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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: 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: Watson Bishop, Sheilah
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Established by the Family Support Act of 1988, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program, known as FUTURES in the State of Missouri, experienced a shift in focus with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act in 1996. Once a program that emphasized educational opportunities and job skills training, FUTURES has more recently stressed short-term activities aimed at moving the welfare recipient into the workplace as quickly as possible. This study examines the shift in program components that took place with the advent of welfare reform in 1996, and attempts to provide some insight into whether current case management services are helping clients attain self-sufficiency. The analysis concludes that in terms of wages and recidivism, individuals who participated in the FUTURES program did no better than individuals who had not enrolled in the program. (author abstract)

    Established by the Family Support Act of 1988, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program, known as FUTURES in the State of Missouri, experienced a shift in focus with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act in 1996. Once a program that emphasized educational opportunities and job skills training, FUTURES has more recently stressed short-term activities aimed at moving the welfare recipient into the workplace as quickly as possible. This study examines the shift in program components that took place with the advent of welfare reform in 1996, and attempts to provide some insight into whether current case management services are helping clients attain self-sufficiency. The analysis concludes that in terms of wages and recidivism, individuals who participated in the FUTURES program did no better than individuals who had not enrolled in the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen; Fishman, Mike; Ragan, Mark; Gais, Tom
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    In 2006, the Lewin Group and its subcontractor, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, assessed and reported on recent adaptations made by local offices in managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. This assessment sought to provide a clear picture of recent changes implemented by local program managers to improve performance, several years after the initial wave of change brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) the study team visited local sites in five states, interviewing staff and management in TANF and other local offices that provide services for TANF clients. The results of the field work and analyses were published in January 2007. (author abstract)

    In 2006, the Lewin Group and its subcontractor, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, assessed and reported on recent adaptations made by local offices in managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. This assessment sought to provide a clear picture of recent changes implemented by local program managers to improve performance, several years after the initial wave of change brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) the study team visited local sites in five states, interviewing staff and management in TANF and other local offices that provide services for TANF clients. The results of the field work and analyses were published in January 2007. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holcomb, Pamela A.; Adams, Gina; Snyder, Kathleen; Koralek, Robin; Martinson, Karin; Bernstein, Sara; Capizzano, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play in welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families (box 2). This study occurred in three phases.

    The first phase, conducted in 2001, examined these issues from the perspective of welfare-to-work and child care administrators and staff in 11 local sites, and documented how these systems were set up and connected, the factors that aided or impeded coordination between the systems, and the processes TANF clients needed to complete as they moved through the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems while on welfare. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Pamela Holcomb, Kathleen Snyder, Robin Koralek, and Jeffrey Capizzano, Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)...

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play in welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families (box 2). This study occurred in three phases.

    The first phase, conducted in 2001, examined these issues from the perspective of welfare-to-work and child care administrators and staff in 11 local sites, and documented how these systems were set up and connected, the factors that aided or impeded coordination between the systems, and the processes TANF clients needed to complete as they moved through the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems while on welfare. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Pamela Holcomb, Kathleen Snyder, Robin Koralek, and Jeffrey Capizzano, Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    The second phase of the study examined a range of issues around subsidy use among parents who leave TANF. It included data from these 11 sites, as well as an examination of research on welfare leavers and subsidy patterns, a review of state policies regarding child care subsidies for welfare leavers for a range of states, and interviews with national experts to discuss the retention of child care subsidies as parents transition off cash assistance. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Robin Koralek, and Karin Martinson, Child Care Subsidies and Leaving Welfare: Policy Issues and Strategies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    The third phase used focus groups in four of the 11 sites to explore the connections between the welfare-to-work and child care systems from the perspective of parents. These focus groups were made up of parents currently receiving TANF and child care subsidies, as well as parents who had left TANF within the previous year and were still receiving child care subsidies. (The findings from this phase are reported in Kathleen Snyder, Sara Bernstein, and Robin Koralek, Parents' Perspectives on Child Care Subsidies and Moving from Welfare to Work [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    This document highlights overarching issues and themes that emerged from all three phases of this study, including those facing administrators and agencies working to provide these services to parents, and the implications of these issues for TANF clients and their children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Redcross, Cindy; Hsueh, JoAnn; Rich, Sarah; Martin, Vanessa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    In the post-welfare reform world, an important policy question has taken new prominence: how to improve employment prospects for the millions of Americans who face serious obstacles to steady work. These individuals, including long-term welfare recipients, people with disabilities, those with health or behavioral health problems, and former prisoners, often become trapped in costly public assistance and enforcement systems and find themselves living in poverty, outside the mainstream in a society that prizes work and self-sufficiency. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with additional funding from the Department of Labor, is evaluating four diverse strategies designed to improve employment and other outcomes for low-income parents and others who face serious barriers to employment. (Author abstract)

    In the post-welfare reform world, an important policy question has taken new prominence: how to improve employment prospects for the millions of Americans who face serious obstacles to steady work. These individuals, including long-term welfare recipients, people with disabilities, those with health or behavioral health problems, and former prisoners, often become trapped in costly public assistance and enforcement systems and find themselves living in poverty, outside the mainstream in a society that prizes work and self-sufficiency. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with additional funding from the Department of Labor, is evaluating four diverse strategies designed to improve employment and other outcomes for low-income parents and others who face serious barriers to employment. (Author abstract)

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