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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: Bellotti, Jeanne; Sattar, Samina; Gould-Werth, Alix; Berk, Jillian; Gutierrez, Ivette; Stein, Jillian; Betesh, Hannah; Ochoa, Lindsay; Wiegand, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs...

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs when the DOL-funded grant ended. The grants covered 9 months of planning and 15 months of service delivery, with many grantees receiving up to a one-year no-cost extension to finish spending down remaining grant resources. Grantees were geographically diverse, located in 13 states across 5 DOL regions, and involved a total of 22 county jails.

    Workforce development, corrections, and other partners, as well as participants, identified many successes along with significant challenges and promising strategies to address them. The qualitative evidence collected through this implementation evaluation suggests that introducing new services, partnerships, and ways of thinking about reentry hold promise for lasting effects on the workforce and corrections systems in some sites. The experiences of the LEAP grantees highlight important lessons learned and some areas for continued refinement or potential replication in similar or different contexts. Although this implementation evaluation cannot make causal claims, the evidence suggests that it is possible to use jail-based AJCs to link participants to post-release services and that this may be a promising approach to support returning individuals in successful reentry. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: DeRenzis, Brooke; Kaz, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T), a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), supports employment and training activities to increase self-sufficiency for SNAP participants. SNAP E&T can expand opportunities for low-income people to enhance their skills, credentials, careers, and ultimately, their families'; financial well-being. Yet few states have fully realized SNAP E&T's potential to provide skill-building opportunities. In fact, many states are leaving federal SNAP E&T dollars on the table, which could instead be used to provide education, training, and support services.

    In 2015, National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) partnered to help four states expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs. This policy brief shares recommendations for states based on lessons learned from our work with Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon. Specifically, this brief makes the following recommendations for those looking to expand skills-...

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T), a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), supports employment and training activities to increase self-sufficiency for SNAP participants. SNAP E&T can expand opportunities for low-income people to enhance their skills, credentials, careers, and ultimately, their families'; financial well-being. Yet few states have fully realized SNAP E&T's potential to provide skill-building opportunities. In fact, many states are leaving federal SNAP E&T dollars on the table, which could instead be used to provide education, training, and support services.

    In 2015, National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) partnered to help four states expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs. This policy brief shares recommendations for states based on lessons learned from our work with Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, and Oregon. Specifically, this brief makes the following recommendations for those looking to expand skills-based SNAP E&T programs at the state level:

    • Staff and stakeholders should work with SNAP E&T agency leadership to develop a vision for a skills-focused program and implement a strategy to achieve that vision.

    • States should use pilot programs to test and refine strategies for expanding SNAP E&T programs.

    • SNAP E&T programs should build on the strengths and experience of existing workforce development efforts, and should align SNAP E&T with other programs, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

    • SNAP E&T programs should use federal funding and administrative tools to partner with community colleges and community-based organizations as service providers.

    The brief also identifies a set of common challenges in developing skills-based SNAP E&T programs and makes recommendations for how state SNAP E&T agencies can address them. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Loibl, Cäzilia ; Jones, Lauren; Haisley, Emily; Loewenstein, George
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    In a series of field experiments we test whether saving and retention rates in a federally funded, matched savings program for low-income families – the Individual Development Account (IDA) program – can be improved through the introduction of program features inspired by behavioral economics. We partnered with eight IDA programs across the U.S. who agreed to randomly assign participants to different experimental conditions. We test the impact of four revenue-neutral changes in key program features: a) holding savers accountable for making savings deposits through phone calls before and after the deposit deadline, b) an increase in the frequency with which deposits are made from monthly to biweekly, c) the introduction of a lottery-based incentive structure, whereby match rates are determined in part by a lottery at the time of each deposit, and d) an increase in the savings match from $2 for every $1 saved to $4 for every $1 saved when half of the savings goal was reached. None of our four interventions had the desired effect of increasing savings. To explain the null findings,...

    In a series of field experiments we test whether saving and retention rates in a federally funded, matched savings program for low-income families – the Individual Development Account (IDA) program – can be improved through the introduction of program features inspired by behavioral economics. We partnered with eight IDA programs across the U.S. who agreed to randomly assign participants to different experimental conditions. We test the impact of four revenue-neutral changes in key program features: a) holding savers accountable for making savings deposits through phone calls before and after the deposit deadline, b) an increase in the frequency with which deposits are made from monthly to biweekly, c) the introduction of a lottery-based incentive structure, whereby match rates are determined in part by a lottery at the time of each deposit, and d) an increase in the savings match from $2 for every $1 saved to $4 for every $1 saved when half of the savings goal was reached. None of our four interventions had the desired effect of increasing savings. To explain the null findings, we speculate that liquidity constraints, rather than cognitive biases, were the primary impediment to saving. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Person, Ann E. ; Clary, Elizabeth; Zief, Susan; Adamek, Katie; Caplan, Valerie; Worthington, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report is the first systematic description of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) grant program’s efforts to support expectant and parenting youth. It examines early grant implementation among the 17 states and Indian tribes awarded PAF grants in 2013. The study team gathered and analyzed data from two sources: (1) a standardized review of grant applications, and (2) telephone interviews with administrators representing the 17 grantees. Drawing upon systematic analysis of both data sources, this report describes how grantees developed their strategic approaches and the contextual factors that influenced their decisions. It examines how grantees’ design choices address the wide-ranging needs of expectant and parenting youth and how grantees’ administrative structures support program implementation. It also provides a set of profiles summarizing each grantee’s specific program approach. (Author abstract)

     

    This report is the first systematic description of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) grant program’s efforts to support expectant and parenting youth. It examines early grant implementation among the 17 states and Indian tribes awarded PAF grants in 2013. The study team gathered and analyzed data from two sources: (1) a standardized review of grant applications, and (2) telephone interviews with administrators representing the 17 grantees. Drawing upon systematic analysis of both data sources, this report describes how grantees developed their strategic approaches and the contextual factors that influenced their decisions. It examines how grantees’ design choices address the wide-ranging needs of expectant and parenting youth and how grantees’ administrative structures support program implementation. It also provides a set of profiles summarizing each grantee’s specific program approach. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Cunningham, Mary K. ; Pergamit, Mike; Baum, Abigail; Luna, Jessica
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)‘s Family Unification Program (FUP) provides low-income families involved in the child welfare system with housing vouchers. FUP is an important vehicle for understanding three issues: (1) the overlap between the child welfare system, housing, and homelessness; (2) how to provide housing to vulnerable, high-need families; and (3) how to facilitate cross-system partnerships between public housing agencies and child welfare agencies. The Urban Institute studied FUP design and implementation in eight sites and interviewed key staff and stakeholders about the program’s implementation and impact, highlighting common challenges, innovative practices, and system-level impacts. (Author abstract) 

    The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)‘s Family Unification Program (FUP) provides low-income families involved in the child welfare system with housing vouchers. FUP is an important vehicle for understanding three issues: (1) the overlap between the child welfare system, housing, and homelessness; (2) how to provide housing to vulnerable, high-need families; and (3) how to facilitate cross-system partnerships between public housing agencies and child welfare agencies. The Urban Institute studied FUP design and implementation in eight sites and interviewed key staff and stakeholders about the program’s implementation and impact, highlighting common challenges, innovative practices, and system-level impacts. (Author abstract) 

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