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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 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: Wiseman, Michael; Newell, Gabrielle; Frohlich, Lauren; Goerge, Robert; Hahn, Heather
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Moderated by Gabrielle Newell (Administration for Children and Families/Business Strategy Consultants), this session explored how states meet work participation rate targets and spend their TANF funds; trends in program entry and exit among TANF recipients; and how states and the federal government measure employment outcomes in TANF. Michael Wiseman (Administration for Children and Families/George Washington University) served as discussant for this multifaceted exploration of TANF through data. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    Moderated by Gabrielle Newell (Administration for Children and Families/Business Strategy Consultants), this session explored how states meet work participation rate targets and spend their TANF funds; trends in program entry and exit among TANF recipients; and how states and the federal government measure employment outcomes in TANF. Michael Wiseman (Administration for Children and Families/George Washington University) served as discussant for this multifaceted exploration of TANF through data. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Rich, Sarah; Redcross, Cindy; Jacobs, Erin; Yahner, Jennifer; Pindus, Nancy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    As welfare caseloads have declined over the past decade, policymakers and administrators have focused increasingly on long-term and hard-to-employ recipients who have not made a stable transition from welfare to work. Many of these recipients face serious barriers to employment such as physical and mental health problems, substance abuse, and limited work and educational backgrounds.

    This report presents interim results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Philadelphia. The study is part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing innovative employment strategies for groups facing serious obstacles to finding and keeping a steady job. The project is 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 U.S. Department of Labor. It is being...

    As welfare caseloads have declined over the past decade, policymakers and administrators have focused increasingly on long-term and hard-to-employ recipients who have not made a stable transition from welfare to work. Many of these recipients face serious barriers to employment such as physical and mental health problems, substance abuse, and limited work and educational backgrounds.

    This report presents interim results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Philadelphia. The study is part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing innovative employment strategies for groups facing serious obstacles to finding and keeping a steady job. The project is 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 U.S. Department of Labor. It is being conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, along with the Urban Institute and other partners.

    The first approach being tested is a transitional jobs model operated by the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC). TWC quickly places participants into temporary, subsidized jobs; provides work-related supports; and then, building on this work experience, helps participants look for permanent jobs. The second model, called Success Through Employment Preparation (STEP), aims to assess and address participants’ barriers to employment — such as health problems or inadequate skills — before they go to work.

    The evaluation uses a rigorous design in which nearly 2,000 long-term and potential long-term welfare (TANF) recipients were assigned at random to TWC or STEP, or to a control group that did not participate in either program. The research team is following all three groups over time using surveys and administrative data. Results for the first 18 months show that:

    • The TWC program group members had significantly higher employment rates and earnings than the control group members, but the difference faded after the first year of follow-up. When earnings from transitional jobs and unsubsidized jobs are combined, the TWC group earned about $1,000 (26 percent) more than the control group, on average, and received significantly less welfare assistance. The earnings gains and welfare reductions largely offset one another, however, leaving the two groups with about the same total income.
    • Recipients who were assigned to the STEP program did not work or earn more, or receive less welfare, than the control group. The results may have been affected by the fact that many people who were assigned to STEP did not participate in the program for long periods.

    A later report will present results over a three-year period, but these interim results suggest some fairly clear patterns. The TWC program substantially increased employment in the short term, but this and other studies suggest that, in order to sustain impacts, transitional job programs need to help more people obtain and retain permanent jobs. The STEP program has not increased employment so far, adding to a growing body of evidence suggesting that it can be difficult to engage welfare recipients in extensive pre-employment services long enough to significantly improve their employability. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jacobs, Erin; Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    As welfare caseloads have declined over the past decade, policymakers and administrators have focused increasingly on long-term and hard-to-employ recipients who have not made a stable transition from welfare to work. Many of these recipients face serious barriers to employment, such as physical and mental health problems, substance abuse, and limited work and educational backgrounds.

    This report presents final results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Philadelphia. The study is part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing innovative employment strategies for groups facing serious obstacles to finding and keeping a steady job. The project is 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 U.S. Department of Labor. It is being...

    As welfare caseloads have declined over the past decade, policymakers and administrators have focused increasingly on long-term and hard-to-employ recipients who have not made a stable transition from welfare to work. Many of these recipients face serious barriers to employment, such as physical and mental health problems, substance abuse, and limited work and educational backgrounds.

    This report presents final results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Philadelphia. The study is part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing innovative employment strategies for groups facing serious obstacles to finding and keeping a steady job. The project is 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 U.S. Department of Labor. It is being conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, along with the Urban Institute and other partners.

    The first approach being tested is a transitional jobs model that was operated by the Transitional Work Corporation (TWC). TWC quickly placed recipients who were referred by the welfare agency into temporary, subsidized jobs; provided work-related supports; and then, building on this work experience, helped participants look for permanent jobs. The second model, called “Success Through Employment Preparation” (STEP), aimed to assess and address participants’ barriers to employment — such as health problems or inadequate skills — before they went to work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Seymour, Anthea; Armstrong, Karen; Bos, Johannes; Cadena, Brian
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Drawing on research from California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., this session explored many facets of TANF. Three researchers shared findings from recent evaluations of a significant policy change in California’s TANF agency; a subsidized employment program in Washington, D.C.; and a transitional jobs program in Colorado. This session was moderated by the director of Washington, D.C.’s TANF agency, Anthea Seymour (D.C. Department of Human Services). Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    Drawing on research from California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., this session explored many facets of TANF. Three researchers shared findings from recent evaluations of a significant policy change in California’s TANF agency; a subsidized employment program in Washington, D.C.; and a transitional jobs program in Colorado. This session was moderated by the director of Washington, D.C.’s TANF agency, Anthea Seymour (D.C. Department of Human Services). Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Wissel, Sarah; Hartog, Jacob; Sama-Miller, Emily
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Most employment and training interventions for low-income adults consist of a variety of services, strategies or approaches intended to improve employment and earnings. Many also include strategies to address other needs of the target population, such as housing. To enable quicker comparison across interventions, the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review identified a primary strategy for each multi-strategy intervention the review examined.

    Primary service strategies identified include:

    • Education
    • Training
    • Work-Readiness Activities
    • Subsidized Employment/Transitional Jobs
    • Employment Retention Services
    • Case Management
    • Financial Incentives or Sanctions
    • Supportive Services
    • Health Services

    This guide describes the process for identifying a primary strategy, and lists a primary strategy for each intervention. (author abstract)

    Most employment and training interventions for low-income adults consist of a variety of services, strategies or approaches intended to improve employment and earnings. Many also include strategies to address other needs of the target population, such as housing. To enable quicker comparison across interventions, the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review identified a primary strategy for each multi-strategy intervention the review examined.

    Primary service strategies identified include:

    • Education
    • Training
    • Work-Readiness Activities
    • Subsidized Employment/Transitional Jobs
    • Employment Retention Services
    • Case Management
    • Financial Incentives or Sanctions
    • Supportive Services
    • Health Services

    This guide describes the process for identifying a primary strategy, and lists a primary strategy for each intervention. (author abstract)

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