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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: 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: Gibbs, Deborah; Kasten, Jennifer; Bir, Anupa; Hoover, Sonja; Duncan, Dean; Mitchell, Janet
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Since the establishment of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, much attention has been given to reductions in the number of welfare cases. Welfare cases declined nationally by 52 percent between 1996 and 2001; however, child-only cases declined by much less. Thus, while the number of child-only cases has fluctuated over time, their proportionate share of the TANF caseload has increased. Children in TANF child-only cases with relative caregivers occupy uncertain territory between the TANF and the child welfare service systems. Since these children are exempt from work requirements and not expected to move to self-sufficiency prior to adulthood, they are not well aligned with the TANF agency’s expectations and service offerings. Because they have not been identified as having experienced maltreatment, they are outside the child welfare system’s protective mandate, although they may be in need of supportive services. (author abstract)

    Since the establishment of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, much attention has been given to reductions in the number of welfare cases. Welfare cases declined nationally by 52 percent between 1996 and 2001; however, child-only cases declined by much less. Thus, while the number of child-only cases has fluctuated over time, their proportionate share of the TANF caseload has increased. Children in TANF child-only cases with relative caregivers occupy uncertain territory between the TANF and the child welfare service systems. Since these children are exempt from work requirements and not expected to move to self-sufficiency prior to adulthood, they are not well aligned with the TANF agency’s expectations and service offerings. Because they have not been identified as having experienced maltreatment, they are outside the child welfare system’s protective mandate, although they may be in need of supportive services. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lindhorst, Taryn Patricia
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2001

    This dissertation is an empirical policy analysis which investigates the effect of domestic violence on a woman's welfare status, employment, and mental health within the context of new policies instituted by welfare reform. It uses quantitative data from a panel survey, and qualitative narratives from respondents who reported current domestic abuse.

    Multivariate analysis of welfare outcomes finds that domestic violence affects welfare outcomes indirectly through its effect on depression. Depression is associated with unemployment, continuing on TANF, and being sanctioned off welfare. Domestic violence is one of the strongest predictors of the level of reported depression. Abuse is not directly related to whether a woman is on TANF, leaves welfare voluntarily or has been sanctioned off the program. Further analysis shows that domestic violence is not statistically significant in predicting employment. This suggests that when domestic violence affects welfare status and employment it does so through its effect on mental health.

    Women's stories about abuse indicate...

    This dissertation is an empirical policy analysis which investigates the effect of domestic violence on a woman's welfare status, employment, and mental health within the context of new policies instituted by welfare reform. It uses quantitative data from a panel survey, and qualitative narratives from respondents who reported current domestic abuse.

    Multivariate analysis of welfare outcomes finds that domestic violence affects welfare outcomes indirectly through its effect on depression. Depression is associated with unemployment, continuing on TANF, and being sanctioned off welfare. Domestic violence is one of the strongest predictors of the level of reported depression. Abuse is not directly related to whether a woman is on TANF, leaves welfare voluntarily or has been sanctioned off the program. Further analysis shows that domestic violence is not statistically significant in predicting employment. This suggests that when domestic violence affects welfare status and employment it does so through its effect on mental health.

    Women's stories about abuse indicate that domestic violence is a serious life threatening problem. Even though the state has adopted the Family Violence Option to assist women who are experiencing abuse, none of the ten women interviewed received help through this program. Reasons for the failure of this policy to provide meaningful help include the lack of knowledge women have about the policy; their unwillingness to disclose the abuse, and the inability of the system to take meaningful action on their behalf.

    None of the women in the qualitative sample were employed during the worst of the abuse. The qualitative findings suggest that the window during which violence affects employment may be relatively short for most women--a statistical effect may only be noticeable if women are surveyed during the period surrounding the end of the relationship. Narratives show that domestic violence has immediate consequences that affect employment through interaction with the criminal justice system, increased isolation, lack of stable housing, need for closer supervision of children who have also been traumatized by the abuse, and ongoing health and mental health concerns. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pavetti, LaDonna; Derr, Michelle; Martin, Emily Sama
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Assessment often is the first step in helping TANF recipients living with a disability find and maintain employment. While some TANF recipients living with a disability enter TANF fully aware of their disability, many do not. There are multiple strategies that TANF agencies can employ to identify recipients whose program participation or employment difficulties may be influenced by the presence of a disability or to develop an appropriate employment plan once a disability is identified. In this practice brief, drawing on the experiences of six different TANF initiatives targeted to recipients living with a disability, we describe five different approaches to assessment: disability screening, psychosocial assessments, clinical and psychological assessments, functional needs assessments and vocational assessments. (author abstract)

    Assessment often is the first step in helping TANF recipients living with a disability find and maintain employment. While some TANF recipients living with a disability enter TANF fully aware of their disability, many do not. There are multiple strategies that TANF agencies can employ to identify recipients whose program participation or employment difficulties may be influenced by the presence of a disability or to develop an appropriate employment plan once a disability is identified. In this practice brief, drawing on the experiences of six different TANF initiatives targeted to recipients living with a disability, we describe five different approaches to assessment: disability screening, psychosocial assessments, clinical and psychological assessments, functional needs assessments and vocational assessments. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kauff, Jacqueline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This report represents the first step in the process of identifying initiatives intended to assist TANF recipients living with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment that may be worthy of further study. The outcomes and impacts of such initiatives are of substantial interest to program administrators and policymakers for several reasons. First and foremost is the concern over the well-being of these recipients and their families. Second, these initiatives often require considerable staff effort and intensive services and, therefore, can be costly to implement. Third, states and localities are under growing pressure to meet increased federally mandated work participation rates and recipients living with disabilities are one of many groups that program administrators and policymakers may consider targeting to increase those rates. To assist program administrators and policymakers in deciding how they should spend limited resources, it is critical to know whether the initiatives are, indeed, producing their desired effects. The time may be ripe for rigorously testing the...

    This report represents the first step in the process of identifying initiatives intended to assist TANF recipients living with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment that may be worthy of further study. The outcomes and impacts of such initiatives are of substantial interest to program administrators and policymakers for several reasons. First and foremost is the concern over the well-being of these recipients and their families. Second, these initiatives often require considerable staff effort and intensive services and, therefore, can be costly to implement. Third, states and localities are under growing pressure to meet increased federally mandated work participation rates and recipients living with disabilities are one of many groups that program administrators and policymakers may consider targeting to increase those rates. To assist program administrators and policymakers in deciding how they should spend limited resources, it is critical to know whether the initiatives are, indeed, producing their desired effects. The time may be ripe for rigorously testing the impact of employment initiatives for low-income families living with disabilities and this report presents some potential options for doing so. (author abstract)

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