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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: Lodewick, Kendra; Botsko, Christopher; Williams, Susan Schreiber; Werner, Alan; Porcari, Diane; Valente, Jesse
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 dramatically transformed the nation’s primary cash assistance program for low-income families when it created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program. There is a substantial body of research on some of the major policy changes under TANF, including, for example, increased work requirements, and time limits on program eligibility. Much less is known, however, about changes in TANF application policies and procedures and their potential effects on the decision to participate and on application experiences and outcomes. The major goal of the Study of the TANF Application Process is to help fill that gap in knowledge.

    The Study has two major parts: the Survey of States and the Case Studies. The Survey of States, included in Section One of this Final Report, includes findings of a number of State-level and local-office data collection efforts and analyses focused on TANF application policies...

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 dramatically transformed the nation’s primary cash assistance program for low-income families when it created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program. There is a substantial body of research on some of the major policy changes under TANF, including, for example, increased work requirements, and time limits on program eligibility. Much less is known, however, about changes in TANF application policies and procedures and their potential effects on the decision to participate and on application experiences and outcomes. The major goal of the Study of the TANF Application Process is to help fill that gap in knowledge.

    The Study has two major parts: the Survey of States and the Case Studies. The Survey of States, included in Section One of this Final Report, includes findings of a number of State-level and local-office data collection efforts and analyses focused on TANF application policies and procedures and on the content, quality, and format of TANF application data. Specifically, the study included a survey of 54 States and territories (“54-State survey”) focusing principally on which TANF application data are collected and maintained, a survey of 18 selected states (“18-State survey”) focusing principally on TANF application policies, and a survey of 11 local TANF offices (“11-office survey”) focusing principally on application procedures.

    The Case Studies, included in Section Two of this Final Report, focus on TANF application policies and procedures, as well as on the application experiences and outcomes for a sample of families seeking assistance, in six selected county or local welfare offices: Mercer County (Trenton), NJ; Ramsey County (St. Paul), MN; San Diego County (San Diego), CA; Providence, RI; Cook County (Chicago), IL; and Bibb County (Macon), GA. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Steven; Gryzlak, Brian
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    This study examined early research findings concerning the well-being of people who leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs and then applies these findings in the development of TANF-related advocacy strategies. Based on secondary data analysis of TANF leaver studies from 12 states with large TANF caseloads, the authors focus on the employment and earnings experiences of leavers; TANF recidivism and its relationship to job stability; and the use of support services. State studies typically have found employment levels among leavers in the 55 percent to 65 percent range, but average earnings fall below the poverty level. Although those who remain employed can expect earnings growth, job instability is a significant problem and contributes to TANF recidivism rates of 21 percent to 35 percent within the first year. Available support services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care subsidies are underused, often because leavers do not understand that they are eligible. Recommended advocacy strategies include policy interventions to improve the economic...

    This study examined early research findings concerning the well-being of people who leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs and then applies these findings in the development of TANF-related advocacy strategies. Based on secondary data analysis of TANF leaver studies from 12 states with large TANF caseloads, the authors focus on the employment and earnings experiences of leavers; TANF recidivism and its relationship to job stability; and the use of support services. State studies typically have found employment levels among leavers in the 55 percent to 65 percent range, but average earnings fall below the poverty level. Although those who remain employed can expect earnings growth, job instability is a significant problem and contributes to TANF recidivism rates of 21 percent to 35 percent within the first year. Available support services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care subsidies are underused, often because leavers do not understand that they are eligible. Recommended advocacy strategies include policy interventions to improve the economic well-being of low-income working people, as well as administrative and direct practice strategies to improve the implementation of existing policies. The authors argue that attention to such advocacy efforts is both critical and opportune for social work, given the profession's historical mission, impending federal TANF reauthorization, and unspent TANF allocations. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Mauldon, Jane; Speiglman, Richard; Sogar, Christina; Stagner, Matthew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Child-only cases were far from the center of attention when the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created in 1996, and even when it was reauthorized in 2005. However, with adult-aided cases at less than one-quarter of their pre-TANF levels, child-only cases have become a substantial presence in the nation’s TANF caseload, and interest in these cases is growing. In 2011 child-only cases represented about two in every five TANF cases.

