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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: Brown, Elizabeth; Conroy, Kara; Kirby, Gretchen G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Person, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Copson, Elizabeth; Gardiner, Karen; Kitrosser, Daniel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that the Carreras en Salud program increased hours of occupational training and basic skills instruction received and the attainment of education credentials within an 18-month follow-up period. The program also increased employment in the healthcare field and resulted in a reduction of participants reporting financial hardship. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into gains in employment and earnings. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bernstein, Sara; Malone, Lizabeth; Klein, Ashley Kopack; Bush, Charles; Feeney, Kathleen; Reid, Maya; Lukashanets, Serge; Aikens, Nikki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. This set of tables presents data on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Region XI AI/AN Head Start programs during the 2015–16 Head Start year. The tables also detail aspects of their home environment and family life. Data on children’s classrooms, teachers, centers, and programs, including aspects of classroom quality and practice, teacher and director characteristics, and characteristics of the center and program environments, provide context for children’s experiences. We also provide information on the AI/AN FACES 2015 study methodology and collaborative design process, sample, and measures.

    The study design, implementation, and dissemination has been informed by extensive collaboration with a workgroup comprised of Region XI Head Start directors, early childhood researchers with experience working with tribal communities, Mathematica researchers, and federal...

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. This set of tables presents data on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Region XI AI/AN Head Start programs during the 2015–16 Head Start year. The tables also detail aspects of their home environment and family life. Data on children’s classrooms, teachers, centers, and programs, including aspects of classroom quality and practice, teacher and director characteristics, and characteristics of the center and program environments, provide context for children’s experiences. We also provide information on the AI/AN FACES 2015 study methodology and collaborative design process, sample, and measures.

    The study design, implementation, and dissemination has been informed by extensive collaboration with a workgroup comprised of Region XI Head Start directors, early childhood researchers with experience working with tribal communities, Mathematica researchers, and federal government officials from the Office of Head Start and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. The AI/AN FACES 2015 child sample was selected to represent all children enrolled in Region XI Head Start in fall 2015, drawing on participants from 21 randomly selected Region XI programs from across the country. AI/AN FACES 2015 includes a battery of child assessments across many developmental domains; surveys of children’s parents, teachers, and program managers; and classroom observations.

    The study is conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and its partner—Educational Testing Service—under contract to the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this report is two-fold: (1) to provide information about the AI/AN FACES 2015 study, including the background, design, methodology, measures, and analytic methods, and (2) to report detailed descriptive statistics in a series of tables on children, their families, and their classrooms, centers, and programs. The data provide descriptive information from parent surveys, direct child assessments, teacher child reports, teacher surveys, classroom observations, and center and program director surveys.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    The data tables provide descriptive information on Region XI Head Start children, their families, classrooms, centers, and programs.

    For children’s characteristics, family demographics, and home environment, the tables show:

    • Demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, home language environment, household composition)
    • Parent education, employment status, household income as a percentage of the federal poverty threshold, household financial strain, and food security
    • Parent’s tribal language use and parent cultural connections and identity
    • Community activities with the child in the past month
    • Home learning activities, joint book reading, and storytelling frequency
    • Child’s health care home use
    • Parent health behaviors and depressive symptoms
    • Parent neighborhood characteristics and neighborhood problems

    For children’s cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development, the tables show:

    • Reliability of assessments of child cognitive and social emotional measures
    • Language, literacy, and math skills of children
    • Children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning
    • Parent-reported child health status, and children’s height, weight, and body mass index

    For children’s classroom, center, and program cultural and language environment, the tables show:

    • Children’s classroom AI/AN composition and race/ethnicity of children’s classroom staff
    • Staff’s connection to community in children’s classrooms
    • Children’s classroom exposure to cultural items and practices
    • Culture and tribal language exposure, and cultural curricula and assessment tools in children’s classrooms and centers

    For children’s classroom, teacher, center, and program characteristics, the tables show:

    • The quality of Region XI Head Start children’s classrooms
    • Curricula and assessment tools used and frequency of reading, language, and math activities in children’s classrooms
    • Mentoring and training received by children’s teachers
    • Children’s lead teachers’ background characteristics, depressive symptoms, attitudes, and job satisfaction
    • Structural characteristics of children’s Region XI Head Start programs (such as enrollment, agency type, source of revenue) and centers (staffing and turnover)
    • Children’s center and program director background characteristics
    • Training and technical assistance efforts in children’s programs (including professional development offered to staff)

    The tables provide this information for all Region XI Head Start children. For some tables, information is also provided for only Region XI Head Start children who are American Indian or Alaska Native.

    Methods

    The AI/AN FACES 2015 sample provides information about Region XI Head Start children, their families, classrooms, centers, and programs. We selected a sample of Region XI Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, selecting one to two centers per program and two to four classrooms per center. Within each classroom, all children were selected for the study. Twenty-one programs, 36 centers, 73 classrooms, and 1,049 children participated in the study.

    The statistics in these tables are estimates of key characteristics of the population of Region XI Head Start children and their families in fall 2015 and spring 2016 and of children’s classrooms, centers, and programs in spring 2016. The data used to report on fall 2015 characteristics are weighted to represent all children enrolled in Region XI programs in fall 2015. The data used to report on spring 2016 characteristics and on fall-spring change are weighted to represent all children enrolled in Region XI programs in fall 2015 and who were still enrolled in spring 2016. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Benton, Amanda; Dunton, Lauren; Khadduri, Jill; Walton, Douglas
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). The Homeless Families Research Briefs project uses data from a large randomized controlled trial, the Family Options Study, to answer questions that are of interest to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This panel included presentations on three aspects of homeless families that may help HHS ensure that the agency’s programs and policies are used to assist families that have experienced homelessness in becoming self-sufficient. Amanda Benton (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) moderated this session. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). The Homeless Families Research Briefs project uses data from a large randomized controlled trial, the Family Options Study, to answer questions that are of interest to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This panel included presentations on three aspects of homeless families that may help HHS ensure that the agency’s programs and policies are used to assist families that have experienced homelessness in becoming self-sufficient. Amanda Benton (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) moderated this session. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

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