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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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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Abdi, Fadumo; Lantos, Hannah
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental...

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental health, a history of involvement with the juvenile justice system or familial incarceration, being a member of a minority group, low academic achievement, or family poverty. The combination of these factors create barriers for youth to connect to education or, without education credentials, find employment, which further impedes their path to a self-sufficient adulthood.

    It is currently estimated that there are between 5.5 and 6.7 million youth who are neither working nor in school. This represents approximately 15 to 17 percent of the American youth population. Minorities, particularly minority males, are overrepresented among disconnected youth. Currently, the policy and practice literature doesn’t provide a universal definition of disconnected youth that is inclusive of the diverse population making estimations of the numbers of youth impacted by disconnection difficult. Youth who belong to other groups such as the LGBTQ population, youth who are aging out of foster care or have left the system, and youth who have been engaged with the juvenile justice system. Youth who are a part of these groups are vulnerable, at-risk for, or already disconnected and are more likely to experience more complex obstacles when transitioning towards self-sufficiency.

    Traditional indicators of a successful transition to adulthood have included career development, marriage, and parenthood. In the past three decades, these indicators of transition to adulthood have changed over time. Youth have shifted from early participation in the workforce to prolonged enrollment in higher education. Changes in the labor market, such as increased labor-saving technology, and the increasing prevalence of jobs that require a higher level skill set have made it difficult for youth to reach their long term career goals without higher education. The Great Recession of 2007 resulted in widespread increases in unemployment that was more severe for vulnerable populations including youth. Due to these social and workforce shifts, disconnected youth have found it more difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in the face of high unemployment.

    There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to help disconnected youth make a successful transition to adulthood. These programs take into account both the highly complex needs of disconnected youth and their importance to the economy. Intervention and prevention programs aimed at connecting youth to opportunity take four forms: (1) workforce development and skill building programs, (2) behavioral programs that work to prevent disconnection, (3) comprehensive programs which address social support needs and job training, and (4) early prevention programs that aim to re-engage adolescents who have dropped out of school or are at-risk of early drop out by providing counseling, helping to develop social and cognitive skills, and providing academic support services.

    Workforce development programs may vary depending on their target population and the specific outcomes to be achieved but typically includes career development opportunities for high schools students, combine education with vocational training, or target older youth with a greater focus on skills development. There is also a growing recognition that behavioral and mental health issues should be addressed alongside skill building and higher education attainment in order for disconnected youth to be successful long-term. In addition, employers and workforce programs have come to realize the importance of soft skills development, such as communication skills, conflict resolution, and self-regulation, for youth entering the workforce.

    Despite the broad scope of youth disconnection, researchers and practitioners have used common characteristics to describe this population, such as age, educational attainment, length of unemployment, or the socio-economic costs of youth disconnection to identify key factors that may alleviate challenges associated with the highly complex nature of youth disconnection. More evidence on youth disconnection is available now than at any other time in our history which helps to facilitate greater understanding of the challenges disconnected youth face, the extent of youth disconnection locally and nationally, and ultimately the development of better strategies to serve them.

    The SSRC library contains numerous resources and evaluations related to disconnected youth, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to the SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.

  • Individual Author: Dastrup, Samuel; Burnett, Kimberly; Buron, Larry
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

    This document lays out a plan for the cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) that will be conducted for up to six of the nine Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) programs. The Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) study is evaluating the intermediate impacts and outcomes of the PACE programs. The CBAs cover the three-year period after study enrollment.

    The CBAs planned in this document will accompany and extend the related “what works” impact analyses of the CPIO study. This document will guide the estimation of the costs of providing the PACE programs and our comparison of these costs with gains in employment and self-sufficiency measured in the impact analyses.

