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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: 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: Gardiner, Karen; Fishman, Mike; Ragan, Mark; Gais, Tom
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a study to determine how local management of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs has adapted practices to address changing needs and improve program results. To understand these local adaptations, the research team—which included staff from the Lewin Group and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government—visited five local TANF offices to interview staff and collect data. The sites selected were among locations where field research was conducted several years ago in order to gauge changes since the early years of TANF implementation. The five sites were in Phoenix, Arizona; Macon, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Site visits were conducted between February and July 2006. This report presents major findings from the site visits. Several cross-cutting findings emerged from the study: (author abstract)

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a study to determine how local management of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs has adapted practices to address changing needs and improve program results. To understand these local adaptations, the research team—which included staff from the Lewin Group and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government—visited five local TANF offices to interview staff and collect data. The sites selected were among locations where field research was conducted several years ago in order to gauge changes since the early years of TANF implementation. The five sites were in Phoenix, Arizona; Macon, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Site visits were conducted between February and July 2006. This report presents major findings from the site visits. Several cross-cutting findings emerged from the study: (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hetling, Andrea; Watson, Stevie; Horgan, Meghan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    A growing number of state welfare agencies are using the Internet to communicate with potential and current clients. Although public management benefits are clear, little is known about client perspectives. This mixed-methods research project examines the topics of application security, reliability, appropriateness, and ease of use, and personal experiences of potential users to understand opinions of online welfare applications. Focus group findings highlight direct benefits, such as speed and ease of use, and indirect benefits, such as holding caseworkers accountable and avoiding unpleasant office conditions. Study participants also identified exceptions like emergencies and applicants with special needs. Despite mixed feelings, many participants preferred online applications to in-person, worker-led eligibility interviews. (author abstract)

    A growing number of state welfare agencies are using the Internet to communicate with potential and current clients. Although public management benefits are clear, little is known about client perspectives. This mixed-methods research project examines the topics of application security, reliability, appropriateness, and ease of use, and personal experiences of potential users to understand opinions of online welfare applications. Focus group findings highlight direct benefits, such as speed and ease of use, and indirect benefits, such as holding caseworkers accountable and avoiding unpleasant office conditions. Study participants also identified exceptions like emergencies and applicants with special needs. Despite mixed feelings, many participants preferred online applications to in-person, worker-led eligibility interviews. (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) 

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