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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: Shaefer, H. Luke ; Edin, Kathryn ; Fusaro, Vincent ; Wu, Pinghui
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Since the early 1990s, the social safety net for families with children in the United States has undergone an epochal transformation. Aid to poor working families has become more generous. In contrast, assistance to the deeply poor has declined sharply, and what remains often takes the form of in-kind aid. A historical view finds that this dramatic change mirrors others. For centuries, the nature and form of poor relief has been driven in part by shifting cultural notions of which social groups constitute the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. This line was firmly redrawn in the 1990s. Did the re-institutionalization of these categorizations in policy have material consequences? In this study, we examine the relationship between the decline of traditional cash welfare during the 2001-2015 period and two direct measures of wellbeing among households with children: household food insecurity and public school child homelessness. Using models that control for state and year trends, along with other factors, we find that the decline of cash assistance is associated with increases in...

    Since the early 1990s, the social safety net for families with children in the United States has undergone an epochal transformation. Aid to poor working families has become more generous. In contrast, assistance to the deeply poor has declined sharply, and what remains often takes the form of in-kind aid. A historical view finds that this dramatic change mirrors others. For centuries, the nature and form of poor relief has been driven in part by shifting cultural notions of which social groups constitute the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. This line was firmly redrawn in the 1990s. Did the re-institutionalization of these categorizations in policy have material consequences? In this study, we examine the relationship between the decline of traditional cash welfare during the 2001-2015 period and two direct measures of wellbeing among households with children: household food insecurity and public school child homelessness. Using models that control for state and year trends, along with other factors, we find that the decline of cash assistance is associated with increases in these two forms of hardship. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Benson, Valerie H.; Webster, Riley
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Twenty years have passed since Congress enacted P.L. 105-200, the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA), dramatically restructuring the child support performance incentive system. Prior to its passage in 1998, there was growing concern that the incentive system lacked an effective impetus for improving state progress toward achieving the program’s goals since all states received a minimum incentive payment based solely on its child support collections. Previously incentive payments above the minimum were based on program cost-effectiveness measured by the ratio of collections to state program costs.

    CSPIA aimed to better align the incentive system to the child support program’s mission to promote responsible parenting, family self- sufficiency, and child wellbeing. To achieve this aim, CSPIA added four performance measures related to establishing and enforcing child support orders—paternity establishment, support order establishment, current support collections, and arrears collections—and retained a revised measure of cost-effectiveness. In addition to state...

    Twenty years have passed since Congress enacted P.L. 105-200, the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA), dramatically restructuring the child support performance incentive system. Prior to its passage in 1998, there was growing concern that the incentive system lacked an effective impetus for improving state progress toward achieving the program’s goals since all states received a minimum incentive payment based solely on its child support collections. Previously incentive payments above the minimum were based on program cost-effectiveness measured by the ratio of collections to state program costs.

    CSPIA aimed to better align the incentive system to the child support program’s mission to promote responsible parenting, family self- sufficiency, and child wellbeing. To achieve this aim, CSPIA added four performance measures related to establishing and enforcing child support orders—paternity establishment, support order establishment, current support collections, and arrears collections—and retained a revised measure of cost-effectiveness. In addition to state performance on these measures, the amount of the incentive payment depends on the amount available for incentive payments in the fiscal year, the reliability of the state’s data, the state’s total amount of child support collections, and the relative performance of other states.

    This brief builds on previous work by Sorensen (2016) examining national trends in child support performance by assessing the extent to which performance varies across states and across measures. 5 We discuss, for each measure, how states’ performance has changed since the implementation of CSPIA, the extent to which states’ performance varies, and opportunities for improvement. We then examine states’ recent performance by highlighting measures that have significant improvement from 2011 through 2016. The brief concludes with a discussion of next steps for future analyses. (Edited author summary)

     

  • Individual Author: Henly, Julia R.; Adams, Gina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though highquality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers, family child care programs, and other home-based care arrangements—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services has often translated into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially centerbased programs.

    This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), also known as the Child Care and Development Fund. It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. It concludes with a discussion of state policy strategies to better address the child care needs of these families.

    Our goal in...

    In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though highquality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers, family child care programs, and other home-based care arrangements—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services has often translated into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially centerbased programs.

    This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), also known as the Child Care and Development Fund. It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. It concludes with a discussion of state policy strategies to better address the child care needs of these families.

    Our goal in this report is twofold: First, to help policymakers and other policy stakeholders understand how current policy strategies and trends toward center-based care may be inadvertently challenging the ability of vulnerable groups of families to access subsidies and take advantage of public investments in child care quality. And second, to contribute to informed and strategic policy efforts to increase access to and the supply of high-quality care for all children across the spectrum of child care settings. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Pac, Jessica; Nam, Jaehyun; Waldfogel, Jane; Wimer, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an...

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an increasing role in reducing the poverty of young children, especially among Black non-Hispanic children, whose poverty rate would otherwise be 20.8 percentage points higher in 2013. Third, the composition of support has changed from virtually all cash transfers in 1968, to about one third each of cash, credit and in-kind transfers today. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Olson, Steve
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

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