    Findings from the CBAs—how program costs compare with observed benefits—will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation or potentially expansion of each program’s approach as part of national policy. (Author abtract)

  • Individual Author: Dutta-Gupta, Indivar; Grant, Kali; Eckel, Matthew; Edelman, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Subsidized employment is a promising strategy for boosting incomes and improving labor market outcomes and well-being, especially for disadvantaged workers. This report represents findings from an extensive review of evaluated or promising subsidized employment programs and models spanning four decades that target populations with serious or multiple barriers to employment in the United States. It includes a framework aimed at helping practitioners develop more innovative and effective programs by identifying key elements of program design and implementation; a review of relevant models from the past 40 years, including key findings from this research; and a set of recommendations for policymakers and practitioners for further utilization of subsidized jobs programs. The goal of this paper is to promote subsidized employment policies and programs that are likely to increase quality opportunities for individuals with serious or multiple barriers to employment, during both economic expansions and contractions. (author introduction)

    Subsidized employment is a promising strategy for boosting incomes and improving labor market outcomes and well-being, especially for disadvantaged workers. This report represents findings from an extensive review of evaluated or promising subsidized employment programs and models spanning four decades that target populations with serious or multiple barriers to employment in the United States. It includes a framework aimed at helping practitioners develop more innovative and effective programs by identifying key elements of program design and implementation; a review of relevant models from the past 40 years, including key findings from this research; and a set of recommendations for policymakers and practitioners for further utilization of subsidized jobs programs. The goal of this paper is to promote subsidized employment policies and programs that are likely to increase quality opportunities for individuals with serious or multiple barriers to employment, during both economic expansions and contractions. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Glosser, Asaph; Barden, Bret; Williams, Sonya; Anderson, Chloe
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents implementation findings and early impact results -- one year -- from a random assignment evaluation of subsidized employment for TANF recipients in Los Angeles County. The study examines the impact of two distinct approaches to subsidized employment. This test is part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration.

    The first, Paid Work Experience, subsidizes the wages of individuals placed at nonprofit or public-sector employers. The second, On-the-Job Training, offers wage subsidies to private-sector employers who agree to place employees onto their payrolls after an initial two-month tryout period; if they do, the wage subsidies can continue for up to an additional four months.

    Findings examine placement rates, retention, additional welfare-to-work services received, employment, earnings, and other measures of well-being. (Author abstract)

    This report presents implementation findings and early impact results -- one year -- from a random assignment evaluation of subsidized employment for TANF recipients in Los Angeles County. The study examines the impact of two distinct approaches to subsidized employment. This test is part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration.

    The first, Paid Work Experience, subsidizes the wages of individuals placed at nonprofit or public-sector employers. The second, On-the-Job Training, offers wage subsidies to private-sector employers who agree to place employees onto their payrolls after an initial two-month tryout period; if they do, the wage subsidies can continue for up to an additional four months.

    Findings examine placement rates, retention, additional welfare-to-work services received, employment, earnings, and other measures of well-being. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wissel, Sarah; Hartog, Jacob; Sama-Miller, Emily
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Most employment and training interventions for low-income adults consist of a variety of services, strategies or approaches intended to improve employment and earnings. Many also include strategies to address other needs of the target population, such as housing. To enable quicker comparison across interventions, the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review identified a primary strategy for each multi-strategy intervention the review examined.

    Primary service strategies identified include:

    • Education
    • Training
    • Work-Readiness Activities
    • Subsidized Employment/Transitional Jobs
    • Employment Retention Services
    • Case Management
    • Financial Incentives or Sanctions
    • Supportive Services
    • Health Services

    This guide describes the process for identifying a primary strategy, and lists a primary strategy for each intervention. (author abstract)

    Most employment and training interventions for low-income adults consist of a variety of services, strategies or approaches intended to improve employment and earnings. Many also include strategies to address other needs of the target population, such as housing. To enable quicker comparison across interventions, the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review identified a primary strategy for each multi-strategy intervention the review examined.

    Primary service strategies identified include:

    • Education
    • Training
    • Work-Readiness Activities
    • Subsidized Employment/Transitional Jobs
    • Employment Retention Services
    • Case Management
    • Financial Incentives or Sanctions
    • Supportive Services
    • Health Services

    This guide describes the process for identifying a primary strategy, and lists a primary strategy for each intervention. (author abstract)

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