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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: Fontaine, Jocelyn ; Kurs, Emma
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    With funding from the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct an implementation evaluation of OFA’s Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Projects (“Fatherhood Reentry”). Six organizations were funded to implement a range of activities intended to help stabilize fathers and their families, help move fathers toward economic self sufficiency, and reduce recidivism. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the economic stability activities implemented by the projects. Economic stability was a core focus of the Fatherhood Reentry projects based on the extant literature highlighting formerly incarcerated people’s needs for assistance in achieving self-sufficiency to reach their reentry and family reunification goals. Incarceration is a risk factor for unemployment, and formerly incarcerated people have difficulty achieving economic stability for various reasons that encompass both personal challenges and systemic barriers. This brief provides a short overview...

    With funding from the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct an implementation evaluation of OFA’s Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Projects (“Fatherhood Reentry”). Six organizations were funded to implement a range of activities intended to help stabilize fathers and their families, help move fathers toward economic self sufficiency, and reduce recidivism. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the economic stability activities implemented by the projects. Economic stability was a core focus of the Fatherhood Reentry projects based on the extant literature highlighting formerly incarcerated people’s needs for assistance in achieving self-sufficiency to reach their reentry and family reunification goals. Incarceration is a risk factor for unemployment, and formerly incarcerated people have difficulty achieving economic stability for various reasons that encompass both personal challenges and systemic barriers. This brief provides a short overview of this literature, highlighting the importance of economic stability activities for fathers who are incarcerated or were formerly incarcerated, the barriers people face upon their return to the community, and how employment is associated with better outcomes among returning people, their families, and the community. We then include descriptions of the activities the Fatherhood Reentry projects used to foster economic stability for participating fathers and their families. We conclude with recommendations, based on the experiences of the Fatherhood Reentry projects, for practitioners implementing economic stability activities for the reentry population. (Author introduction) 

  • Individual Author: McKernan, Signe-Mary; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Mills, Gregory B.; Pergamit, Mike; Braga, Breno
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Policymakers looking to provide evidence-based opportunity for Americans should look to matched savings programs, such as individual development accounts. By matching personal saving, individual development accounts (IDAs) improve financial capability while promoting saving for longer-term investment in a home, business or education. A randomized controlled trial evaluation of the federally supported Assets for Independence IDA program found that after one year, participants in the program saw a $657 median increase in new savings (before matching funds); a 34 percent reduction in reported economic hardship; and a 10 percent increase in participants’ confidence in their ability to meet normal monthly living expenses. (Author abstract)

    Policymakers looking to provide evidence-based opportunity for Americans should look to matched savings programs, such as individual development accounts. By matching personal saving, individual development accounts (IDAs) improve financial capability while promoting saving for longer-term investment in a home, business or education. A randomized controlled trial evaluation of the federally supported Assets for Independence IDA program found that after one year, participants in the program saw a $657 median increase in new savings (before matching funds); a 34 percent reduction in reported economic hardship; and a 10 percent increase in participants’ confidence in their ability to meet normal monthly living expenses. (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: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Anzelone, Caitlin; Dechausay, Nadine; Landers, Patrick
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report represents the final synthesis of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project. Overall, the project’s findings demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program efficiency, operations, and outcomes at a relatively low cost.

    The report discusses in detail:

    •overall findings from the project;

    •lessons learned during the knowledge development period as well as across the project’s sites;

    •the broader context in which the findings are situated, with respect to both applied behavioral insights and human services; and

    •implications for future research and practice.

    Each chapter is accompanied by at least one independent commentary by an expert in the field. (Author abstract)

    This report represents the final synthesis of the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project. Overall, the project’s findings demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program efficiency, operations, and outcomes at a relatively low cost.

    The report discusses in detail:

    •overall findings from the project;

    •lessons learned during the knowledge development period as well as across the project’s sites;

    •the broader context in which the findings are situated, with respect to both applied behavioral insights and human services; and

    •implications for future research and practice.

    Each chapter is accompanied by at least one independent commentary by an expert in the field. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wang, Wendy; Wilcox, W. Bradford
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The rise of nontraditional routes into parenthood among Millennials is one indicator that today’s young adults are taking increasingly divergent paths toward adulthood, including family formation. In fact, when it comes to family formation, overall only 40% of young adults ages 28 to 34 have moved into family life by marrying first (regardless of whether they have had any children). Another 33% have had children outside of or before marriage, and a significant share (27%) have not reached either of these traditional milestones of adulthood. By comparison, a majority of Baby Boomers (67%) had entered intofamily life at the same age by marrying first. A much smaller share had children before marrying (20%), or had delayed both parenthood and marriage (13%) at ages 28 to 34...Even though young men and women are taking increasingly divergent paths into adulthood in America today, panel data that tracks adults across the transition to adulthood indicate that the path most likely to be associated with realizing the American Dream is one guided by the success sequence. Given the...

    The rise of nontraditional routes into parenthood among Millennials is one indicator that today’s young adults are taking increasingly divergent paths toward adulthood, including family formation. In fact, when it comes to family formation, overall only 40% of young adults ages 28 to 34 have moved into family life by marrying first (regardless of whether they have had any children). Another 33% have had children outside of or before marriage, and a significant share (27%) have not reached either of these traditional milestones of adulthood. By comparison, a majority of Baby Boomers (67%) had entered intofamily life at the same age by marrying first. A much smaller share had children before marrying (20%), or had delayed both parenthood and marriage (13%) at ages 28 to 34...Even though young men and women are taking increasingly divergent paths into adulthood in America today, panel data that tracks adults across the transition to adulthood indicate that the path most likely to be associated with realizing the American Dream is one guided by the success sequence. Given the importance of education, work, and marriage—even for a generation that has taken increasingly circuitous routes into adulthood—policy makers, business leaders, and civic leaders should work to advance public policies and cultural changes to make this sequence both more attainable and more valued. Among other things, this should include public and private efforts to strengthen career and technical education, expand the EITC or other wage subsidies, and publicize the value of the “success sequence” to adolescents and young adults across America. (Author introduction)

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