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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: Karoly, Lynn A.; Bozick, Robert; Davis, Lois M.; Kitmitto, Sami; Turk-Bicakci, Lori; Bos, Johannes M.; Holod, Aleksandra; Blankenship, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize...

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize the key reforms, delineate the questions underlying the SB 1041 evaluation and the evaluation approach, and explain the evaluation timetable, products, and expected utility.

    To determine if SB 1041 is achieving its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences, a series of reports will document the way the SB 1041 reforms were implemented across California's 58 counties, how the changes affected the number and composition of CalWORKs participants and their experience with program services, and the impact of the reforms on families and children, as well as the operations of county welfare offices. The multiyear, multicomponent evaluation will draw on primary and secondary data and employ qualitative and quantitative methods. The project was launched in July 2014 and will be completed in December 2017. Results will be made available through a series of reports released at the end of calendar years 2015, 2016, and 2017. (author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Farrell, Mary; Fink, Barbara; Adams-Ciardullo, Diana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still...

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still thin. Few families have reached the federal time limit, and it is too early to draw conclusions about how states will respond as more families reach limits or how families will fare without benefits over the long-term, in varying economic conditions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schexnayder, Deanna T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    In 1995, the Texas Legislature enacted H. B. 1863, which formed the basis for Texas’ waiver from existing Federal laws governing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The Texas waiver, officially known as the Achieving Change for Texans (ACT) demonstration, aimed to assist participants to achieve independence from welfare through an increased emphasis on employment, training, temporary assistance and support services. It included three primary components: time-limited benefits, a personal responsibility agreement and one-time payments in lieu of welfare payments. The evaluation of the ACT demonstration consisted of three approaches: a process evaluation, a random-assignment impact analysis, and follow-up interviews with persons who reached their time limits or who elected to receive one-time payments instead of cash welfare assistance. This report summarizes findings from all facets of the evaluation and draws conclusions and policy implications for welfare policy development in the post-waiver time period. (author abstract)

    In 1995, the Texas Legislature enacted H. B. 1863, which formed the basis for Texas’ waiver from existing Federal laws governing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The Texas waiver, officially known as the Achieving Change for Texans (ACT) demonstration, aimed to assist participants to achieve independence from welfare through an increased emphasis on employment, training, temporary assistance and support services. It included three primary components: time-limited benefits, a personal responsibility agreement and one-time payments in lieu of welfare payments. The evaluation of the ACT demonstration consisted of three approaches: a process evaluation, a random-assignment impact analysis, and follow-up interviews with persons who reached their time limits or who elected to receive one-time payments instead of cash welfare assistance. This report summarizes findings from all facets of the evaluation and draws conclusions and policy implications for welfare policy development in the post-waiver time period. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gooden, Susan; Doolittle, Fred
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    One of a series of MDRC studies to examine the groundbreaking Wisconsin Works (W-2) welfare-to-work program, this paper focuses on one of the most intriguing - and controversial - features of the post-1996 welfare reform environment: What happens when welfare clients reach statutory time limits on program eligibility? Concentrating on welfare caseloads administered in Milwaukee County, the report found that only a small minority of program participants reached the 24-month limit set by law for aspects of W-2, and that for those who do file extension requests most are approved. But behind this finding are others: Agencies must routinely review the handling of cases well before the 24-month limit and procedures for resolving time-limit extension filings are time-consuming because they require intensive assessment of client participation in program activities and extensive documentation of medical conditions on which most time-limit extensions are requested. (author abstract)

    One of a series of MDRC studies to examine the groundbreaking Wisconsin Works (W-2) welfare-to-work program, this paper focuses on one of the most intriguing - and controversial - features of the post-1996 welfare reform environment: What happens when welfare clients reach statutory time limits on program eligibility? Concentrating on welfare caseloads administered in Milwaukee County, the report found that only a small minority of program participants reached the 24-month limit set by law for aspects of W-2, and that for those who do file extension requests most are approved. But behind this finding are others: Agencies must routinely review the handling of cases well before the 24-month limit and procedures for resolving time-limit extension filings are time-consuming because they require intensive assessment of client participation in program activities and extensive documentation of medical conditions on which most time-limit extensions are requested. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fink, Barbara; Widom, Rebecca
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    In order to fully understand how welfare reform influences the well-being of low-income families and communities, we must learn how human service organizations are affected by new welfare policies. This report examines agency staff members’ knowledge about welfare reform, their overall views of welfare reform, their experience of its impact on their agencies, and their expectations of how it will affect them. The findings offer preliminary insights into how new government policies shape other components of the network of service provision that is essential to the well-being of low-income families. (Author abstract) 

    In order to fully understand how welfare reform influences the well-being of low-income families and communities, we must learn how human service organizations are affected by new welfare policies. This report examines agency staff members’ knowledge about welfare reform, their overall views of welfare reform, their experience of its impact on their agencies, and their expectations of how it will affect them. The findings offer preliminary insights into how new government policies shape other components of the network of service provision that is essential to the well-being of low-income families. (Author abstract) 

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