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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: Burton, Linda; Cherlin, Andrew J.; Francis, Judith; Jarrett, Robin; Quane, James; Williams, Constance; Cook, N. Michelle Stem
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Fifteen focus group interviews were conducted in Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago between November 1996 and November 1997, with women who were current and former welfare recipients and with men who were familiar with the welfare system. Seven focus groups consisted of African Americans, six consisted of Hispanics (and were conducted in Spanish), one consisted of whites, and one had a mixture of whites and African Americans. Eleven groups were all female and four were all male.

    We asked the participants what they had heard about the changes in welfare and what they thought about these changes. We discussed time limits, work requirements, measures to discourage additional births, and provisions to increase child support. The participants were asked to say what they thought the impact of the changes would be. In addition, they were asked what messages about the welfare changes they would give to lawmakers. (Author summary) 

    Fifteen focus group interviews were conducted in Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago between November 1996 and November 1997, with women who were current and former welfare recipients and with men who were familiar with the welfare system. Seven focus groups consisted of African Americans, six consisted of Hispanics (and were conducted in Spanish), one consisted of whites, and one had a mixture of whites and African Americans. Eleven groups were all female and four were all male.

    We asked the participants what they had heard about the changes in welfare and what they thought about these changes. We discussed time limits, work requirements, measures to discourage additional births, and provisions to increase child support. The participants were asked to say what they thought the impact of the changes would be. In addition, they were asked what messages about the welfare changes they would give to lawmakers. (Author summary) 

  • Individual Author: Fraker, Thomas M.; Nixon, Lucia A.; Losby, Jan L.; Prindle, Carol S.; Else, John F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Acting under federal waivers authorized by Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and Section 17(b) of the Food Stamp Act, Iowa implemented a comprehensive package of welfare reforms on October 1, 1993. These reforms replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with the Family Investment Program (FIP) and made complementary changes in the Food Stamp Program. The reforms encourage and require welfare recipients to take steps toward self-sufficiency. These steps, which are specified in the Family Investment Agreement (FIA), may include participating in education programs, engaging in job search and job readiness activities, and obtaining employment. The reforms stop short of requiring FIP participants to achieve self-sufficiency; however, it is expected that by following the required steps most of them will eventually leave cash assistance.
    
    The Limited Benefit Plan (LBP) is an alternative assistance program for FIP participants. Adult members of FIP cases who are able-bodied and are not caring for infants are required to develop and carry out...

    Acting under federal waivers authorized by Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and Section 17(b) of the Food Stamp Act, Iowa implemented a comprehensive package of welfare reforms on October 1, 1993. These reforms replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with the Family Investment Program (FIP) and made complementary changes in the Food Stamp Program. The reforms encourage and require welfare recipients to take steps toward self-sufficiency. These steps, which are specified in the Family Investment Agreement (FIA), may include participating in education programs, engaging in job search and job readiness activities, and obtaining employment. The reforms stop short of requiring FIP participants to achieve self-sufficiency; however, it is expected that by following the required steps most of them will eventually leave cash assistance.
    
    The Limited Benefit Plan (LBP) is an alternative assistance program for FIP participants. Adult members of FIP cases who are able-bodied and are not caring for infants are required to develop and carry out FIAs under the auspices of the PROMISE JOBS program, which provides employment and training services to welfare recipients in Iowa. If those individuals do not comply with this requirement, they and their associated FIP cases are assigned to the LBP. These assignments are most often perceived as sanctions for failing to develop and carry out an FIA, but some reflect the wishes of the individuals. LBP assignments may be canceled if the individuals come into compliance with the FIA requirement or, less frequently, on appeal. The original LBP provided three months of cash benefits at the same level as under FIP, followed by three months of reduced cash benefits, and then six months of no cash benefits. The initial period of level benefits was eliminated in February 1996, resulting in a modified LBP that provides three months of reduced benefits, followed by six months of no cash benefits. LBP cases may reapply to FIP at the end of the period of no cash bene fits, but those who do so are again subject to the FIA requirement.
    
    This report presents findings from a study of the original LBP conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and the Institute for Social and Economic Development for the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). The data analyzed in this study are from DHS records on over 4,200 cases assigned to the LBP during six months in 1994 and 1995, a survey of 137 cases whose cash benefits had been terminated under the rules of the LBP, and case studies of 12 LBP families. The findings provide a comprehensive picture of LBP cases--who they are, why they are on the LBP, how the loss of cash benefits affects their financial status and family functioning in the short run, and what they are doing to cope. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: O'Neill, David M. ; O'Neill, June Ellenoff
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    O'Neill and O'Neill compile and analyze data that identifies historical trends in the AFDC caseload, the personal characteristics of recipients, and broad patterns of welfare participation. They also offer an evaluative survey on the effectiveness of past education, training and workfare programs in reducing the AFDC caseload.

