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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: Passarella, Letitia L.; Nicoli, Lisa T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a...

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2004 and March 2007; (b) Great Recession Era—an increasing caseload between April 2007 and December 2011; and (c) Great Recession Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2012 and March 2017.

    The main findings from this report indicate that families’ financial situations improved after exiting the TCA program, compared with their circumstances before they came onto the program. Nonetheless, these families struggle to rise above poverty and maintain independence from cash assistance. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: McColl, Rebecca; Nicoli, Lisa Thiebaud
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This document includes individual summaries for each of the 24 jurisdictions as well as the state. Each summary includes every family in that jurisdiction who received TCA for at least one month in state fiscal year 2017 (July 2016 to June 2017). Additionally, the demographics and employment analyses are only for adult recipients, so payees who are not recipients themselves are excluded from those sections of the table. We believe this provides a more accurate representation of families and individuals receiving TCA.

    Because we are interested in receipt during a state fiscal year, the first month in the year that a family actually received benefits is the first month included in the analysis. For example, if a family applied for TCA in January 2017, that family might not actually receive benefits until February 2017. We would consider February 2017 the first month of receipt. However, benefits are retroactive to the date that a family applied for assistance, so this family would receive prorated benefits for January. Since the family received benefits for January 2017,...

    This document includes individual summaries for each of the 24 jurisdictions as well as the state. Each summary includes every family in that jurisdiction who received TCA for at least one month in state fiscal year 2017 (July 2016 to June 2017). Additionally, the demographics and employment analyses are only for adult recipients, so payees who are not recipients themselves are excluded from those sections of the table. We believe this provides a more accurate representation of families and individuals receiving TCA.

    Because we are interested in receipt during a state fiscal year, the first month in the year that a family actually received benefits is the first month included in the analysis. For example, if a family applied for TCA in January 2017, that family might not actually receive benefits until February 2017. We would consider February 2017 the first month of receipt. However, benefits are retroactive to the date that a family applied for assistance, so this family would receive prorated benefits for January. Since the family received benefits for January 2017, some of the measures we use, such as months of receipt in the state fiscal year or months of receipt counted toward the time limit, would count January as a month of receipt. These discrepancies are important in understanding data related to past program participation.

    Disabled for 12+ months is defined as individuals coded as OTD in WORKS, the data system used to track participation in work activities, at any point in the 2017 state fiscal year. Due to data availability, the second adult on cases with more than one adult recipient is excluded from this analysis.

    Additional information on methods and data sources can be found in the main brief, Life on Welfare: Temporary Cash Assistance Families & Recipients, 2017. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: McColl, Rebecca; Nicoli, Lisa Thiebaud
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    At the end of 2016, Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) caseload reached a record low. In November 2016, the number of families receiving TCA dropped below the previous low of 20,725 in March 2007, and it continued to decline throughout the state fiscal year. The most recent caseload figures indicate that the decline has not abated; in February 2018, the last month data was available, only 18,210 families received TCA. (Edited author introduction)

     

    At the end of 2016, Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) caseload reached a record low. In November 2016, the number of families receiving TCA dropped below the previous low of 20,725 in March 2007, and it continued to decline throughout the state fiscal year. The most recent caseload figures indicate that the decline has not abated; in February 2018, the last month data was available, only 18,210 families received TCA. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Elkin, Sam; Farrell, Mary; Koralek, Robin; Engle, Hannah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Since 1975, the United States has resettled more than three million refugees whose diversity of skills, education, and culture requires that public and private organizations assisting them be able to provide a wide range of services. Upon arrival in the United States, two federally funded cash assistance programs help low-income refugees on their path to self-sufficiency: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for those with dependent minor children and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) for those who do not qualify for TANF. Both programs are funded and administered by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. States, however, have broad flexibility in implementing TANF and RCA programs and the related employment services, and as a result programs vary by state.

    While refugees make up a small proportion of the TANF caseload, they may require more intensive services reflecting their status and particular needs. Coordination with resettlement agencies and refugee-serving organizations more accustomed to working...

    Since 1975, the United States has resettled more than three million refugees whose diversity of skills, education, and culture requires that public and private organizations assisting them be able to provide a wide range of services. Upon arrival in the United States, two federally funded cash assistance programs help low-income refugees on their path to self-sufficiency: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for those with dependent minor children and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) for those who do not qualify for TANF. Both programs are funded and administered by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. States, however, have broad flexibility in implementing TANF and RCA programs and the related employment services, and as a result programs vary by state.

    While refugees make up a small proportion of the TANF caseload, they may require more intensive services reflecting their status and particular needs. Coordination with resettlement agencies and refugee-serving organizations more accustomed to working with refugees may ensure appropriate services are provided. Research on how refugee-serving programs collaborate to provide assistance and help refugees obtain employment has been limited. Service providers seeking to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency in a short time-frame need promising strategies for better serving refugees. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Waters, Damon; Chester, Hilary; Gaffney, Angela; Hetling, Andrea
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    This session discussed how TANF and employment services programs can serve special populations. Presenters shared strategies that state and local systems use to provide financial support and related employment services to newly arrived refugees, the feasibility and benefits of providing enhanced employment services to foreign trafficking victims, and a risk assessment tool for domestic violence survivors applying for services and waivers under the Family Violence Options. Damon Waters (Administration for Children and Families) moderated this session.

     

    This session discussed how TANF and employment services programs can serve special populations. Presenters shared strategies that state and local systems use to provide financial support and related employment services to newly arrived refugees, the feasibility and benefits of providing enhanced employment services to foreign trafficking victims, and a risk assessment tool for domestic violence survivors applying for services and waivers under the Family Violence Options. Damon Waters (Administration for Children and Families) moderated this session.

     

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