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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: Mellgren, Linda; McKay, Tasseli; Landwehr, Justin; Bir, Anupa; Helburn, Amy; Lindquist, Christine; Krieger, Kate
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pearson, Jessica; Thoennes, Nancy; Kaunelis, Rasa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their...

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their participation as measured by their debt levels and payment behaviors, CPR collected and analyzed information on 688 individuals enrolled in debt compromise programs in four states — California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota — and in Washington, D.C. Programs in all five settings accept obligors with current support obligations as well as those who only have arrears-only cases. For arrears-only cases, programs have the capacity to accept lump-sum payments as well as to develop payment plans that involve making monthly arrears payments over a 6 to 36-month period of time. Through a coordinated, cross-site data collection effort, comparable information was obtained on samples of cases that enrolled in the programs. The following are key findings from the analysis of this data.

    • At four of the five sites, participants paid a higher percentage of their obligation following enrollment in the debt compromise program compared with the pre-enrollment period. This considered both lump sum and monthly payments. The pre and post differences at statically significant in two of the four sites.
    • Calculating the average due in current support and monthly arrears in the 24 months prior to enrollment and in the 24 months post-enrollment shows improvements at most sites. There was an average increase of 32 percentage points in Washington, D.C., 27 percent in Maryland, 23 percent in California, and 14 percent in Illinois.
    • Payments in Minnesota improved by 7 percentage points in the 24 months following a debt compromise treatment. Unlike the other sites, Minnesota granted debt compromise to cases identified by the automated system and/or child support workers as having high debt levels due to interest charges, birthing costs, incarceration, and other factors that impeded their ability to pay. These obligors were selected for debt adjustments that typically were invisible to them.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Office of Child Support Enforcement
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2011

    The Promoting Child Well-Being & Family Self-Sufficiency Fact Sheet Series discusses how and why the child support program provides innovative services to families across six interrelated areas to assure that parents have the tools and resources they need to support their children and be positively involved in raising them. This fact sheet explains how family-centered strategies must not put women and children at greater risk of violence. Because the child support program serves both parents, often around a crisis point, it has a unique responsibility—and a unique opportunity—to reduce the risk of family violence and help family violence survivors pursue child support safely. Collaborating with programs that address fatherhood, domestic violence, and child welfare can simultaneously reduce family violence, increase father involvement, and improve child support outcomes. (Author introduction)

    The Promoting Child Well-Being & Family Self-Sufficiency Fact Sheet Series discusses how and why the child support program provides innovative services to families across six interrelated areas to assure that parents have the tools and resources they need to support their children and be positively involved in raising them. This fact sheet explains how family-centered strategies must not put women and children at greater risk of violence. Because the child support program serves both parents, often around a crisis point, it has a unique responsibility—and a unique opportunity—to reduce the risk of family violence and help family violence survivors pursue child support safely. Collaborating with programs that address fatherhood, domestic violence, and child welfare can simultaneously reduce family violence, increase father involvement, and improve child support outcomes. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Flaherty, Scott; Corwin, Elise; Bir, Anupa; Lerman, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN;...

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN; Lexington, KY; New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA; and Denver, CO. The report examines community engagement efforts, the design and implementation of service delivery (healthy marriage and relationship training workshops and related services), and links with child support. It does not present estimates of program impacts or effectiveness. The report is based on site visits conducted from November 2008 to June 2009, a time when the sites were in various stages of program implementation—demonstrations in Denver and Minneapolis were each in the last year of funding, whereas the other three demonstrations were in earlier stages of implementation.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Nightingale, Demetra Smith; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Barnow, Burt S.; Trutko, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The goal of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstrations, funded jointly by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and the Ford Foundation, was to make lasting changes in the way public agencies and community organizations work with young unmarried parents to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children and parents.  To assess progress towards meeting this goal, OCSE and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) conducted a five-year, national evaluation of the demonstration projects that operated in nine States.  Each project was a partnership of non-profit organizations and state and local agencies to develop comprehensive services for young, low-income, non-custodial fathers and their families and children.  The PFF demonstrations were designed to help fragile families (young unwed parents and their children) by helping fathers learn to share the legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities of parenthood with their child's mother.  The PFF projects tested new ways for state-run child support...

    The goal of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstrations, funded jointly by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and the Ford Foundation, was to make lasting changes in the way public agencies and community organizations work with young unmarried parents to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children and parents.  To assess progress towards meeting this goal, OCSE and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) conducted a five-year, national evaluation of the demonstration projects that operated in nine States.  Each project was a partnership of non-profit organizations and state and local agencies to develop comprehensive services for young, low-income, non-custodial fathers and their families and children.  The PFF demonstrations were designed to help fragile families (young unwed parents and their children) by helping fathers learn to share the legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities of parenthood with their child's mother.  The PFF projects tested new ways for state-run child support enforcement programs and community-based organizations to work together to help young fathers obtain employment, make child support payments, and learn parenting skills; as well as to help parents build stronger partnerships.

    This report focuses on the characteristics of PFF participants and participants' employment, earnings, and child support patterns prior and subsequent to their enrollment in the program.  Quarterly wage data from state unemployment compensation records were used to assess employment outcomes.  State child support data on child support awards and payments were used to assess changes in participants' child support behaviors. (author abstract)

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