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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: Brown, Elizabeth; Conroy, Kara; Kirby, Gretchen G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Kauff, Jacqueline F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

    New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Morrison, Carly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is...

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is statistically significant at the 10 percent level (which suggests that it is due to the Start Smart intervention rather than random chance), and represents a 9 percent increase in payments made during the first month. Start Smart did not produce statistically significant differences in payments made in the second or third month. (Edited author overview)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Person, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Baumgartner, Scott; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an...

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an optional couples workshop.

    The STREAMS impact evaluation is evaluating the effectiveness of MotherWise. Key outcomes of interest include participants’ communication and conflict management skills, the quality of the co-parenting relationship with the baby’s father, the number of romantic and sexual partners, incidents of intimate partner violence, unplanned pregnancies, child development outcomes, and mental health and well-being. (Excerpt from introduction)

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