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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    This set of selections focuses on TANF sanctions and work requirements. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.
    See more at: https://www.opressrc.org/content/ssrc-selections-executive-functioning

    This set of selections focuses on TANF sanctions and work requirements. SSRC Selections highlight research, evaluation reports, and other publications that inform the field about key issues in, and effective practices for, fostering economic self-sufficiency.
    See more at: https://www.opressrc.org/content/ssrc-selections-executive-functioning

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Levy, Diane K.; Pratt, Eleanor; Waxman, Elaine; Allen, Eva H.; Kenney, Genevieve M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report presents information on the work requirements currently in use in TANF, SNAP, and federal housing assistance programs and discusses the available evidence on implementation experiences and impacts. It also describes Medicaid waiver requests currently under consideration at CMS that would include work requirements and closes by highlighting key questions for consideration when assessing the use of work requirements in safety net programs. For example, given the evidence that employment among families who are subject to current work requirements rarely pays high enough wages to move a family off assistance and out of poverty, what are the expected benefits of implementing new work requirements? (Author abstract) 

    This report presents information on the work requirements currently in use in TANF, SNAP, and federal housing assistance programs and discusses the available evidence on implementation experiences and impacts. It also describes Medicaid waiver requests currently under consideration at CMS that would include work requirements and closes by highlighting key questions for consideration when assessing the use of work requirements in safety net programs. For example, given the evidence that employment among families who are subject to current work requirements rarely pays high enough wages to move a family off assistance and out of poverty, what are the expected benefits of implementing new work requirements? (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Smith, Jared; Reardon, Leigh; Obara, Emmi
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents findings from an intervention designed to increase the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients who “reengaged” in Los Angeles County’s welfare-to-work program.

    Two behaviorally informed notices went out to different groups of participants:

    • A notice highlighting the losses they might face by not attending the reengagement appointment; and
    • A notice highlighting the benefits they might receive by attending.

    A third control group did not receive either behaviorally informed notice.

    Participants received the notice one week before their appointment. The test found that receiving a behaviorally informed notice increased the percentage of group members who engaged in the program within 30 days of their scheduled reengagement appointment, with the increase driven by the loss notice (author abstract).

    This report presents findings from an intervention designed to increase the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients who “reengaged” in Los Angeles County’s welfare-to-work program.

    Two behaviorally informed notices went out to different groups of participants:

    • A notice highlighting the losses they might face by not attending the reengagement appointment; and
    • A notice highlighting the benefits they might receive by attending.

    A third control group did not receive either behaviorally informed notice.

    Participants received the notice one week before their appointment. The test found that receiving a behaviorally informed notice increased the percentage of group members who engaged in the program within 30 days of their scheduled reengagement appointment, with the increase driven by the loss notice (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gorin, Rebecca
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2016

    Posted by Rebecca Gorin, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Of the 1.8 million low-income parents that participate in education and training activities, most are single parents of children under five who also hold full-time jobs. Many pursuing additional education are on more than one type of public assistance program, often facing competing requirements to maintain benefits--some prioritizing work, others emphasizing training and education.

    The...

    Posted by Rebecca Gorin, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Of the 1.8 million low-income parents that participate in education and training activities, most are single parents of children under five who also hold full-time jobs. Many pursuing additional education are on more than one type of public assistance program, often facing competing requirements to maintain benefits--some prioritizing work, others emphasizing training and education.

    The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, established in 1996 by the Personal Responsibility and Work Responsibility Act, marked a dramatic shift away from cash assistance, requiring participants to work in order to keep their benefits. Recently, several companion programs have begun to support education and training as a prerequisite to work and economic stability.  

    For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allocates $300 million annually to states to operate SNAP E&T programs. While states are afforded considerable flexibility in their design, these programs help participants with job searches, provide work experience, basic-skills training, and job retention services. The child support system, originally an enforcement mechanism to recoup welfare payments, is also beginning to offer employment supports, through pilot projects that provide case management, employment services and fatherhood/parenting activities to non-custodial parents with high barriers to employment. These pilots, are a part of the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project (CSPED) and aim to improve financial and emotional stability for children by increasing the economic capacities of their parents. 

    These policy shifts have occurred as the literature and research base has grown on the effectiveness and outcomes of work-first policies, as well as education and training supports for low-income individuals. This research has found that flexible programs, like SNAP E&T, are well-equipped to respond to economic downturns in comparison to work-first programs. Studies also indicate that training programs that adapt to changing labor market conditions and take into account employer needs can help participants build career pathways. Employment-based child support programs are also proving to be effective at not only increasing child support payments but increasing the presence of non-custodial parents in their children’s lives. 

    Learn More about Work First Policy from the SSRC:

    The SSRC Library contains numerous evaluation reports and stakeholder resources on these policy, research and practice development, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to 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.

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