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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: 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: 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: Mills, Gregory; Kornfeld, Robert; Porcari, Diane; Laliberty, Don
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    This report presents the findings of the final phase of a five-year evaluation of welfare reforms implemented by the Arizona Department of Economic Security under two major initiatives that altered the rules and procedures for providing cash assistance to low-income families.

    The first set of reforms was implemented in November 1995 under the title EMPOWER, for “Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility.” These policy changes included time-limited assistance, a family benefit cap, restricted eligibility for unwed minor parents, mandatory JOBS participation for teen parents, stricter JOBS sanctions, extended Transitional Medical Assistance and Transitional Child Care, elimination of the 100-hour rule for two-parent families, and individual development accounts.

    The second set of reforms, entitled EMPOWER Redesign and referred to in this report simply as “Redesign,” was implemented in August 1997. These changes included the use of a Personal Responsibility Agreement, imposition of progressive sanctions (including possible loss of the full...

    This report presents the findings of the final phase of a five-year evaluation of welfare reforms implemented by the Arizona Department of Economic Security under two major initiatives that altered the rules and procedures for providing cash assistance to low-income families.

    The first set of reforms was implemented in November 1995 under the title EMPOWER, for “Employing and Moving People Off Welfare and Encouraging Responsibility.” These policy changes included time-limited assistance, a family benefit cap, restricted eligibility for unwed minor parents, mandatory JOBS participation for teen parents, stricter JOBS sanctions, extended Transitional Medical Assistance and Transitional Child Care, elimination of the 100-hour rule for two-parent families, and individual development accounts.

    The second set of reforms, entitled EMPOWER Redesign and referred to in this report simply as “Redesign,” was implemented in August 1997. These changes included the use of a Personal Responsibility Agreement, imposition of progressive sanctions (including possible loss of the full family benefit) for non-compliance with program requirements (relating to JOBS, child support enforcement, school attendance, and child immunization), removal of adult exemptions from JOBS participation (with a limited number of deferrals), and local office administrative reforms aimed at co-locating program services and establishing a more employment-focused “work first” pattern of client flow. Under the latter reforms, applicants attended a group orientation session and were offered job-finding resources (including a resource center) before being considered for cash assistance and other transitional income support, and before receiving employment-related services (including job-readiness classes).

    Overall, this final phase of the evaluation found that the Arizona welfare recipients who were among the first subject to the EMPOWER reforms have continued to show general improvement in their economic circumstances, as followed for four years since implementation of the reforms. A significant minority, however, have experienced financial hardships. Although most have gone off welfare and now consider themselves better-off, many feel financially insecure. Among recent welfare applicants, most view favorably the changes in local offices, as adopted under Redesign, to co-locate programs and establish a “work first” emphasis in providing services to clients. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This publication provides an in-depth, systematic description of program implementation, operations, outputs, and outcomes of four Tribal TANF programs (the Navajo Nation Program for Self-Reliance, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Athabascan Self-Sufficiency Assistance Project, and South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency).  The publication also identifies promising practices and other areas for further study.

    Overall, the study found that tribes use the flexibility of Tribal TANF to create diverse programs that reflect their unique circumstances, opportunities, and cultures.  Elements of tribal culture were evident in the program design, in the way program staff and clients interacted, and in the types of activities in which clients were engaged.  The Tribal TANF programs in the study generally focus on the broad goal of self-sufficiency, beyond the narrower goal of employment. (Author abstract)

     

    This publication provides an in-depth, systematic description of program implementation, operations, outputs, and outcomes of four Tribal TANF programs (the Navajo Nation Program for Self-Reliance, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Athabascan Self-Sufficiency Assistance Project, and South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency).  The publication also identifies promising practices and other areas for further study.

    Overall, the study found that tribes use the flexibility of Tribal TANF to create diverse programs that reflect their unique circumstances, opportunities, and cultures.  Elements of tribal culture were evident in the program design, in the way program staff and clients interacted, and in the types of activities in which clients were engaged.  The Tribal TANF programs in the study generally focus on the broad goal of self-sufficiency, beyond the narrower goal of employment. (Author abstract)

     

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