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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: Fontaine, Jocelyn; Eisenstat, Josh ; Cramer, Lindsey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening...

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening such relationships for fathers who are incarcerated or were formerly incarcerated. This brief then describes the healthy relationship activities provided by the Fatherhood Reentry programs in detail. A conclusion section includes recommendations intended for practitioners implementing family-focused programming for fathers impacted by incarceration and their partners/coparents based on the experiences of the Fatherhood Reentry projects. (Author introduction) 

  • Individual Author: Roman, Caterina G.; Link, Nathan W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

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