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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: Passarella, Letitia L.; Nicoli, Lisa T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a...

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2004 and March 2007; (b) Great Recession Era—an increasing caseload between April 2007 and December 2011; and (c) Great Recession Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2012 and March 2017.

    The main findings from this report indicate that families’ financial situations improved after exiting the TCA program, compared with their circumstances before they came onto the program. Nonetheless, these families struggle to rise above poverty and maintain independence from cash assistance. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Demyan, Natalie; Passarella, Letitia Logan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Using the sample of orders from Maryland’s 2011 to 2014 guidelines review, this brief analyzes data regarding payments made during the first year after order establishment or modification. We answer the following research questions:

    1. Did orders that deviated from the guidelines experience higher payment compliance than orders that did not deviate?

    2. Did the reasons for deviations have an effect on payment compliance?

    We also explore obligor income as it relates to both deviations and payment compliance. Families with higher incomes were more likely to receive a deviation from the guidelines, and obligors with higher incomes also had a higher level of payment compliance (Hall, Demyan, & Passarella, 2016; Saunders, Passarella, & Born, 2014). Therefore, we also investigate whether obligors who received a deviation had different payment compliance outcomes compared to obligors who did not receive a deviation, even if both groups of obligors had similar incomes. (Edited author introduction)

     

    Using the sample of orders from Maryland’s 2011 to 2014 guidelines review, this brief analyzes data regarding payments made during the first year after order establishment or modification. We answer the following research questions:

    1. Did orders that deviated from the guidelines experience higher payment compliance than orders that did not deviate?

    2. Did the reasons for deviations have an effect on payment compliance?

    We also explore obligor income as it relates to both deviations and payment compliance. Families with higher incomes were more likely to receive a deviation from the guidelines, and obligors with higher incomes also had a higher level of payment compliance (Hall, Demyan, & Passarella, 2016; Saunders, Passarella, & Born, 2014). Therefore, we also investigate whether obligors who received a deviation had different payment compliance outcomes compared to obligors who did not receive a deviation, even if both groups of obligors had similar incomes. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Anzelone, Caitlin; Timm, Jonathan; Kusayeva, Yana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    State child support programs secure financial support for children whose parents live apart. These programs establish paternity, set orders for the amounts parents are required to pay, and collect and distribute payments. An essential step in the process of establishing paternity and setting an order of support is delivering legal documents to the person named as a parent (frequently referred to as the “noncustodial parent”). This step of delivering documents is known as “service.” A noncustodial parent typically receives a summons that says he or she has been named as the parent of a particular child, provides notice that a legal proceeding has been initiated, and sets a hearing date. The summons is usually delivered by certified mail or by a law enforcement officer. In many states, noncustodial parents can waive being served by accepting the legal documents in the child support office voluntarily, but few do. A person who comes into the child support office to accept service voluntarily is actively engaging in the child support process. In doing so, the person benefits from...

    State child support programs secure financial support for children whose parents live apart. These programs establish paternity, set orders for the amounts parents are required to pay, and collect and distribute payments. An essential step in the process of establishing paternity and setting an order of support is delivering legal documents to the person named as a parent (frequently referred to as the “noncustodial parent”). This step of delivering documents is known as “service.” A noncustodial parent typically receives a summons that says he or she has been named as the parent of a particular child, provides notice that a legal proceeding has been initiated, and sets a hearing date. The summons is usually delivered by certified mail or by a law enforcement officer. In many states, noncustodial parents can waive being served by accepting the legal documents in the child support office voluntarily, but few do. A person who comes into the child support office to accept service voluntarily is actively engaging in the child support process. In doing so, the person benefits from reduced fees, a greater voice in the legal process, and a better understanding of the way an order is established. The child support program benefits from increased efficiency, reduced costs, and the ability to provide more information to parents. With these benefits in mind, the BICS team worked with the Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to test a new form of outreach intended to get more people to accept service voluntarily. The intervention encouraged people who had been named as parents to come into the office and meet with staff members to discuss the child support process and their obligations. Using insights from behavioral science, the BICS team redesigned mailed materials and changed the nature of the initial meeting between noncustodial parents and child support staff members in an attempt to simplify the process and encourage parents to act. (Excerpt from overview)

  • Individual Author: White, Roxane; Mosle, Anne; Sims, Marjorie
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2018

    Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace children and their parents, recognizing that the futures of each are intertwined. These approaches are being adopted by states throughout America, embraced by families, and supported by governments, philanthropies, and businesses. They emphasize the provision of education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being to create a legacy of economic security that passes from one generation to the next. The field is rapidly advancing and families are finding hope. There is much to celebrate in the world of 2Gen. States, counties, and municipalities are sharpening their focus on outcomes that directly address intergenerational poverty and support a family’s economic stability. Scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. At all levels of government and in communities, there has been powerful support for solutions that engage children and their parents together, involving the entire family. Practical State...

    Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace children and their parents, recognizing that the futures of each are intertwined. These approaches are being adopted by states throughout America, embraced by families, and supported by governments, philanthropies, and businesses. They emphasize the provision of education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being to create a legacy of economic security that passes from one generation to the next. The field is rapidly advancing and families are finding hope. There is much to celebrate in the world of 2Gen. States, counties, and municipalities are sharpening their focus on outcomes that directly address intergenerational poverty and support a family’s economic stability. Scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. At all levels of government and in communities, there has been powerful support for solutions that engage children and their parents together, involving the entire family. Practical State Solutions outlines successful state strategies and solutions that place families at the center of the work, support families as they exit the cycle of intergenerational poverty and enter a path of economic stability, and are designed to help states replicate and scale successful solutions. (Excerpt from executive summary)

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