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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: Woolf, Steven H.; Aron, Laudan
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2018

    White Americans are dying at higher rates from drugs, alcohol, and suicides. And the sharpest increases are happening in rural counties, often in regions with long-standing social and economic challenges. The reasons behind these increases are unclear and complex. The opioid epidemic plays a role but is just one part of a larger public health crisis. Life expectancy in the US as a whole has fallen for the second year in a row, and the nation’s health relative to other countries has been declining for decades. Some combination of factors in American life must explain why the rise in mortality is greatest among white, middle-aged adults and certain rural communities. Possibilities include the collapse of industries and the local economies they supported, greater social isolation, economic hardship, and distress among white workers over losing the security their parents’ generation once enjoyed. Also, over the past 30 years, income inequality and other social divides have widened, middle-class incomes have stagnated, and poverty rates have exceeded those of most rich countries.  ...

    White Americans are dying at higher rates from drugs, alcohol, and suicides. And the sharpest increases are happening in rural counties, often in regions with long-standing social and economic challenges. The reasons behind these increases are unclear and complex. The opioid epidemic plays a role but is just one part of a larger public health crisis. Life expectancy in the US as a whole has fallen for the second year in a row, and the nation’s health relative to other countries has been declining for decades. Some combination of factors in American life must explain why the rise in mortality is greatest among white, middle-aged adults and certain rural communities. Possibilities include the collapse of industries and the local economies they supported, greater social isolation, economic hardship, and distress among white workers over losing the security their parents’ generation once enjoyed. Also, over the past 30 years, income inequality and other social divides have widened, middle-class incomes have stagnated, and poverty rates have exceeded those of most rich countries.  Recent legislation and regulations, however, may prolong or intensify the economic burden on the middle class and weaken access to health care and safety net programs. The consequences of these choices are dire—not only more deaths and illness, but also escalating health care costs, a sicker workforce, and a less competitive economy. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2018

    Work requirements for key safety net programs are currently being discussed across the country. It is important that this debate be based on an understanding of what recipients need to meet those requirements and to successfully place themselves on a path toward self-sufficiency. Among those potentially subject to work requirements are low-income parents with limited education and low skills who need education and training to find and keep stable jobs. However, a lack of quality, affordable child care often stands in their way. To inform current policy deliberations, we have compiled research insights about meeting the child care needs of low-income parents seeking education and job training from the dozen studies produced under Urban Institute’s “Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Intersection between Child Care and Workforce Development for Low-Income Parents” project. This brief highlights key insights for policymakers and lays out further questions to be explored. (Author abstract)

     

     

     

    Work requirements for key safety net programs are currently being discussed across the country. It is important that this debate be based on an understanding of what recipients need to meet those requirements and to successfully place themselves on a path toward self-sufficiency. Among those potentially subject to work requirements are low-income parents with limited education and low skills who need education and training to find and keep stable jobs. However, a lack of quality, affordable child care often stands in their way. To inform current policy deliberations, we have compiled research insights about meeting the child care needs of low-income parents seeking education and job training from the dozen studies produced under Urban Institute’s “Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Intersection between Child Care and Workforce Development for Low-Income Parents” project. This brief highlights key insights for policymakers and lays out further questions to be explored. (Author abstract)

     

     

     

  • Individual Author: Biggs, Andrew; Capretta, James C.; Doar, Robert; Haskins, Ron; Levin, Yuval
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2016

    The United States faces a large and growing fiscal challenge that is being ignored by most of the nation’s policymakers. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that debt held by the public will reach 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2039. The primary cause of the problem is the steady, decades-long rise in entitlement spending. Over the past 75 years, the United States has built a vast and sprawling network of social welfare protections and programs—the entitlement state. These programs’ cumulative costs now threaten to push the federal government past the point of insolvency. However, it is insufficient to base a push for reform on a fiscal rationale alone. Reforms must be—and must be understood by the public as—good ideas that improve the programs’ effectiveness and efficiency, separate and apart from budgetary effects. Although entitlement programs vary greatly in their roles and design, the important themes for reform should be:

    Promotion of Work. Much of the federal safety net is designed to help households that have inadequate...

    The United States faces a large and growing fiscal challenge that is being ignored by most of the nation’s policymakers. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that debt held by the public will reach 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2039. The primary cause of the problem is the steady, decades-long rise in entitlement spending. Over the past 75 years, the United States has built a vast and sprawling network of social welfare protections and programs—the entitlement state. These programs’ cumulative costs now threaten to push the federal government past the point of insolvency. However, it is insufficient to base a push for reform on a fiscal rationale alone. Reforms must be—and must be understood by the public as—good ideas that improve the programs’ effectiveness and efficiency, separate and apart from budgetary effects. Although entitlement programs vary greatly in their roles and design, the important themes for reform should be:

    Promotion of Work. Much of the federal safety net is designed to help households that have inadequate resources from earned income. But it is counterproductive when government programs discourage work and thus create unnecessary dependence on public support.

    Personal Responsibility. Most working-age households with middle-class incomes (or higher) could save and provide for their own retirement without subsidization from other taxpayers. Entitlement reform should proceed on the assumption that limited public resources should provide a solid safety net against poverty in old age, but that those who can afford to save for retirement should be expected to do so.

    Innovation and High Quality in Health Care. Slowing cost escalation in health care without undermining the quality of care requires higher productivity and more efficiency in how care is provided to patients. That can be achieved only with a functioning marketplace. 

    The federal government’s entitlement spending is concentrated in Social Security, health care programs, and the safety net for lower-income households. Reforms are necessary in all three areas. (Edited author executive summary)

     

  • Individual Author: Babcock, Elisabeth D.
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2014

    Moving out of poverty is no longer a short process of following a simple roadmap to a good job. It has become a lengthy, complex navigational challenge requiring individuals to rely on strong executive function (EF) skills (impulse control, working memory, and mental flexibility) in order to effectively manage life’s competing demands and optimize their decisions over many years. Experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma can directly undermine brain development and the EF skills most needed for success. The specific EF challenges in managing thoughts, behavior, and health caused by such adverse experiences are increasingly well understood, and this understanding may be used to improve policy and program design.

    The areas of the brain affected by adverse experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma remain plastic well into adulthood and, through proper coaching, may be strengthened and improved. Improvements in executive functioning are likely to positively impact outcomes in all areas of life, including parenting, personal relationships,...

    Moving out of poverty is no longer a short process of following a simple roadmap to a good job. It has become a lengthy, complex navigational challenge requiring individuals to rely on strong executive function (EF) skills (impulse control, working memory, and mental flexibility) in order to effectively manage life’s competing demands and optimize their decisions over many years. Experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma can directly undermine brain development and the EF skills most needed for success. The specific EF challenges in managing thoughts, behavior, and health caused by such adverse experiences are increasingly well understood, and this understanding may be used to improve policy and program design.

    The areas of the brain affected by adverse experiences of social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma remain plastic well into adulthood and, through proper coaching, may be strengthened and improved. Improvements in executive functioning are likely to positively impact outcomes in all areas of life, including parenting, personal relationships, money management, educational attainment, and career success. Policy makers and program leaders should attempt to use new learning from brain science to strengthen policy and program design targeting those impacted by social bias, persistent poverty, and trauma and to create frameworks and coaching approaches to augment and improve executive functioning. Based on early learning from brain science and its application to programs at Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), this white paper offers recommendations on ways this science may be used to improve policy and program design and participant outcomes. (author introduction)