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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: Hodge, Sharon
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2001

    Profiles of 104 welfare recipients in Georgia were examined to identify social indicators and cognitive variables that influenced work role participation. Three instruments were administered the Career Thought Inventory, the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, and the demographic profile and participation scale of the Salience Inventory to determine how well race, education, dysfunctional career thoughts, and career decision-making self-efficacy predicted work role participation. It was found that, as a group, the welfare recipients in the sample defied stereotypes; they were older, better educated, and more heterogeneous than is typically reported. Among other findings were the following: (1) a majority of participants indicated at least some difficulty with dysfunctional career thoughts; (2) career decision-making self-efficacy was lower than that of a normative sample of college females; (3) black respondents spent more time in work activities than their white counterparts; (4) non-high school completers indicated more decision-making confusion and...

    Profiles of 104 welfare recipients in Georgia were examined to identify social indicators and cognitive variables that influenced work role participation. Three instruments were administered the Career Thought Inventory, the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, and the demographic profile and participation scale of the Salience Inventory to determine how well race, education, dysfunctional career thoughts, and career decision-making self-efficacy predicted work role participation. It was found that, as a group, the welfare recipients in the sample defied stereotypes; they were older, better educated, and more heterogeneous than is typically reported. Among other findings were the following: (1) a majority of participants indicated at least some difficulty with dysfunctional career thoughts; (2) career decision-making self-efficacy was lower than that of a normative sample of college females; (3) black respondents spent more time in work activities than their white counterparts; (4) non-high school completers indicated more decision-making confusion and commitment anxiety, but less career decision-making self-efficacy than high school completers. It was concluded that career self-efficacy was the most important predictor of work role participation. It was suggested that service providers do the following: (1) incorporate coping mechanisms that recipients could employ to minimize obstacles to self-efficacy into employment intervention programs; and (2) employ awareness and sensitivity to the clash between the future-oriented nature of career/job training and day-to-day survival needs confronting welfare recipients. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Taylor, Lorraine C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    Most of the extant research on welfare reform has neglected to consider the experiences of families in rural settings. Fifty women receiving welfare for their dependent children in a rural community were interviewed about their work experiences and aspirations, barriers to employment and service use, as well as mental health and social support. The findings indicate that the majority of participants were connected to the labor force and expressed positive attitudes about work. Barriers to employment (lack of available jobs, child care) and service use (transportation, inconvenient office hours) were endorsed. Perceived social support was negatively related to depression symptoms and positively related to self-efficacy and self-esteem. The importance of understanding the life experiences of welfare recipients in different contexts is discussed. (author abstract)

    Most of the extant research on welfare reform has neglected to consider the experiences of families in rural settings. Fifty women receiving welfare for their dependent children in a rural community were interviewed about their work experiences and aspirations, barriers to employment and service use, as well as mental health and social support. The findings indicate that the majority of participants were connected to the labor force and expressed positive attitudes about work. Barriers to employment (lack of available jobs, child care) and service use (transportation, inconvenient office hours) were endorsed. Perceived social support was negatively related to depression symptoms and positively related to self-efficacy and self-esteem. The importance of understanding the life experiences of welfare recipients in different contexts is discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Laakso, Janice Hassebrock
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    Although there has been steady improvement in the amount of child support collected, it is estimated that about 70% of poor children eligible for child support do not receive it. There has been little formal study of mothers' interactions with child support offices and how these experiences may influence decisions about child support. This article presents a descriptive analysis of mothers' attitudes and experiences with a child support agency, giving voice to clients' perspectives about working with this system. The findings indicate that mothers find the public child support system to be inefficient and ineffective in helping them to obtain child support, even after they have a child support award. Their stories help us understand why many custodial parents become frustrated and angry at the system that has been put in place to help them, but often sets up barriers to their efforts to obtain child support. Only through more effective service delivery can parents become successful at receiving the child support needed to reduce their poverty level and improve the well being of...

