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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: Guo, Baorong; Huang, Jin; Porterfield, Shirley L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and...

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and without disabilities regarding changes in food security status and their health-related outcomes in the transition to adulthood. State SNAP policy variables were used as exogenous instruments to estimate the effects of SNAP participation on food security and health/healthcare use for youth and young adults with disabilities in the models of instrumental variables.

    The study’s limitations are closely examined with a focus on the constraints that we had in the DID analysis and the IV analysis. We also suggested directions for future research. Since food security likely has a profound impact on the long-term development, economic independence, and self-sufficiency, we discussed a few policy strategies that may help individuals with disabilities in their transition to adulthood. These include special outreach services to improve SNAP accessibility, an embedded alert system that serves to bring awareness of a SNAP participant’s upcoming transition to adulthood, incorporation of nutrition assistance in transition planning for youth, and better coordination of multiple public programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Rachel; Sevak, Purvi; Honeycutt, Todd
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief illustrates how state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use performance management tools and processes to leverage their data systems to improve their programs. VR agencies play an important role in delivering services to transition-aged youth with disabilities who are preparing to move into employment or postsecondary education. VR agencies collect, or can obtain, large amounts of data on client services and outcomes—data that can go largely underutilized. As agencies try to improve outcomes for youth clients, performance management tools can use these data to track existing outcomes and can inform program and policy changes to serve clients better. These tools are especially important, given the emphasis on performance measurement and evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and organizations like the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. (Author abstract) 

    This brief illustrates how state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use performance management tools and processes to leverage their data systems to improve their programs. VR agencies play an important role in delivering services to transition-aged youth with disabilities who are preparing to move into employment or postsecondary education. VR agencies collect, or can obtain, large amounts of data on client services and outcomes—data that can go largely underutilized. As agencies try to improve outcomes for youth clients, performance management tools can use these data to track existing outcomes and can inform program and policy changes to serve clients better. These tools are especially important, given the emphasis on performance measurement and evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and organizations like the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Fraker, Thomas; Mamun, Arif; Honeycutt, Todd; Thompkins, Allison; Valentine, Erin Jacobs
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Under contract to SSA, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a rigorous evaluation of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) projects using a random assignment evaluation design. Across the six project sites, more than 5,000 youth enrolled in the evaluation and were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that could participate in the YTD projects or a control group that could not. Mathematica and its partners in the evaluation conducted site-specific analysis to assess the impacts of the interventions one year and three years after youth enrolled in the evaluation. The one-year analysis found that all six projects had positive and statistically significant impacts on the receipt of employment-promoting services by youth, but only three projects had positive impacts on employment (Fraker et al. 2011a-c and 2012a-c). In this report, we present estimates of the impacts of the YTD projects on paid employment and earnings, total income from earnings and benefits, participation in productive activities, contact with the justice system, and self-determination. We also present...

    Under contract to SSA, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a rigorous evaluation of the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) projects using a random assignment evaluation design. Across the six project sites, more than 5,000 youth enrolled in the evaluation and were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that could participate in the YTD projects or a control group that could not. Mathematica and its partners in the evaluation conducted site-specific analysis to assess the impacts of the interventions one year and three years after youth enrolled in the evaluation. The one-year analysis found that all six projects had positive and statistically significant impacts on the receipt of employment-promoting services by youth, but only three projects had positive impacts on employment (Fraker et al. 2011a-c and 2012a-c). In this report, we present estimates of the impacts of the YTD projects on paid employment and earnings, total income from earnings and benefits, participation in productive activities, contact with the justice system, and self-determination. We also present estimates of each project’s average cost per participant. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Courtney, Mark E.; Osgood, D. W. ; Foster, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    D. Wayne Osgood, E. Michael Foster, and Mark E. Courtney examine the transition to adult- hood for youth involved in social service and justice systems during childhood and adolescence. They survey the challenges faced by youth in the mental health system, the foster care system, the juvenile justice system, the criminal justice system, and special education, and by youth with physical disabilities and chronic illness, as well as runaway and homeless youth.

    One problem is that the services these vulnerable populations receive from these systems as children and adolescents often end abruptly as they transition to adulthood, even though the need for them continues. Youth must leave systems tailored for clients their age and, if they are eligible for further services at all, enter adult systems that are not equipped to address their needs. One exception is the special education system, whose services extend into early adult- hood and are designed for individuals’ needs.

    The authors review current public policies directed toward vulnerable youth in transition and find...

    D. Wayne Osgood, E. Michael Foster, and Mark E. Courtney examine the transition to adult- hood for youth involved in social service and justice systems during childhood and adolescence. They survey the challenges faced by youth in the mental health system, the foster care system, the juvenile justice system, the criminal justice system, and special education, and by youth with physical disabilities and chronic illness, as well as runaway and homeless youth.

