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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: Palla, Seri; Kakuska, Courtney J.; Hercik, Jeanette M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, child-only cases—those in which no adult is included in the cash grant—have become an increasing proportion of State TANF caseloads in recent years. Child-only cases are either parental or non-parental – parental cases are those in which the parent is resident in the home, but ineligible for TANF receipt for such reasons as time limits,1 sanction, alien status, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receipt, or previous drug felony conviction. Non-parental cases are those in which neither biological parent is present, and another adult, usually a relative, is the primary caregiver. Research indicates that the percentage of child-only cases relative to overall national caseloads increased 200 percent in one decade –from 12 percent in 1990 to nearly 35 percent by 2000.  In some States, over fifty percent of their FY2002 caseloads were child-only.

    In addition to the variability in the proportion of a State’s total caseload accounted for by child-only cases, the current research indicates that the composition of the...

    Under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, child-only cases—those in which no adult is included in the cash grant—have become an increasing proportion of State TANF caseloads in recent years. Child-only cases are either parental or non-parental – parental cases are those in which the parent is resident in the home, but ineligible for TANF receipt for such reasons as time limits,1 sanction, alien status, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receipt, or previous drug felony conviction. Non-parental cases are those in which neither biological parent is present, and another adult, usually a relative, is the primary caregiver. Research indicates that the percentage of child-only cases relative to overall national caseloads increased 200 percent in one decade –from 12 percent in 1990 to nearly 35 percent by 2000.  In some States, over fifty percent of their FY2002 caseloads were child-only.

    In addition to the variability in the proportion of a State’s total caseload accounted for by child-only cases, the current research indicates that the composition of the child-only caseload across the States varies as well. In some States, for example, there is a significantly higher proportion of relative (non-parental) cases, while in others, SSI, immigrant, and sanctioned or time-limited parental cases are more common.

    In response to these trends, the OFA Peer Technical Assistance Network conducted discussions with State TANF administrators around the country to assess their current policies and programs designed to meet the needs of the child-only caseload, and to gauge their level of interest in participating a Roundtable on this topic. The responses were overwhelming – we gathered significant information on the current child-only environment, and more than thirty States expressed an interest in the Roundtable concept. As a result, eleven States participated in the first Roundtables entitled Developing Strategies to Address the Child-Only Caseload held April 8-9, 2003 in Colorado Springs (El Paso County), Colorado. In response to the positive feedback received following the first Roundtable, a second Roundtable was held in Trenton, New Jersey on June 3-4, 2003. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scrivener, Susan ; Walter, Johanna ; Brock, Thomas ; Hamilton, Gayle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Welfare program case management is usually organized in one of two ways. Under traditional case management, welfare recipients interact with two separate workers: one who deals with welfare eligibility and payment issues, often called income maintenance, and one who deals with employment and training issues. Under integrated case management, welfare recipients work with only one staff member who handles both the income maintenance and employment and training aspects of their case. Although both strategies have certain advantages — for example, the traditional structure allows staff members to specialize in one particular role, and the integrated structure allows staff members to quickly emphasize the importance of employment and eliminates failures in communication between staff members — little information exists on the effects of the two approaches.

    This report presents the results of a random assignment study designed to evaluate the two case management approaches, and thus it addresses some longstanding issues in the management of welfare programs....

    Welfare program case management is usually organized in one of two ways. Under traditional case management, welfare recipients interact with two separate workers: one who deals with welfare eligibility and payment issues, often called income maintenance, and one who deals with employment and training issues. Under integrated case management, welfare recipients work with only one staff member who handles both the income maintenance and employment and training aspects of their case. Although both strategies have certain advantages — for example, the traditional structure allows staff members to specialize in one particular role, and the integrated structure allows staff members to quickly emphasize the importance of employment and eliminates failures in communication between staff members — little information exists on the effects of the two approaches.

