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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Sheely, Amanda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic...

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic distress, county practices related to administrative exclusion are largely unresponsive to changes in unemployment, child poverty, and fiscal constraints. These findings call into question the responsiveness of the devolved social safety net for poor families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Caragata, Lea; Hutchinson, Susan; Marcus, Myra; McPhee, Debra M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    The following paper provides an analysis of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the specific impact of this legislation on poor women and children. It is argued that the current political/policy climate demands that helping professionals need to rethink their intervention methods in working with poor women. Proposed is an innovative response to the needs of this constituency which utilizes Freire's (1971) theories of popular education and “conscientization” as a model. The proposed model is founded on the belief that in order to achieve lasting change and real self-sufficiency women welfare recipients will need to begin to recognize themselves as political beings with the potential for exercising both individual and collective power. Moreover, it is argued that social workers and other frontline professionals have a critical role to play in the promotion of social justice, and social action on behalf of the poor clients they serve. (author abstract)

    The following paper provides an analysis of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the specific impact of this legislation on poor women and children. It is argued that the current political/policy climate demands that helping professionals need to rethink their intervention methods in working with poor women. Proposed is an innovative response to the needs of this constituency which utilizes Freire's (1971) theories of popular education and “conscientization” as a model. The proposed model is founded on the belief that in order to achieve lasting change and real self-sufficiency women welfare recipients will need to begin to recognize themselves as political beings with the potential for exercising both individual and collective power. Moreover, it is argued that social workers and other frontline professionals have a critical role to play in the promotion of social justice, and social action on behalf of the poor clients they serve. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zedlewski, Sheila R.
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2012

    Welfare has changed dramatically since Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996. TANF can be characterized by shrinking real benefits, strategies that divert families from enrolling, and sanctions that penalize families. Data show high rates of employment barriers among adults on TANF, and a large share of TANF cases provide benefits only for the children. While evidence is scarce on strategies that move families to self-sufficiency. TANF can draw lessons from 15 years of research to improve program design.

    This brief draws primarily from a set of research briefs that address these questions (box 1).3 The briefs extract lessons for state and federal policymakers from the best available research. This synthesis, augmented by the research briefs, provides the required background for those interested in the program, as well as ideas for how to strengthen it. (author abstract)

    Welfare has changed dramatically since Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996. TANF can be characterized by shrinking real benefits, strategies that divert families from enrolling, and sanctions that penalize families. Data show high rates of employment barriers among adults on TANF, and a large share of TANF cases provide benefits only for the children. While evidence is scarce on strategies that move families to self-sufficiency. TANF can draw lessons from 15 years of research to improve program design.

    This brief draws primarily from a set of research briefs that address these questions (box 1).3 The briefs extract lessons for state and federal policymakers from the best available research. This synthesis, augmented by the research briefs, provides the required background for those interested in the program, as well as ideas for how to strengthen it. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Srivastava, Shafali; Ovwigho, Pamela Caudill; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    This exploratory study looks at the role of child support in welfare reform. Specifically, it focuses on the child support case status and child support receipt of children whose families have left Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA; Maryland s TANF program). Subsequent analyses will examine the characteristics and employment situations of the non-custodial parents of children whose families formerly received welfare as well as further address the relationship between child support receipt and welfare recidivism.

    This project came about partially as a result of policy makers emphasizing that financial self-sufficiency for single parent families can be achieved through a combination of employment, support services, and child support from the non-custodial parent. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 acknowledged the importance of child support in the welfare-to-work equation by including provisions such as new enforcement tools and programs for non-custodial parents.

    This report examines the following research questions:

    1)...

    This exploratory study looks at the role of child support in welfare reform. Specifically, it focuses on the child support case status and child support receipt of children whose families have left Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA; Maryland s TANF program). Subsequent analyses will examine the characteristics and employment situations of the non-custodial parents of children whose families formerly received welfare as well as further address the relationship between child support receipt and welfare recidivism.

    This project came about partially as a result of policy makers emphasizing that financial self-sufficiency for single parent families can be achieved through a combination of employment, support services, and child support from the non-custodial parent. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 acknowledged the importance of child support in the welfare-to-work equation by including provisions such as new enforcement tools and programs for non-custodial parents.

    This report examines the following research questions:

    1) How many former welfare recipient children are known to the Maryland child support system?
    2) How many of these children have paternity established?
    3) How many of these children have a court order for current support? What are the amounts of these orders?
    4) What proportion of former welfare caseheads receive child support in the year after exiting the welfare rolls?
    5) Is child support related to a lower probability of returning to welfare? (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Harvey, Mark H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    The 1996 welfare reform act created 50 state “workfare” systems. This study analyzes the impacts of reform on the survival strategies of single-female headed families in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The findings indicate that variation in outcomes results from the interaction of structural conditions with private network strength and that access to state support services is determined less by need than by the political-organizational goals of workfare states. The findings suggest that studies of welfare reform incorporate analyses of workfare state policies and practices into explanations of how reform affects household survival strategies and well-being. (author abstract)

    The 1996 welfare reform act created 50 state “workfare” systems. This study analyzes the impacts of reform on the survival strategies of single-female headed families in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The findings indicate that variation in outcomes results from the interaction of structural conditions with private network strength and that access to state support services is determined less by need than by the political-organizational goals of workfare states. The findings suggest that studies of welfare reform incorporate analyses of workfare state policies and practices into explanations of how reform affects household survival strategies and well-being. (author abstract)

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