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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: Cancian, Maria; Cook, Steven T. ; Seki, Mai; Wimer, Lynn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Most families in the child protective services system also interact with the child support enforcement system. This study exploits a natural experiment in Wisconsin, created by the state's large regional variation in child support referral policy, to estimate a potentially important effect of child support enforcement on the duration of out-of-home foster care placement. The effect we examine is whether requiring parents to pay support to offset the costs of foster care delays children's reunification with a parent or other permanent placement. We find evidence of this unintended effect, which is important not only because longer foster care spells are expensive for taxpayers, but also because extended placements in foster care may have consequences for child well-being. Our results highlight the potential importance of cross-systems analysis and the potential consequences when the policies and fundamental objectives of public systems are inconsistently coordinated. We discuss the implications of our findings for child support and child protective services policy. (Author...

    Most families in the child protective services system also interact with the child support enforcement system. This study exploits a natural experiment in Wisconsin, created by the state's large regional variation in child support referral policy, to estimate a potentially important effect of child support enforcement on the duration of out-of-home foster care placement. The effect we examine is whether requiring parents to pay support to offset the costs of foster care delays children's reunification with a parent or other permanent placement. We find evidence of this unintended effect, which is important not only because longer foster care spells are expensive for taxpayers, but also because extended placements in foster care may have consequences for child well-being. Our results highlight the potential importance of cross-systems analysis and the potential consequences when the policies and fundamental objectives of public systems are inconsistently coordinated. We discuss the implications of our findings for child support and child protective services policy. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Smeeding, Tim
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain...

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain development, health status, school performance, labor market outcomes, and future well-being more generally. And family instability, which is frequently linked to poverty, has negative effects as well. When children are raised in households with constantly changing family members, housing, and income, they experience negative consequences across the life course. The case for taking child poverty more seriously is accordingly strong. Why, then, doesn't our country have a long-term plan to reduce poverty substantially? The purpose of this essay is to discuss what types of anti-poverty plans would be consistent with the social science evidence and also dramatically reduce child poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Raissian, Kerri M. ; Bullinger, Lindsey Rose
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Research has consistently demonstrated that children living in low-income families, particularly those in poverty, are at a greater risk of child maltreatment; however, causal evidence for this relationship is sparse. We use child maltreatment reports from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System: Child File from 2004 to 2013 to investigate the relationship between changes in a state's minimum wage and changes in child maltreatment rates. We find that increases in the minimum wage lead to a decline in overall child maltreatment reports, particularly neglect reports. Specifically, a $1 increase in the minimum wage implies a statistically significant 9.6% decline in neglect reports. This decline is concentrated among young children (ages 0–5) and school-aged children (ages 6–12); the effect diminishes among adolescents and is not significant. We do not find that the effect of increases in the minimum wage varies based on the child's race. These findings are robust to a number of specifications. Our results suggest that policies that increase incomes of the working poor can...

    Research has consistently demonstrated that children living in low-income families, particularly those in poverty, are at a greater risk of child maltreatment; however, causal evidence for this relationship is sparse. We use child maltreatment reports from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System: Child File from 2004 to 2013 to investigate the relationship between changes in a state's minimum wage and changes in child maltreatment rates. We find that increases in the minimum wage lead to a decline in overall child maltreatment reports, particularly neglect reports. Specifically, a $1 increase in the minimum wage implies a statistically significant 9.6% decline in neglect reports. This decline is concentrated among young children (ages 0–5) and school-aged children (ages 6–12); the effect diminishes among adolescents and is not significant. We do not find that the effect of increases in the minimum wage varies based on the child's race. These findings are robust to a number of specifications. Our results suggest that policies that increase incomes of the working poor can improve children's welfare, especially younger children, quite substantially. (Author abstract)

  • 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: Vargas, Clemencia M.; Stines, Elsie M.; Granado, Herta S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Purpose

     The purpose of this scoping review was to determine the health-equity issues that relate to childhood obesity.

    Methods

    Health-equity issues related to childhood obesity were identified by analyzing food environment, natural and built environment, and social environment. The authors searched Medline, PubMed, and Web of Science, using the keywords “children” and “obesity.” Specific terms for each environment were added: “food desert,” “advertising,” “insecurity,” “price,” “processing,” “trade,” and “school” for food environment; “urban design,” “land use,” “transportation mode,” “public facilities,” and “market access” for natural and built environment; and “financial capacity/poverty,” “living conditions,” “transport access,” “remoteness,” “social support,” “social cohesion,” “working practices,” “eating habits,” “time,” and “social norms” for social environment. Inclusion criteria were studies or reports with populations under age 12, conducted in the United States, and published in English in 2005...

    Purpose

     The purpose of this scoping review was to determine the health-equity issues that relate to childhood obesity.

    Methods

    Health-equity issues related to childhood obesity were identified by analyzing food environment, natural and built environment, and social environment. The authors searched Medline, PubMed, and Web of Science, using the keywords “children” and “obesity.” Specific terms for each environment were added: “food desert,” “advertising,” “insecurity,” “price,” “processing,” “trade,” and “school” for food environment; “urban design,” “land use,” “transportation mode,” “public facilities,” and “market access” for natural and built environment; and “financial capacity/poverty,” “living conditions,” “transport access,” “remoteness,” “social support,” “social cohesion,” “working practices,” “eating habits,” “time,” and “social norms” for social environment. Inclusion criteria were studies or reports with populations under age 12, conducted in the United States, and published in English in 2005 or later.

    Results

     The final search yielded 39 references (16 for food environment, 11 for built environment, and 12 for social environment). Most food-environment elements were associated with obesity, except food insecurity and food deserts. A natural and built environment that hinders access to physical activity resources and access to healthy foods increased the risk of childhood obesity. Similarly, a negative social environment was associated with childhood obesity. More research is needed on the effects of food production, living conditions, time for shopping, and exercise, as related to childhood obesity.

    Conclusions

     Most elements of food, natural and built, and social-environments were associated with weight in children under age 12, except food insecurity and food deserts. (Author abstract)

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