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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: Hanson, Karla L.; Connor, Leah; Olson, Christine M.; Mills, Gregory
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    This mixed-methods study explored the circumstances and coping strategies of households at risk of food insecurity among children. Quantitative analyses guided the selection of two samples of households: (1) at risk for food insecure children, yet children were food secure (n = 19) and (2) with food insecure children (n = 54). Qualitative interviews with parents revealed that households with food insecure children were complex and fluctuating in composition and had unpredictable earnings. Coping strategies were similar in both samples, except that households with at risk yet food secure children described home cooking, a household coping strategy that may be attributed to their stable household composition and resources. (Author abstract)

    This mixed-methods study explored the circumstances and coping strategies of households at risk of food insecurity among children. Quantitative analyses guided the selection of two samples of households: (1) at risk for food insecure children, yet children were food secure (n = 19) and (2) with food insecure children (n = 54). Qualitative interviews with parents revealed that households with food insecure children were complex and fluctuating in composition and had unpredictable earnings. Coping strategies were similar in both samples, except that households with at risk yet food secure children described home cooking, a household coping strategy that may be attributed to their stable household composition and resources. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Allard, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Allard, Scott W.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Several research questions emerge as we consider the challenges of administering social service programs to poor populations. Where do our communities provide assistance to poor and near-poor households? Do gaps or mismatches in access to social services exist in our communities? How do providers finance services for low-income populations and do these revenue streams shift frequently? How often do cuts in funding lead to instabilities or inconsistencies in service delivery?

    To begin to answer these questions, this chapter examines data from the Multi-City Survey of Social Service Providers (MSSSP) and the Rural Survey of Social Service Providers (RSSSP), which I conducted with social service providers helping low-income populations in three metropolitan areas and four multi-county rural sites respectively between November 2004 and June 2006. Working from a detailed database of service providers in each site, trained interviewers conducted over 2,200 telephone interviews with program managers and executive directors. Each survey contains detailed geographically-sensitive...

    Several research questions emerge as we consider the challenges of administering social service programs to poor populations. Where do our communities provide assistance to poor and near-poor households? Do gaps or mismatches in access to social services exist in our communities? How do providers finance services for low-income populations and do these revenue streams shift frequently? How often do cuts in funding lead to instabilities or inconsistencies in service delivery?

    To begin to answer these questions, this chapter examines data from the Multi-City Survey of Social Service Providers (MSSSP) and the Rural Survey of Social Service Providers (RSSSP), which I conducted with social service providers helping low-income populations in three metropolitan areas and four multi-county rural sites respectively between November 2004 and June 2006. Working from a detailed database of service providers in each site, trained interviewers conducted over 2,200 telephone interviews with program managers and executive directors. Each survey contains detailed geographically-sensitive information on services provided, clients served, funding, and organizational characteristics from a range of governmental, nonprofit, and faith-based social service providers.  

    This chapter will proceed as follows. First, I briefly present a history of the American safety net that explains how social service programs have become central components within our local safety nets. Next, I explain how the current service-based safety net is more sensitive to the spatial location of service agencies than is typically understood.  In addition, I discuss how funding for social service programs is less counter-cyclical and more volatile than aggregate federal expenditure data would suggest. Drawing upon data from the MSSSP and RSSSP, I explore social service provision within several different rural and urban settings.  In particular, I focus upon mismatches and instabilities within the provision of social service programs. Finally, I conclude by discussing the implications of a patchworked and volatile service-based safety net for future social welfare policymaking. (author introduction)

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