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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: Michalopoulos, Charles ; Faucetta, Kristen ; Warren, Anne ; Mitchell, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Children from low-income families are more likely than those from higher-income families to have poor social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes. One approach that has helped parents and their young children is home visiting, which provides information, resources, and support to expectant parents and families with young children. This brief summarizes evidence from existing studies on the impact of early childhood home visiting on children 5 and older for four national models of home visiting. (Author abstract)

    Children from low-income families are more likely than those from higher-income families to have poor social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes. One approach that has helped parents and their young children is home visiting, which provides information, resources, and support to expectant parents and families with young children. This brief summarizes evidence from existing studies on the impact of early childhood home visiting on children 5 and older for four national models of home visiting. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Shinn, Marybeth; Wood, Michelle; Bell, Stephen; Dastrup, Samuel; Solari, Claudia D.; Brown, Scott R.; McInnis, Debi; McCall, Tom; Kattel, Utsav
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at...

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at the longer, 37-month followup. For example, 20 months after random assignment, assignment to SUB reduced the proportion of families with child separations in the 6 months before the survey--this effect was not detected in the 6 months before the 37-month survey. Also in this longer window of observation, some positive impacts in the child well-being domain have emerged. Families offered a voucher continue to be significantly more food secure and experience significantly less economic stress than families offered the other interventions. On measures of employment and earnings, the modest negative impacts of vouchers relative to usual care have fallen, although some remain statistically significant. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Braun, R. Anton ; Kopecky, Karen A.; Koreshkova, Tatyana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Poor heath, large acute and long-term care medical expenses, and spousal death are significant drivers of impoverishment among retirees. We document these facts and build a rich, overlapping generations model that reproduces them. We use the model to assess the incentive and welfare effects of Social Security and means-tested social insurance programs such as Medicaid and food stamp programs, for the aged. We find that U.S. means-tested social insurance programs for retirees provide significant welfare benefits for all newborn. Moreover, when means-tested social insurance benefits are of the scale in the United States, all individuals would prefer to be born into an economy with no Social Security. Finally, we find that the benefits of increasing means-tested social insurance are small or negative, if we hold fixed Social Security contributions and benefits at their current levels. (Author abstract)

    Poor heath, large acute and long-term care medical expenses, and spousal death are significant drivers of impoverishment among retirees. We document these facts and build a rich, overlapping generations model that reproduces them. We use the model to assess the incentive and welfare effects of Social Security and means-tested social insurance programs such as Medicaid and food stamp programs, for the aged. We find that U.S. means-tested social insurance programs for retirees provide significant welfare benefits for all newborn. Moreover, when means-tested social insurance benefits are of the scale in the United States, all individuals would prefer to be born into an economy with no Social Security. Finally, we find that the benefits of increasing means-tested social insurance are small or negative, if we hold fixed Social Security contributions and benefits at their current levels. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Thomas, Adam
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This paper presents results from fiscal impact simulations of three national-level policies designed to prevent unintended pregnancy: A media campaign encouraging condom use, a pregnancy prevention program for at-risk youth, and an expansion in Medicaid family planning services. These simulations were performed using FamilyScape, a recently developed agent-based simulation model of family formation. In some simulation specifications, policies’ benefits are monetized by accounting for projected reductions in government expenditures on medical care for pregnant women and infants. In a majority of these specifications, policies’ fiscal benefit-cost ratios are less than 1. However, in specifications that account additionally for projected savings to programs that provide a broader range of benefits and services to young children, all three policies have benefit-cost ratios that are comfortably greater than 1. The results from my preferred specifications suggest that the simulated policies would produce returns to taxpayers on each dollar spent of between $2 to $6. On the whole, the...

    This paper presents results from fiscal impact simulations of three national-level policies designed to prevent unintended pregnancy: A media campaign encouraging condom use, a pregnancy prevention program for at-risk youth, and an expansion in Medicaid family planning services. These simulations were performed using FamilyScape, a recently developed agent-based simulation model of family formation. In some simulation specifications, policies’ benefits are monetized by accounting for projected reductions in government expenditures on medical care for pregnant women and infants. In a majority of these specifications, policies’ fiscal benefit-cost ratios are less than 1. However, in specifications that account additionally for projected savings to programs that provide a broader range of benefits and services to young children, all three policies have benefit-cost ratios that are comfortably greater than 1. The results from my preferred specifications suggest that the simulated policies would produce returns to taxpayers on each dollar spent of between $2 to $6. On the whole, the results of these simulations imply that all three policies are sound public investments. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Butler, David; Alson, Julianna; Bloom, Dan; Deitch, Victoria; Hill, Aaron; Hsueh, JoAnn; Jacobs, Erin; Kim, Sue; McRoberts, Reanin; Redcross, Cindy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In the context of a public safety net focused on limiting dependency and encouraging participation in the labor market, policymakers and researchers are especially interested in individuals who face obstacles to finding and keeping jobs. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project was a 10-year study that evaluated innovative strategies aimed at improving employment and other outcomes for groups who face serious barriers to employment. The project was sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. This report describes the HtE programs and summarizes the final results for each program. Additionally, it presents information for three sites from the ACF-sponsored Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project where hard-to-employ populations were also targeted.

    Three of the eight models that are described here led to increases in employment. Two of the three...

    In the context of a public safety net focused on limiting dependency and encouraging participation in the labor market, policymakers and researchers are especially interested in individuals who face obstacles to finding and keeping jobs. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project was a 10-year study that evaluated innovative strategies aimed at improving employment and other outcomes for groups who face serious barriers to employment. The project was sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. This report describes the HtE programs and summarizes the final results for each program. Additionally, it presents information for three sites from the ACF-sponsored Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project where hard-to-employ populations were also targeted.

    Three of the eight models that are described here led to increases in employment. Two of the three — large-scale programs that provided temporary, subsidized "transitional" jobs to facilitate entry into the workforce for long-term welfare recipients in one program and for ex-prisoners in the other — produced only short-term gains in employment, driven mainly by the transitional jobs themselves. The third one — a welfare-to-work program that provided unpaid work experience, job placement, and education services to recipients with health conditions — had longer-term gains, increasing employment and reducing the amount of cash assistance received over four years. Promising findings were also observed in other sites. An early-childhood development program that was combined with services to boost parents’ self-sufficiency increased employment and earnings for a subgroup of the study participants and increased the use of high-quality child care; the program for ex-prisoners mentioned above decreased recidivism; and an intervention for low-income parents with depression produced short-term increases in the use of in-person treatment. But other programs — case management services for low-income substance abusers and two employment strategies for welfare recipients — revealed no observed impacts.

    While these results are mixed, some directions for future research on the hard-to-employ emerged:

    • The findings from the evaluations of transitional jobs programs have influenced the design of two new federal subsidized employment initiatives, which are seeking to test approaches that may achieve longer-lasting effects.
    • The HtE evaluation illustrates some key challenges that early childhood education programs may face when adding self-sufficiency services for parents, and provides important lessons for implementation that can guide future two-generational programs for low-income parents and their young children.
    • Results from the HtE evaluation suggest future strategies for enhancing and adapting an intervention to help parents with depression that may benefit low-income populations.
    • Evidence from the HtE evaluation of employment strategies for welfare recipients along with other research indicates that combining work-focused strategies with treatment or services may be more promising than using either strategy alone, especially for people with disabilities and behavioral health problems.

    (author abstract)

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