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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: Labella, Madelyn H.; McCormick, Christopher M.; Narayan, Angela J.; Desjardins, Christopher D. ; Masten, Ann S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    A multimethod, multi-informant design was used to examine links among sociodemographic risk, family adversity, parenting quality, and child adjustment in families experiencing homelessness. Participants were 245 homeless parents (Mage = 31.0, 63.6% African American) and their 4- to 6-year-old children (48.6% male). Path analyses revealed unique associations by risk domain: Higher sociodemographic risk predicted more externalizing behavior and poorer teacher–child relationships, whereas higher family adversity predicted more internalizing behavior. Parenting quality was positively associated with peer acceptance and buffered effects of family adversity on internalizing symptoms, consistent with a protective effect. Parenting quality was associated with lower externalizing behavior only when sociodemographic risk was below the sample mean. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

    A multimethod, multi-informant design was used to examine links among sociodemographic risk, family adversity, parenting quality, and child adjustment in families experiencing homelessness. Participants were 245 homeless parents (Mage = 31.0, 63.6% African American) and their 4- to 6-year-old children (48.6% male). Path analyses revealed unique associations by risk domain: Higher sociodemographic risk predicted more externalizing behavior and poorer teacher–child relationships, whereas higher family adversity predicted more internalizing behavior. Parenting quality was positively associated with peer acceptance and buffered effects of family adversity on internalizing symptoms, consistent with a protective effect. Parenting quality was associated with lower externalizing behavior only when sociodemographic risk was below the sample mean. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (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)

  • Individual Author: Howard, Lanikque; Vogel, Lisa Klein; Cancian, Maria; Noyes, Jennifer L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    We analyze the role of newly integrated data from the child support and child welfare systems in seeding a major policy change in Wisconsin. Parents are often ordered to pay child support to offset the costs of their children’s stay in foster care. Policy allows for consideration of the “best interests of the child.” Concerns that charging parents could delay or disrupt reunification motivated our analyses of integrated data to identify the impacts of current policy. We summarize the results of the analyses and then focus on the role of administrative data in supporting policy development. We discuss the potential and limitations of integrated data in supporting cross-system innovation and detail a series of complementary research efforts designed to support implementation. (Author abstract)

    We analyze the role of newly integrated data from the child support and child welfare systems in seeding a major policy change in Wisconsin. Parents are often ordered to pay child support to offset the costs of their children’s stay in foster care. Policy allows for consideration of the “best interests of the child.” Concerns that charging parents could delay or disrupt reunification motivated our analyses of integrated data to identify the impacts of current policy. We summarize the results of the analyses and then focus on the role of administrative data in supporting policy development. We discuss the potential and limitations of integrated data in supporting cross-system innovation and detail a series of complementary research efforts designed to support implementation. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wood, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout...

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout the demonstration, CSPED grantees and their partners grappled with a complex array of challenges. These included reorienting child support staff and systems toward helping low-income noncustodial parents obtain employment; recruiting noncustodial parents to enroll in CSPED; keeping participants engaged in services; addressing participants' barriers to employment; establishing partnerships and meshing different organizational cultures; and helping participants with parenting time issues.

    The successes and challenges experienced by CSPED grantees offer important insights into strategies from which future programs serving similar populations can learn, adapt, and innovate. These include investing in strong partnerships and communication systems; drawing on strong leaders with a commitment to facilitating a cultural shift towards a customer-oriented apporach within child support agencies; staffing programs with employees who support CSPED's goals, and hiring and retaining a sufficient number of staff to manage large and challening caseloads; developing services that take into account the substantial barriers to employment faced by the target population; and designing services to promote sustained participant engagement. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wood, Robert G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The final impact report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on March 14, 2019. The primary goal of the intervention was to improve the reliable payment of child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. Key outcomes related to noncustodial parents' (1) child support orders, payments and compliance, as well as attitudes toward the child support program; (2) work and earnings; (3) sense of responsibility for their children.

    Over 10,000 noncustodial parents with difficulty meeting their child support obligations were enrolled between October 2013 and 2016; half were randomly assigned to receive extra services as part of CPSED while the other half received regular services. The evaluation results are based on a comparison of outcomes between these two groups, drawing on data from administrative records and surveys administered at enrollment and one year later. 

    As described in the report, results show that the program led to modest declines in child support orders (consistent with "...

    The final impact report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on March 14, 2019. The primary goal of the intervention was to improve the reliable payment of child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. Key outcomes related to noncustodial parents' (1) child support orders, payments and compliance, as well as attitudes toward the child support program; (2) work and earnings; (3) sense of responsibility for their children.

    Over 10,000 noncustodial parents with difficulty meeting their child support obligations were enrolled between October 2013 and 2016; half were randomly assigned to receive extra services as part of CPSED while the other half received regular services. The evaluation results are based on a comparison of outcomes between these two groups, drawing on data from administrative records and surveys administered at enrollment and one year later. 

    As described in the report, results show that the program led to modest declines in child support orders (consistent with "right-sizing" these orders), and even smaller reductions in payments. While there was no significant change in child support compliance, CSPED resulted in major improvements in noncustodial parents' attitudes towards the program. There was some evidence of increases in earnings, but not in employment. Noncustodial parents' sense of responsibility to their children also increased. 

    The evaluation suggests that the potential exists for child support agencies to lead broader interventions, incorporating components beyond child support services alone, aimed at helping unemployed and underemployed noncustodial parents to increase the reliability of their financial support for their children. Results suggest these effects can improve noncustodial parents' attitudes towards the child support program and sense of responsibility for their children, and reduce punitive enforcement with bigger impacts on right-sizing orders than on reducing payments. (Author abstract)

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