    One problem is that the services these vulnerable populations receive from these systems as children and adolescents often end abruptly as they transition to adulthood, even though the need for them continues. Youth must leave systems tailored for clients their age and, if they are eligible for further services at all, enter adult systems that are not equipped to address their needs. One exception is the special education system, whose services extend into early adult- hood and are designed for individuals’ needs.

    The authors review current public policies directed toward vulnerable youth in transition and find problems in four areas: eligibility criteria that exclude youth from services that might benefit them, inadequate funding for transition services, a lack of coordination across service systems, and inadequate training about young-adult developmental issues for service professionals.

    The authors then discuss policy options that can help create a developmentally appropriate and socially inclusive system of support for vulnerable youth. Among the options are strengthening all programs for youth in transition, improving the existing systems of care for children and adolescents, addressing the loss of access to services at the age of majority, and coordinating today’s multiple systems into a single coherent system. The authors see heightened governmental interest in better supports for vulnerable young adults, both through expanding the federal role in their lives and through improving coordination of the systems that serve them. The Fostering Connections Act of 2008, for example, extended services to adolescents in foster care from the age of eighteen to the age of twenty-one. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinez, John ; Manno, Michelle S.; Baird, Peter; Fraker, Thomas; Honeycutt, Todd; Mamun, Arif; O'Day, Bonnie; Rangarajan, Anu
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities, particularly youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other disability program benefits, can be especially challenging. In addition to the host of issues facing all transition-age youth, young people with disabilities face special issues related to health, social isolation, service needs, and lack of access to supports. These challenges complicate their planning for future education and work, and often lead to poor educational and employment outcomes, high risk of dependency, and a lifetime of poverty.

    The public cost of child dependence on SSI is quite large. In April 2005, approximately 776,000 youth 14 through 25 years old were receiving SSI benefits totaling more than $340 million each month. Many additional youth receive Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) payments or Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. Furthermore, thousands of youth whose applications for disability benefits have been denied are at high risk of receiving benefits in the future if they do not transition successfully...

    The transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities, particularly youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other disability program benefits, can be especially challenging. In addition to the host of issues facing all transition-age youth, young people with disabilities face special issues related to health, social isolation, service needs, and lack of access to supports. These challenges complicate their planning for future education and work, and often lead to poor educational and employment outcomes, high risk of dependency, and a lifetime of poverty.

    The public cost of child dependence on SSI is quite large. In April 2005, approximately 776,000 youth 14 through 25 years old were receiving SSI benefits totaling more than $340 million each month. Many additional youth receive Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) payments or Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefits. Furthermore, thousands of youth whose applications for disability benefits have been denied are at high risk of receiving benefits in the future if they do not transition successfully to working in their adult life. This group includes youth whose disabilities currently are not severe, but who have a prognosis for decreased functioning over time, as well as youth who are income ineligible due to parental income, but who might be eligible if they were to move out of their parents’ households after reaching the age of 18.

    Recognizing the importance of service intervention at this critical juncture in youths’ lives, the Social Security Administration (SSA) initiated the Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) evaluation. SSA is providing funding to develop and rigorously evaluate promising strategies to help youth with disabilities become as economically self-sufficient as possible as they transition from school to work. Hallmark features of the YTD evaluation include (1) strong, policy-relevant demonstration projects that serve relatively large numbers of youth with disabilities compared with other programs, and (2) a rigorous evaluation design based on random assignment.

    The YTD evaluation provides SSA with a valuable opportunity to identify program components and strategies that can show successful employment and earnings outcomes for youth. The demonstration is doing this by supporting and testing a multisite study with six interventions, all with a strong focus on employment, and with considerable leveraging of community services. The demonstration also includes waivers of certain SSI rules to help youth who work keep more benefits and provide them with incentives to obtain and retain employment. By testing a variety of service delivery models on the target population of youth with disabilities, combined with the provision of SSA waivers, this demonstration provides a unique opportunity to learn about effective interventions to increase employment and earnings for youth with disabilities, and eventually reduce their reliance on SSA disability benefits.

    In partnership with SSA, the YTD evaluation is being led by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., a nonpartisan firm that conducts policy research and surveys for federal and state governments, foundations, and private-sector clients. Mathematica has assembled a multidisciplinary team, including key partner organizations MDRC and TransCen, Inc., to design and conduct the evaluation and to provide technical assistance to the projects as they develop and implement their YTD interventions.

    This report profiles the six YTD projects that have been selected for rigorous evaluation. The following chapters discuss each of these projects in turn. A profile of each project is provided, focusing on the services provided. Before turning to the project profiles, we briefly describe the conceptual framework underlying the YTD interventions and the process for selecting these projects. (Author abstract)

     

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