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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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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: Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Passage of the landmark federal welfare reform legislation in 1996 presented states and localities with a set of dramatic and far-reaching choices about how to restructure the public assistance programs that serve some of the nation's most vulnerable families. Published as part of MDRC's ReWORKing Welfare series, this how-to guide draws on the results of dozens of rigorous MDRC studies of state and local innovations that preceded this major shift in national social policy. After AFDC offers policymakers valuable lessons about program approaches that aim to promote work and self-sufficiency, reduce dependency, and improve the well-being of welfare recipients and their children. It reviews current information about four key approaches to welfare reform — welfare-to-work programs, mandatory work programs, policies to change financial incentives, and time limits — and discusses the interactions among these approaches. While the guide does not aim to address the full range of issues that may be involved in a state's welfare reform plans, it identifies broad lessons and trade-offs for...

    Passage of the landmark federal welfare reform legislation in 1996 presented states and localities with a set of dramatic and far-reaching choices about how to restructure the public assistance programs that serve some of the nation's most vulnerable families. Published as part of MDRC's ReWORKing Welfare series, this how-to guide draws on the results of dozens of rigorous MDRC studies of state and local innovations that preceded this major shift in national social policy. After AFDC offers policymakers valuable lessons about program approaches that aim to promote work and self-sufficiency, reduce dependency, and improve the well-being of welfare recipients and their children. It reviews current information about four key approaches to welfare reform — welfare-to-work programs, mandatory work programs, policies to change financial incentives, and time limits — and discusses the interactions among these approaches. While the guide does not aim to address the full range of issues that may be involved in a state's welfare reform plans, it identifies broad lessons and trade-offs for states and localities to consider in designing reforms. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Savner, Steve; Greenberg, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), states face steadily increasing work participation requirements. The TANF structure presents one new option: the ability to use TANF funds for community service employment in wage-paying, publicly funded jobs designed to provide work for individuals and to address unmet community needs. A program of community service employment can offer a set of distinct advantages over the usage of unpaid work experience programs in return for receipt of TANF assistance. Among the advantages of a community service employment approach are the following: (1) programmatically, a job paying wages will seem, and be more like work, than will a slot in a work-for-welfare program; (2) fiscally, both the individual and the state would benefit, because individuals earning a wage will qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit; and (3) in some circumstances, community service employment could function as an alternative to welfare, rather than just as the terms under which a family received welfare. A state considering a wage-based approach faces...

    Under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), states face steadily increasing work participation requirements. The TANF structure presents one new option: the ability to use TANF funds for community service employment in wage-paying, publicly funded jobs designed to provide work for individuals and to address unmet community needs. A program of community service employment can offer a set of distinct advantages over the usage of unpaid work experience programs in return for receipt of TANF assistance. Among the advantages of a community service employment approach are the following: (1) programmatically, a job paying wages will seem, and be more like work, than will a slot in a work-for-welfare program; (2) fiscally, both the individual and the state would benefit, because individuals earning a wage will qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit; and (3) in some circumstances, community service employment could function as an alternative to welfare, rather than just as the terms under which a family received welfare. A state considering a wage-based approach faces numerous choices: how wage-based positions should be used; whether wage-based positions would primarily be in state or local government; what the appropriate contribution is by the organization that receives an employee; and whether waged positions should primarily be viewed as training slots or as providing employment opportunities of the last resort for persons unable to attain unsubsidized employment. (Eric.gov-YLB) (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stagner, Matthew W.; Duran, M. Angela
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Comprehensive community initiatives strive to improve the lives of children and families in neighborhoods characterized by extreme and concentrated poverty. The initiatives use multifaceted approaches to strengthen communities and improve the provision of social and other services to children and families. Early examples include the settlement houses at the beginning of the twentieth century, the neighborhood programs of the 1930s, and the war on poverty efforts of the 1960s. Using specific examples, this article describes key features of current comprehensive community initiatives, the limitations of efforts to evaluate them, and factors contributing to their success or failure. (author abstract)

    Comprehensive community initiatives strive to improve the lives of children and families in neighborhoods characterized by extreme and concentrated poverty. The initiatives use multifaceted approaches to strengthen communities and improve the provision of social and other services to children and families. Early examples include the settlement houses at the beginning of the twentieth century, the neighborhood programs of the 1930s, and the war on poverty efforts of the 1960s. Using specific examples, this article describes key features of current comprehensive community initiatives, the limitations of efforts to evaluate them, and factors contributing to their success or failure. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bauman, Kurt
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Recently there have been proposals to change the way we define families for the purpose of measuring poverty. This paper used the 1990 and 1992 SIPP to examine several of the practical and conceptual issues of changing the definition of "family." This research found that the poverty rate for 1990 was not greatly affected by expanding the "family" for poverty calculations to include persons with nonfamily household relationships, although some population subgroups -- including single-parent families -- were more affected. If the "family" definition were changed, many currently-available surveys would provide an inaccurate picture of poverty because they measure living arrangements at a single point in time, rather than longitudinally. Finally, the main rationale for expanding the "family" definition -- that persons in cohabiting and other nonfamily household relationships are likely to share resources -- was not given strong support in this research. Income from persons in nonfamily household roles was found to have contribute (sic) slightly less to helping other household members...

    Recently there have been proposals to change the way we define families for the purpose of measuring poverty. This paper used the 1990 and 1992 SIPP to examine several of the practical and conceptual issues of changing the definition of "family." This research found that the poverty rate for 1990 was not greatly affected by expanding the "family" for poverty calculations to include persons with nonfamily household relationships, although some population subgroups -- including single-parent families -- were more affected. If the "family" definition were changed, many currently-available surveys would provide an inaccurate picture of poverty because they measure living arrangements at a single point in time, rather than longitudinally. Finally, the main rationale for expanding the "family" definition -- that persons in cohabiting and other nonfamily household relationships are likely to share resources -- was not given strong support in this research. Income from persons in nonfamily household roles was found to have contribute (sic) slightly less to helping other household members avoid financial hardship, implying that they tend to keep more of this income to themselves. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Page-Adams, Deborah; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Asset building is helping impoverished families save for education, home ownership, microenterprise, and other community revitalization purposes. These community development programs are built in part on the idea that assets have multiple positive effects on well-being. A system of individual development accounts is often used to structure and subsidize asset accumulation. Studies that evaluate the implementation, performance, and effects of asset building will be critical in assessing the potential of community development based on special savings accounts. This article summarizes findings from studies addressing the effects of assets on personal well-being, economic security, civic behavior, women's status, and children's well-being. Implications for demonstration and evaluation of asset-based community revitalization initiatives are discussed. (Author abstract)

    Asset building is helping impoverished families save for education, home ownership, microenterprise, and other community revitalization purposes. These community development programs are built in part on the idea that assets have multiple positive effects on well-being. A system of individual development accounts is often used to structure and subsidize asset accumulation. Studies that evaluate the implementation, performance, and effects of asset building will be critical in assessing the potential of community development based on special savings accounts. This article summarizes findings from studies addressing the effects of assets on personal well-being, economic security, civic behavior, women's status, and children's well-being. Implications for demonstration and evaluation of asset-based community revitalization initiatives are discussed. (Author abstract)

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