    Although there has been steady improvement in the amount of child support collected, it is estimated that about 70% of poor children eligible for child support do not receive it. There has been little formal study of mothers' interactions with child support offices and how these experiences may influence decisions about child support. This article presents a descriptive analysis of mothers' attitudes and experiences with a child support agency, giving voice to clients' perspectives about working with this system. The findings indicate that mothers find the public child support system to be inefficient and ineffective in helping them to obtain child support, even after they have a child support award. Their stories help us understand why many custodial parents become frustrated and angry at the system that has been put in place to help them, but often sets up barriers to their efforts to obtain child support. Only through more effective service delivery can parents become successful at receiving the child support needed to reduce their poverty level and improve the well being of their children (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Kahn, Peggy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    This article explores how work-first policy-as embodied in the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, Michigan's state TANF plan, and the routines and processes of Michigan's implementing agencies-affects the ability of low-income single mothers to pursue post-secondary education. Drawing upon a small-scale, qualitative, client-centered research project and an ongoing advocacy project, it argues that restrictive formal welfare education policy in Michigan is narrowed further by front-line agency workers in both the Family Independence Agency and the Work First program, as agency staff reproduce rigid work-first messages, reproduce organizational cultures of suspicion towards clients, marginalize education and training provisions to simplify their workloads, respond to contracting imperatives, and improvise within deregulated administrative structures. Struggling to balance mandatory work requirements, education, and child care responsibilities in face of policy and implementation obstacles, some student mothers tenaciously but tenuously persist,...

    This article explores how work-first policy-as embodied in the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, Michigan's state TANF plan, and the routines and processes of Michigan's implementing agencies-affects the ability of low-income single mothers to pursue post-secondary education. Drawing upon a small-scale, qualitative, client-centered research project and an ongoing advocacy project, it argues that restrictive formal welfare education policy in Michigan is narrowed further by front-line agency workers in both the Family Independence Agency and the Work First program, as agency staff reproduce rigid work-first messages, reproduce organizational cultures of suspicion towards clients, marginalize education and training provisions to simplify their workloads, respond to contracting imperatives, and improvise within deregulated administrative structures. Struggling to balance mandatory work requirements, education, and child care responsibilities in face of policy and implementation obstacles, some student mothers tenaciously but tenuously persist, while others withdraw, and many do not initiate the post-secondary education to which they aspire. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Amato-Von Hemert, Katherine; Miranne, Kristine B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    By specifically including religious-based nonprofits and congregations in Title 1, Section 104 of federal welfare legislation passed in 1996, policy makers signaled that they expected these organizations would play an increased role as providers of social services while also being on the frontlines of the development and implementation of anti-poverty and community development strategies. Churches, however, are primarily interested in the concept of welfare dependency and reform as it is relevant to the suffering poverty causes families and its impacts on the vitality of their communities. For this reason, churches argue that they “stand in the gap” between what the government provides and the needs of individuals requiring assistance. This paper presents an ethnographic study of two culturally dissimilar Protestant churches located in impoverished urban and rural communities: First African Methodist Episcopal in south-central Los Angeles and St. James, in the Appalachia region of eastern Kentucky. We suggest that documenting how congregations view issues central to welfare...

    By specifically including religious-based nonprofits and congregations in Title 1, Section 104 of federal welfare legislation passed in 1996, policy makers signaled that they expected these organizations would play an increased role as providers of social services while also being on the frontlines of the development and implementation of anti-poverty and community development strategies. Churches, however, are primarily interested in the concept of welfare dependency and reform as it is relevant to the suffering poverty causes families and its impacts on the vitality of their communities. For this reason, churches argue that they “stand in the gap” between what the government provides and the needs of individuals requiring assistance. This paper presents an ethnographic study of two culturally dissimilar Protestant churches located in impoverished urban and rural communities: First African Methodist Episcopal in south-central Los Angeles and St. James, in the Appalachia region of eastern Kentucky. We suggest that documenting how congregations view issues central to welfare policy decision-making and service provision contributes to our knowledge of the role of faith-based non-profit organizations in social welfare. (author abstract)

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