    Child-only TANF aid reaches a diverse mix of children, including children living in the homes of relatives, children of parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and U.S-born children of parents whose immigration status renders the parents ineligible for TANF benefits. These groups have little or nothing in common with each other. They also have little in common with adult-aided TANF recipients. Most crucially, child-only cases are not subject to the federal and state program rules that have driven down TANF caseloads since TANF’s inception in 1996.

    This report is written to aid policy...

    Child-only cases were far from the center of attention when the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created in 1996, and even when it was reauthorized in 2005. However, with adult-aided cases at less than one-quarter of their pre-TANF levels, child-only cases have become a substantial presence in the nation’s TANF caseload, and interest in these cases is growing. In 2011 child-only cases represented about two in every five TANF cases.

    Child-only TANF aid reaches a diverse mix of children, including children living in the homes of relatives, children of parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and U.S-born children of parents whose immigration status renders the parents ineligible for TANF benefits. These groups have little or nothing in common with each other. They also have little in common with adult-aided TANF recipients. Most crucially, child-only cases are not subject to the federal and state program rules that have driven down TANF caseloads since TANF’s inception in 1996.

    This report is written to aid policy makers as they contemplate modifications to TANF. It has three goals: to describe child-only policies and explore how these policies create and shape the three distinct child-only caseloads; to provide information about the needs of the children and adults in the households that receive child-only aid; and to situate child-only TANF policy in the context of other relevant policies.

    Among the relevant trends are shifts in foster care policy (which can affect NPC child-only TANF caseloads), patterns of immigrant location within the United States (which influence IIP child-only caseloads), and the availability of SSI aid for low-income parents. This report emphasizes the fact that policy changes to TANF must address child-only cases, paying explicit attention to each of the four TANF caseloads separately – the three child-only caseloads referenced above plus adult-aided cases. The authors of this report provide recommendations for policymakers to improve TANF aid to child-only cases. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meckstroth, Alicia; Burwick, Andrew; Ponza, Michael; Marsh, Shawn; Novak, Tim; Phillips, Shannon; Diaz-Tena, Nuria; Ng, Judy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Helping low-income families in rural areas find gainful employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency is an ongoing policy concern. The Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies demonstration is using rigorous experimental designs to build knowledge about how to help low-income families in rural areas strive toward sustained employment and self-sufficiency. This report examines an employment-focused case management initiative deployed in southern Illinois. Despite a lack of impacts on employment, earnings, and self-sufficiency, the findings imply a need for stronger interventions in rural areas and demonstrate the challenges inherent in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs in these types of settings.(author abstract)

    Helping low-income families in rural areas find gainful employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency is an ongoing policy concern. The Rural Welfare-to-Work Strategies demonstration is using rigorous experimental designs to build knowledge about how to help low-income families in rural areas strive toward sustained employment and self-sufficiency. This report examines an employment-focused case management initiative deployed in southern Illinois. Despite a lack of impacts on employment, earnings, and self-sufficiency, the findings imply a need for stronger interventions in rural areas and demonstrate the challenges inherent in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs in these types of settings.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fraker, Thomas M.; Levy, Dan M.; Perez-Johnson, Irma; Hershey, Alan M.; Nightingale, Demetra S.; Olsen, Robert B.; Stapulonis, Rita A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    This final report presents descriptive findings from Mathematica's study of enrollees during the two years after they entered a welfare-to-work program. Most were TANF recipients with significant barriers to employment; although most were employed at some time during the study, many faced employment problems at the end of that period, and the jobs they held often left them in poverty. Whether a more comprehensive approach would produce better results is unclear, but the report presents design and implementation factors for programs to consider. (Author abstract)

    This final report presents descriptive findings from Mathematica's study of enrollees during the two years after they entered a welfare-to-work program. Most were TANF recipients with significant barriers to employment; although most were employed at some time during the study, many faced employment problems at the end of that period, and the jobs they held often left them in poverty. Whether a more comprehensive approach would produce better results is unclear, but the report presents design and implementation factors for programs to consider. (Author abstract)

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