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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: Lahti, Michel; Sabol, Terri; Starr, Rebecca; Langill, Carolyn; Tout, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In a recent Brief produced through the Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium – INQUIRE – Zellman and Fiene (2012) provide a framework to guide QRIS validation and examples of the activities that could be conducted as part of validation efforts. The current Brief serves as a companion to the 2012 INQUIRE Brief by providing detailed examples and findings from the validation activities in four states: Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Virginia. The purpose of this Brief is to demonstrate how different states have approached QRIS validation, to compare findings, and to highlight challenges in designing and conducting QRIS validation studies.

    The picture that emerges from the synthesis of findings across the four states and across the validation approaches is mixed. For instance, the results of efforts to validate the quality standards and indicators in QRIS generally have been successful. Efforts to review how well measures are functioning, however, reveal concerns about limited variation on some measures and QRIS structures that are producing skewed distribution...

    In a recent Brief produced through the Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium – INQUIRE – Zellman and Fiene (2012) provide a framework to guide QRIS validation and examples of the activities that could be conducted as part of validation efforts. The current Brief serves as a companion to the 2012 INQUIRE Brief by providing detailed examples and findings from the validation activities in four states: Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Virginia. The purpose of this Brief is to demonstrate how different states have approached QRIS validation, to compare findings, and to highlight challenges in designing and conducting QRIS validation studies.

    The picture that emerges from the synthesis of findings across the four states and across the validation approaches is mixed. For instance, the results of efforts to validate the quality standards and indicators in QRIS generally have been successful. Efforts to review how well measures are functioning, however, reveal concerns about limited variation on some measures and QRIS structures that are producing skewed distribution of programs across the rating levels. There are some indications that QRIS levels are distinct with respect to measures of observed quality, but only in the QRIS that used the observational measures as part of the rating process. Finally, validation studies that included measures of children’s developmental progress indicate limited support for linkages between these measures of children’s growth, QRIS ratings and program quality elements. The findings suggest that further work is needed to strengthen the ability of QRIS ratings to serve as meaningful markers of program quality. A key theme discussed in the brief is that the information gained from validation efforts can serve as a critical tool for guiding initial design of QRIS, redesign efforts and continuous quality improvement. Zellman and Fiene (2012) emphasize that validation studies do not produce “yes” or “no” answers about QRIS but provide data that can support QRIS in a process of refining and improving. As such, validation efforts must be timed appropriately and aligned with a clear decision-making framework for how the findings will be used. In the four states highlighted in this Brief, researchers partnered with state agency leaders and other QRIS stakeholders to assist in developing a validation plan that could support QRIS development as well as a process for reviewing and interpreting findings so that the results could be applied appropriately. As states continue implementation of QRIS, administrators and stakeholders are encouraged to engage in validation efforts that can inform their systems and move progressively toward the provision of effective services. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burt, Martha R.; Carpenter, Jenneth; Hall, Samuel G.; Henderson, Kathryn A.; Rog, Debra J.; Hornik, John A.; Denton, Ann V.; Moran, Garrett E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    In 2000, HUD, in recognition that any solution to homelessness must emphasize housing, targeted its McKinney-Vento Act homeless competitive programs towards housing activities. This policy decision presumed that mainstream programs such as Medicaid, TANF and General Assistance could pick up the slack produced by the change. This study examines how seven communities sought to improve homeless people’s access to mainstream services following this shift away from funding services through the Supportive Housing Program (SHP). By examining the different organizations used and activities undertaken by communities to maximize homeless people’s access to mainstream benefits and services, this study provides communities with models and strategies that they can use. It also highlights the limits of what even the most resourceful of communities can do to enhance service and benefit access by homeless families and individuals. (author abstract)

    In 2000, HUD, in recognition that any solution to homelessness must emphasize housing, targeted its McKinney-Vento Act homeless competitive programs towards housing activities. This policy decision presumed that mainstream programs such as Medicaid, TANF and General Assistance could pick up the slack produced by the change. This study examines how seven communities sought to improve homeless people’s access to mainstream services following this shift away from funding services through the Supportive Housing Program (SHP). By examining the different organizations used and activities undertaken by communities to maximize homeless people’s access to mainstream benefits and services, this study provides communities with models and strategies that they can use. It also highlights the limits of what even the most resourceful of communities can do to enhance service and benefit access by homeless families and individuals. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Golonka, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bellotti, Jeanne; Sattar, Samina; Gould-Werth, Alix; Berk, Jillian; Gutierrez, Ivette; Stein, Jillian; Betesh, Hannah; Ochoa, Lindsay; Wiegand, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs...

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs when the DOL-funded grant ended. The grants covered 9 months of planning and 15 months of service delivery, with many grantees receiving up to a one-year no-cost extension to finish spending down remaining grant resources. Grantees were geographically diverse, located in 13 states across 5 DOL regions, and involved a total of 22 county jails.

    Workforce development, corrections, and other partners, as well as participants, identified many successes along with significant challenges and promising strategies to address them. The qualitative evidence collected through this implementation evaluation suggests that introducing new services, partnerships, and ways of thinking about reentry hold promise for lasting effects on the workforce and corrections systems in some sites. The experiences of the LEAP grantees highlight important lessons learned and some areas for continued refinement or potential replication in similar or different contexts. Although this implementation evaluation cannot make causal claims, the evidence suggests that it is possible to use jail-based AJCs to link participants to post-release services and that this may be a promising approach to support returning individuals in successful reentry. (Edited author executive summary)

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