from the study about the factors—facilitators and barriers—that affect how families use services, including individual characteristics of families, program and provider characteristics, and neighborhood factors. The discussion paper concludes with suggestions for overcoming barriers to service use and improving the service system. (author abstract)

    For more than a decade, Florida’s Palm Beach County has been building a system of prevention and early intervention services to promote and support the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth to age 8. The county began this effort with a set of programs focused on serving families in four targeted geographic areas that have high levels of risk for poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, and child maltreatment. The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County commissioned Chapin Hall to conduct a longitudinal mixed-methods evaluation of how families use and are affected by this system of services. This paper presents selected findings from the study about the factors—facilitators and barriers—that affect how families use services, including individual characteristics of families, program and provider characteristics, and neighborhood factors. The discussion paper concludes with suggestions for overcoming barriers to service use and improving the service system. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lauren Eyster; Nightingale, Demetra Smith ; Barnow, Burt S. ; O'Brien, Carolyn T. ; Trutko, John ; Kuehn, Daniel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGJTI) was a national grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Between 2001 and 2007, more than 160 grants were awarded to establish industry-focused job training and related projects designed to meet the industry's workforce challenges. This report is the third and final in a series from the national evaluation of the HGJTI conducted by the Urban Institute, the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Capital Research Corporation. This report documents the national initiative, describes the structure and implementation of projects by selected grantees, and provides nonexperimental analysis of the early impacts of job training in selected HGJTI-funded programs. The analysis relies on a review of grant applications and quarterly reports; visits to nine selected grantee sites; data collected from grantee training programs; quarterly earnings data from state unemployment insurance wage records; and administrative data from state and local public...

    The High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGJTI) was a national grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Between 2001 and 2007, more than 160 grants were awarded to establish industry-focused job training and related projects designed to meet the industry's workforce challenges. This report is the third and final in a series from the national evaluation of the HGJTI conducted by the Urban Institute, the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Capital Research Corporation. This report documents the national initiative, describes the structure and implementation of projects by selected grantees, and provides nonexperimental analysis of the early impacts of job training in selected HGJTI-funded programs. The analysis relies on a review of grant applications and quarterly reports; visits to nine selected grantee sites; data collected from grantee training programs; quarterly earnings data from state unemployment insurance wage records; and administrative data from state and local public workforce system agencies. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Moore, Quinn; Santillano, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and...

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor designed the ITA experiment to provide federal, state, and local policymakers, administrators, and program managers with information on the tradeoffs inherent in different ITA service delivery models.

    As a part of the experiment, nearly 8,000 customers of One-Stop Centers in eight different sites were randomly assigned to one of the three ITA service delivery models tested in the ITA Experiment. These models varied along three policy-relevant dimensions (Table ES.1): (1) the ITA award structure (that is, whether the award amount was fixed for all customers or tailored to the customer’s needs); (2) required counseling (that is, whether ITA counseling was mandatory or optional, and its intensity); and (3) program approval (that is, whether counselors could reject customers’ training choices and deny an ITA, or had to approve them if the customer had completed his or her ITA requirements). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller-Gaubert, Jennifer; Knox, Virginia; Alderson, Desiree; Dalton, Christopher; Fletcher, Kate; McCormick, Meghan D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    This report presents early implementation and operational lessons from the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, SHM uses a rigorous research design to test the effectiveness of a new approach to improving outcomes for low-income children: strengthening the marriages and relationships of their parents as a foundation for family well-being. It also uses implementation research to document and assess how the organizations that were selected to be in the study are implementing the SHM model. The SHM model is for low-income married couples and includes three components: relationship and marriage education workshops that teach strategies for managing conflict and effective communication, supplemental activities that build on workshop themes and skills through educational and social events, and family support services that pair couples with specialized staff who facilitate participation and connect couples with needed services. In the first year of program implementation, SHM providers focused on three main tasks:...

    This report presents early implementation and operational lessons from the Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, SHM uses a rigorous research design to test the effectiveness of a new approach to improving outcomes for low-income children: strengthening the marriages and relationships of their parents as a foundation for family well-being. It also uses implementation research to document and assess how the organizations that were selected to be in the study are implementing the SHM model. The SHM model is for low-income married couples and includes three components: relationship and marriage education workshops that teach strategies for managing conflict and effective communication, supplemental activities that build on workshop themes and skills through educational and social events, and family support services that pair couples with specialized staff who facilitate participation and connect couples with needed services. In the first year of program implementation, SHM providers focused on three main tasks: developing effective marketing and recruitment strategies, keeping couples engaged in the program, and building management structures and systems. Lessons in these three areas from implementation analyses are the focus of this report. (author abstract)

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