Skip to main content
Back to Top

SSRC Library

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.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

  • Conduct a search and filter parameters as desired.
  • "Check" the box next to the resources for which you would like a citation.
  • Select "Download Selected Citation" at the top of the Library Search Page.
  • Select your export style:
    • Text File.
    • RIS Format.
    • APA format.
  • Select submit and download your citations.

The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather ; Coffey, Amelia; Pratt, Eleanor
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The District of Columbia is changing its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance program to promote better long-term outcomes for families and children. The most recent change, implemented April 2018, is an end to the five-year limit for full benefits. Previously, families who received benefits received reduced cash assistance after 60 months in the program. They will now receive the full amount.

    This report features the perspectives of 19 women in DC who shared their experiences raising children in poverty and receiving reduced TANF cash assistance because they had exceeded the five-year limit at the time of our January 2018 interviews. Their reflections can help develop a clearer picture of why people turn to TANF, how they experience the program, and how the program can help them support their families and their children’s futures. They can also help other jurisdictions better understand the experiences of women receiving TANF cash assistance to reshape policies, services, and practices to better meet families’ needs.

    A snapshot of...

    The District of Columbia is changing its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance program to promote better long-term outcomes for families and children. The most recent change, implemented April 2018, is an end to the five-year limit for full benefits. Previously, families who received benefits received reduced cash assistance after 60 months in the program. They will now receive the full amount.

    This report features the perspectives of 19 women in DC who shared their experiences raising children in poverty and receiving reduced TANF cash assistance because they had exceeded the five-year limit at the time of our January 2018 interviews. Their reflections can help develop a clearer picture of why people turn to TANF, how they experience the program, and how the program can help them support their families and their children’s futures. They can also help other jurisdictions better understand the experiences of women receiving TANF cash assistance to reshape policies, services, and practices to better meet families’ needs.

    A snapshot of women’s personal reflections on TANF in DC

    The women we spoke with had participated in DC’s TANF program for at least five years. Each woman’s story is unique, but together, they paint a picture of mothers wanting to support their children and offer them bright futures.

    Unable to maintain stable, well-paid employment and with limited social supports, they had no choice but to turn to TANF cash assistance and other public supports. They wanted to find jobs that would offer stability and the ability to support their families without public assistance. For the most part, they felt that the employment services provided through TANF did not help them move toward this goal, although some have noticed recent program improvements.

    They explained the challenges (e.g., transportation, flexible child care arrangements, and limited qualifications) that make it difficult for them to find and keep stable jobs with family-sustaining wages. They described the vital role TANF cash assistance plays in providing for their families, but they also described their often-negative experiences at TANF service centers, including hostile relationships with eligibility staff.

    The women began receiving TANF before the program’s recent changes, and when we spoke with them, they were receiving reduced cash assistance because of the time limit on receiving the full benefit amount. Many of them expected that once they began receiving the full benefit amount, their families would have an easier time getting by, but they worried that the policy would change again in the future.

    The DC Department of Human Services is committed to service improvements

    The DC Department of Human Services (DHS), which administers TANF, has made various service improvements in the past several years, and more extensive changes are under way. Two years ago, the DHS surveyed its customers and began making changes based on their recommendations. The department shifted away from a one-size-fits-all model of service delivery to using a coaching model, developing individual plans with customers, increasing cash assistance, and improving other services.

    The department is reshaping its services and changing its policies because it believes that if families are supported with more income for children, parents can focus on achieving their goals. Further, the DHS is committed to continuous improvement and has listened to and acted on the recommendations of the people who use their services. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Butler, Sandra S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    As a researcher from the University of Maine, I conducted two studies looking at the experience of a cohort of low-income families with children who were terminated from TANF due to this limit. The first study was conducted in 2012. It surveyed these families shortly after losing TANF (hereinafter the 2012 Study). A follow-up study, conducted in 2013, sought to learn how these families were faring more than one year later (hereinafter the 2013 Study). In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 participants from the 2012 Study. The experiences of these families are corroborated by other Maine studies and national research examining the circumstances of families who receive TANF. (Edited author introduction)

     

    As a researcher from the University of Maine, I conducted two studies looking at the experience of a cohort of low-income families with children who were terminated from TANF due to this limit. The first study was conducted in 2012. It surveyed these families shortly after losing TANF (hereinafter the 2012 Study). A follow-up study, conducted in 2013, sought to learn how these families were faring more than one year later (hereinafter the 2013 Study). In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 participants from the 2012 Study. The experiences of these families are corroborated by other Maine studies and national research examining the circumstances of families who receive TANF. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Harris, Deborah A.; Parisi, Domenico
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Placing time limits on benefits was seen by the proponents of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act as a means to encourage welfare recipients to engage in forward-looking behavior so that they can plan for a life without welfare. Current studies provide mixed findings regarding the effects of time limits on welfare participation and focus primarily on the urban poor. In this study, we examine how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants interpret and respond to time limits under different personal and local conditions. Data come from interviews conducted with 60 low-income women from two rural Mississippi counties. The results suggest that not all welfare clients are aware of time limits and that time limits rarely impact their behavior. Their views of time limits were influenced by three major factors: (1) a belief that their welfare status is temporary, (2) a misunderstanding of welfare policy, and (3) an inability to acknowledge personal and structural barriers to leaving welfare. (author abstract)

    Placing time limits on benefits was seen by the proponents of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act as a means to encourage welfare recipients to engage in forward-looking behavior so that they can plan for a life without welfare. Current studies provide mixed findings regarding the effects of time limits on welfare participation and focus primarily on the urban poor. In this study, we examine how Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants interpret and respond to time limits under different personal and local conditions. Data come from interviews conducted with 60 low-income women from two rural Mississippi counties. The results suggest that not all welfare clients are aware of time limits and that time limits rarely impact their behavior. Their views of time limits were influenced by three major factors: (1) a belief that their welfare status is temporary, (2) a misunderstanding of welfare policy, and (3) an inability to acknowledge personal and structural barriers to leaving welfare. (author abstract)

  • 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) 

Sort by

Topical Area(s)

Popular Searches

Year

Year ranges from 1998 to 2018

Reference Type

Research Methodology

Geographic Focus

Target Populations