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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: Karoly, Lynn A.; Bozick, Robert; Davis, Lois M.; Kitmitto, Sami; Turk-Bicakci, Lori; Bos, Johannes M.; Holod, Aleksandra; Blankenship, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize...

    The California Budget Act of 2012, through a trailer bill known as Senate Bill (SB) 1041, contained significant reforms to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs is California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a central component of the safety net that provides cash aid for low-income families with children. The SB 1041 reforms to CalWORKs aim to engage participants in more-intensive work activities as early as possible, while also providing more flexibility in work activity options and increased incentives for work as participants move toward self-sufficiency. The California legislature included a provision in the bill for an independent evaluation to determine if SB 1041 achieves its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences.

    Evaluation of the SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program: Background and Study provides background on the SB 1041 policy changes and an overview of the evaluation plan. The authors highlight the factors that motivated the changes to CalWORKs, summarize the key reforms, delineate the questions underlying the SB 1041 evaluation and the evaluation approach, and explain the evaluation timetable, products, and expected utility.

    To determine if SB 1041 is achieving its objectives and if there are any unintended consequences, a series of reports will document the way the SB 1041 reforms were implemented across California's 58 counties, how the changes affected the number and composition of CalWORKs participants and their experience with program services, and the impact of the reforms on families and children, as well as the operations of county welfare offices. The multiyear, multicomponent evaluation will draw on primary and secondary data and employ qualitative and quantitative methods. The project was launched in July 2014 and will be completed in December 2017. Results will be made available through a series of reports released at the end of calendar years 2015, 2016, and 2017. (author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Danielson, Caroline; Reed, Deborah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    California's welfare program - the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program - provides cash assistance to needy families while helping them gain self-sufficiency. Toward this end, most adults receiving CalWORKs are required to work; they may also (with some restrictions) combine work with education or training. If they do not work or do not seek employment and lack a valid exemption, CalWORKs adults risk losing a portion of their welfare grants.

    Federal rules require the state to have close to half of all adults on welfare working at least part-time, or engaged in a limited set of activities intended to lead to employment. Failure to meet this standard (the so-called "work participation rate") can result in substantial fiscal penalties for the state. The most recent official statistics indicate that only about one-fifth (22.2%) of CalWORKs families required to comply with the federal standard actually did in 2006.

    In his 2007, 2008, and 2009 budget proposals, Governor Schwarzenegger suggested major changes to the sanction and time-...

    California's welfare program - the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program - provides cash assistance to needy families while helping them gain self-sufficiency. Toward this end, most adults receiving CalWORKs are required to work; they may also (with some restrictions) combine work with education or training. If they do not work or do not seek employment and lack a valid exemption, CalWORKs adults risk losing a portion of their welfare grants.

    Federal rules require the state to have close to half of all adults on welfare working at least part-time, or engaged in a limited set of activities intended to lead to employment. Failure to meet this standard (the so-called "work participation rate") can result in substantial fiscal penalties for the state. The most recent official statistics indicate that only about one-fifth (22.2%) of CalWORKs families required to comply with the federal standard actually did in 2006.

    In his 2007, 2008, and 2009 budget proposals, Governor Schwarzenegger suggested major changes to the sanction and time-limit policies in the CalWORKs program, seeking to boost the share of welfare adults who are working. Current state law allows cash assistance to continue to children whose parents have been removed from aid ("sanctioned") for failing to meet work requirements. Similarly, current law limits adults to a maximum of 60 months of cash assistance, but their children's eligibility is not time limited.  The governor's proposals entailed eventually eliminating benefits to the entire family if parents are not working sufficient hours. To-date, the governor's sanction and time-limit proposals have not been included in an enacted budget.

    This report examines the likely effects that increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies would have on the welfare caseload, the state's work participation rate, and the economic circumstances of vulnerable families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moreno, Manuel H.; Toros, Halil; Joshi, Vandana; Stevens, Max
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    On January 1, 2003, the first group of welfare participants in the County of Los Angeles reached their five-year time limits on cash assistance received through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors was concerned about how CalWORKs participants and their families have fared after reaching time limits. As a result, on January 21, 2003, the Board adopted a motion instructing the Director of the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) to:

    • Collect data for a six-month period to determine how the time limits have affected employment, family structure, housing stability, supportive service needs, and income.
    • Select a sample of individuals who have not timed-out and collect the same data for comparison purposes.

    DPSS contracted with the Chief Administrative Office, Service Integration Branch-Research and Evaluation Services to carry out the evaluation. The present report encapsulates the research conducted to comply with the Board motion. (author introduction)...

    On January 1, 2003, the first group of welfare participants in the County of Los Angeles reached their five-year time limits on cash assistance received through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors was concerned about how CalWORKs participants and their families have fared after reaching time limits. As a result, on January 21, 2003, the Board adopted a motion instructing the Director of the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) to:

    • Collect data for a six-month period to determine how the time limits have affected employment, family structure, housing stability, supportive service needs, and income.
    • Select a sample of individuals who have not timed-out and collect the same data for comparison purposes.

    DPSS contracted with the Chief Administrative Office, Service Integration Branch-Research and Evaluation Services to carry out the evaluation. The present report encapsulates the research conducted to comply with the Board motion. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Fink, Barbara; Widom, Rebecca
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    In order to fully understand how welfare reform influences the well-being of low-income families and communities, we must learn how human service organizations are affected by new welfare policies. This report examines agency staff members’ knowledge about welfare reform, their overall views of welfare reform, their experience of its impact on their agencies, and their expectations of how it will affect them. The findings offer preliminary insights into how new government policies shape other components of the network of service provision that is essential to the well-being of low-income families. (Author abstract) 

    In order to fully understand how welfare reform influences the well-being of low-income families and communities, we must learn how human service organizations are affected by new welfare policies. This report examines agency staff members’ knowledge about welfare reform, their overall views of welfare reform, their experience of its impact on their agencies, and their expectations of how it will affect them. The findings offer preliminary insights into how new government policies shape other components of the network of service provision that is essential to the well-being of low-income families. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Minkler, Meredith; Duerr Berrick, Jill; Needell, Barbara
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1999

    Debate over the potential impacts of welfare reform largely has ignored the implications of these changes for the growing number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Results of a qualitative study involving 36 key informants who were intimately involved in the crafting and/or implementation of California's welfare reform plan are presented. Particular attention is focused on time limits on aid, work requirements, and sanctions regarding teenage parenthood as these may impact on grandparent caregivers and their families. Cross-cutting themes also are presented. A case is made for greatly stepping up data collection and evaluative research that may help in determining the actual impacts of the legislation on intergenerational households headed by grandparents.(author abstract)

    This resource was previously published as a working paper by the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Debate over the potential impacts of welfare reform largely has ignored the implications of these changes for the growing number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Results of a qualitative study involving 36 key informants who were intimately involved in the crafting and/or implementation of California's welfare reform plan are presented. Particular attention is focused on time limits on aid, work requirements, and sanctions regarding teenage parenthood as these may impact on grandparent caregivers and their families. Cross-cutting themes also are presented. A case is made for greatly stepping up data collection and evaluative research that may help in determining the actual impacts of the legislation on intergenerational households headed by grandparents.(author abstract)

    This resource was previously published as a working paper by the Public Policy Institute of California.

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