    The result is a book that offers thoughtful analyses on several crucial questions facing state policy makers as a result of welfare. (Publisher abstract)

     

    Contents

    1 Introduction

    Notes

    2 Program Description and Sources of Caseload Growth

    Program Description

    Sources of Caseload Growth

    Notes

    3 Patterns of Welfare and Work Participation and Their Correlates

    Overview of Welfare Participation

    Incidence and Duration of Welfare Participation: The Role of Marital Status and Age of Birth of First Child

    Characteristics of Nonparticipants and of Welfare Leavers and Stayers

    Work Outcomes of Former Welfare Recipients

    ...

    O'Neill and O'Neill compile and analyze data that identifies historical trends in the AFDC caseload, the personal characteristics of recipients, and broad patterns of welfare participation. They also offer an evaluative survey on the effectiveness of past education, training and workfare programs in reducing the AFDC caseload.

    The result is a book that offers thoughtful analyses on several crucial questions facing state policy makers as a result of welfare. (Publisher abstract)

     

    Contents

    1 Introduction

    Notes

    2 Program Description and Sources of Caseload Growth

    Program Description

    Sources of Caseload Growth

    Notes

    3 Patterns of Welfare and Work Participation and Their Correlates

    Overview of Welfare Participation

    Incidence and Duration of Welfare Participation: The Role of Marital Status and Age of Birth of First Child

    Characteristics of Nonparticipants and of Welfare Leavers and Stayers

    Work Outcomes of Former Welfare Recipients

    Notes

    4 The Effectiveness of Education, Work and Training Programs for Reducing Welfare Dependence

    Education, Work, and Training Programs for Post-teenage Mothers

    Education and Other Services Especially for Teenage Mothers

    Workfare

    Summary

    Notes

    5 Administrative and Incentive Changes Under the Jobs Program

    Administrative Objectives Under JOBS

    Program Experiments by State under the JOBS Waiver Program

    Notes

    6 Summary and Concluding Comments

    The Effect of Financial Incentives

    Characteristics of the Welfare Population

    The Effectiveness of Welfare-to-Work Programs

    Prevention Versus Rehabilitation

    Notes

  • Individual Author: Friedlander, Daniel; Burtless, Gary
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1995

    With welfare reforms tested in almost every state and plans for a comprehensive federal overall on the horizon, it is increasingly important for Americans to understand how policy changes are likely to affect the lives of welfare recipients. Five Years After tells the story of what happened to the welfare recipients who participated in the influential welfare-to-work experiments conducted by several states in the mid-1980s. The authors review the distinctive goals and procedures of evaluations performed in Arkansas, Baltimore, San Diego, and Virginia, and then examine five years of follow-up data to determine whether the initial positive impact on employment, earnings, and welfare costs held up over time. The results were surprisingly consistent. Low-cost programs that saved money by getting individuals into jobs quickly did little to reduce poverty in the long run. Only higher-cost educational programs enabled welfare recipients to hold down jobs successfully and stay off welfare.

    Five Years After ends speculation about the viability of the first generation of employment...

    With welfare reforms tested in almost every state and plans for a comprehensive federal overall on the horizon, it is increasingly important for Americans to understand how policy changes are likely to affect the lives of welfare recipients. Five Years After tells the story of what happened to the welfare recipients who participated in the influential welfare-to-work experiments conducted by several states in the mid-1980s. The authors review the distinctive goals and procedures of evaluations performed in Arkansas, Baltimore, San Diego, and Virginia, and then examine five years of follow-up data to determine whether the initial positive impact on employment, earnings, and welfare costs held up over time. The results were surprisingly consistent. Low-cost programs that saved money by getting individuals into jobs quickly did little to reduce poverty in the long run. Only higher-cost educational programs enabled welfare recipients to hold down jobs successfully and stay off welfare.

    Five Years After ends speculation about the viability of the first generation of employment programs for welfare recipients, delineates the hard choices that must be made among competing approaches, and provides a well-documented foundation for building more comprehensive programs for the next generation. A sobering tale for welfare reformers of all political persuasions, this book poses a serious challenge to anyone who promises to end welfare dependency by cutting welfare budgets. (author abstract)

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