    This report presents the results of a random assignment study designed to evaluate the two case management approaches, and thus it addresses some longstanding issues in the management of welfare programs. The study was conducted in Columbus (Franklin County), Ohio, as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation), a large-scale evaluation of 11 welfare-to-work programs in seven sites across the nation. The evaluation is being conducted by MDRC, under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education For the study, Columbus operated two separate welfare-to-work programs: one that used integrated case management, referred to in this report as the integrated program, and one that used traditional case management, referred to as the traditional program. Apart from the case management difference, the welfare-to-work programs were the same: They required welfare recipients to participate in activities to build their skills and eventually move into the labor market; provided child care and other services to support this participation; and penalized those who did not follow program rules by reducing their cash grant. Participants in the programs were also subject to the same public assistance eligibility and payment system.

    This report provides information on how the integrated and traditional programs were implemented, how they affected participation in employment-related activities, and the costs of providing employment-related services in the two programs. It also discusses program effects, measured three years after sample members’ entry into the study, on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt. (The final report in the NEWWS Evaluation will present program effects measured five years after study entry.) To facilitate this assessment, from 1992 to 1994 over 7,000 single-parent welfare applicants and recipients, who were determined to be mandatory for the Columbus welfare-to-work program, were randomly assigned for the evaluation. The study’s rigorous research design allows researchers to determine the effects of each program as well as the relative effects of the programs, thus providing two types of information.

    Columbus’s integrated and traditional programs were operated under the Family Support Act (FSA) of 1988. The FSA required states to provide education, employment, and support services to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients, who were, in turn, required to participate in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program created by the act to equip them for work. In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act replaced AFDC with a block grant program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The law limits most families to five years of federal assistance, offers states financial incentives to run mandatory, work-focused welfare-to-work programs, and requires states to meet relatively high work participation rates or face reductions in their block grant. The 1996 law’s overarching goal is similar to the FSA’s: to foster the economic self-sufficiency of welfare recipients through increased employment and decreased welfare receipt. Columbus began operating its TANF program in October 1997, after the follow-up period covered in this report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Taylor, Tiffany; Gross, Christi L.; Towne-Roese, Jackuelyn K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    This research examines the ways in which Ohio Works First (OWF) program managers respond to the bureaucratic constraints of implementing welfare-to-work programs. Using qualitative data collected from telephone interviews with program managers in 69 of Ohio’s 88 counties, we build on prior research that examines caseworker identity and case management (Watkins-Hayes, 2009) by investigating how managers view the challenges and program barriers to self-sufficiency for cash assistance clients in Ohio. We find three distinct manager identities and responses to these challenges and barriers. First, following Watkins-Hayes (2009), we find "social work" identified managers are more holistic in their approach and focused on structural barriers to self-sufficiency. A second type of manager – "efficiency engineers"; – are far more rules-minded and focused on clients’ individual barriers. Third, similar to existing research (Taylor and Seale, 2013), we find support for another category of managers – "conflicted" – who discuss both structural and individual-level barriers to self-sufficiency...

    This research examines the ways in which Ohio Works First (OWF) program managers respond to the bureaucratic constraints of implementing welfare-to-work programs. Using qualitative data collected from telephone interviews with program managers in 69 of Ohio’s 88 counties, we build on prior research that examines caseworker identity and case management (Watkins-Hayes, 2009) by investigating how managers view the challenges and program barriers to self-sufficiency for cash assistance clients in Ohio. We find three distinct manager identities and responses to these challenges and barriers. First, following Watkins-Hayes (2009), we find "social work" identified managers are more holistic in their approach and focused on structural barriers to self-sufficiency. A second type of manager – "efficiency engineers"; – are far more rules-minded and focused on clients’ individual barriers. Third, similar to existing research (Taylor and Seale, 2013), we find support for another category of managers – "conflicted" – who discuss both structural and individual-level barriers to self-sufficiency. (Author abstract)

  • 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: 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) 

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