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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: Venohr, Jane C.; Price, David A.; Van Wert, Laurie Davis; Anders, Christa M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Landmark welfare reform legislation in 1996 — the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) — changed the landscape of public assistance programs dramatically. First, PRWORA eliminated the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which was the major source of public assistance to low-income, single-parent families, and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. PRWORA also changed many policies and procedures that govern implementation of the TANF program. Among those changes, it established a 60-month lifetime limit on the receipt of cash assistance. It also eliminated the requirement that states distribute the first $50 of current child support collections to families and instead gave states the option of whether to distribute and how much of child support collections to distribute to families eligible for TANF benefits. In response to the changes authorized by PRWORA, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a child support passthrough law, which was implemented in January 2001. The law included...

    Landmark welfare reform legislation in 1996 — the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) — changed the landscape of public assistance programs dramatically. First, PRWORA eliminated the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which was the major source of public assistance to low-income, single-parent families, and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. PRWORA also changed many policies and procedures that govern implementation of the TANF program. Among those changes, it established a 60-month lifetime limit on the receipt of cash assistance. It also eliminated the requirement that states distribute the first $50 of current child support collections to families and instead gave states the option of whether to distribute and how much of child support collections to distribute to families eligible for TANF benefits. In response to the changes authorized by PRWORA, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a child support passthrough law, which was implemented in January 2001. The law included the following two key provisions of importance to TANF-eligible families: - All collections of current child support and spousal maintenance must be distributed, or passed through, to the custodial parent; and - All collections passed through to the custodial parent must reduce, dollar for dollar, the amount of cash assistance the family might otherwise have received under TANF. This is known as a zero disregard policy since passed through child support has no effect on the total income the family receives. In seeking to understand the impacts of the passthrough law, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division, contracted with  Policy Studies Inc. to conduct an evaluation. (Excerpt from executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Du, Can ; Xu, George ; Baxter, Brent
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2015

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation evaluation and cost benefit assessment of a state based program designed to improve employment outcomes in unemployed and low-income individuals.

    This powerpoint presentation from the 2015 NAWRS conference describes an implementation evaluation and cost benefit assessment of a state based program designed to improve employment outcomes in unemployed and low-income individuals.

  • Individual Author: Meckstroth, Alicia; Burwick, Andrew; Moore, Quinn; Ponza, Michael; Marsh, Shawn; McGuirk, Andrew; Novak, Tim; Zhao, Zhanyun
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Rural Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Strategies Demonstration Evaluation rigorously assessed the effectiveness of innovative programs for the rural poor. This final report presents 30-month impact and benefit-cost analysis findings for Building Nebraska Families (BNF), an intensive home visitation and life skills education program for hard-to-employ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients in rural Nebraska. The findings point to the effectiveness of BNF in increasing employment and earnings and reducing poverty among a subgroup of very hard-to-employ (“more disadvantaged”) TANF clients who faced substantial obstacles and skill deficiencies.

    BNF took an indirect approach to helping low-income people move from welfare to work and self-sufficiency. Offered in addition to Nebraska’s regular TANF program, BNF provided individualized education, mentoring, and service coordination support with the goal of improving TANF clients’ basic life skills, family functioning, and overall well-being. During interactive, home-based teaching sessions, master’s-level educators used...

    The Rural Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Strategies Demonstration Evaluation rigorously assessed the effectiveness of innovative programs for the rural poor. This final report presents 30-month impact and benefit-cost analysis findings for Building Nebraska Families (BNF), an intensive home visitation and life skills education program for hard-to-employ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients in rural Nebraska. The findings point to the effectiveness of BNF in increasing employment and earnings and reducing poverty among a subgroup of very hard-to-employ (“more disadvantaged”) TANF clients who faced substantial obstacles and skill deficiencies.

    BNF took an indirect approach to helping low-income people move from welfare to work and self-sufficiency. Offered in addition to Nebraska’s regular TANF program, BNF provided individualized education, mentoring, and service coordination support with the goal of improving TANF clients’ basic life skills, family functioning, and overall well-being. During interactive, home-based teaching sessions, master’s-level educators used research-based curricula to enhance clients’ life skills and family management practices. Low caseloads of between 12 and 18 clients allowed for intensive, individualized services.

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) and its subcontractor, Decision Information Resources, Inc., conducted the evaluation with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Using a random assignment experiment, people eligible for limited program slots were assigned to a program group (which was offered BNF) or a control group (which was not offered BNF, but which could access all other available services). Given the use of random assignment, the evaluation’s key findings—highlighted below—provide rigorous evidence of BNF’s effectiveness. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scrivener, Susan; Hendra, Richard; Redcross, Cindy; Bloom, Dan; Michalopoulos, Charles; Walter, Johanna
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Vermont's Welfare Restructuring Project (WRP) was one of the earliest statewide reform programs initiated under waivers of federal welfare rules granted before the passage of the 1996 federal welfare reform law. Operating statewide from 1994 to 2001, WRP required single-parent welfare recipients to work in a wage-paying job after they had received cash assistance for 30 months, and it offered minimum-wage community service jobs to those who could not find regular, unsubsidized jobs. If a recipient did not comply with the work requirement, the state took control of her grant, used the money to pay her bills, and required her to attend frequent meetings at the welfare office. The program also included modest financial work incentives to encourage and reward work. Vermont's current welfare program shares many features with WRP.

    MDRC evaluated WRP under contract to the State of Vermont. Between 1994 and 1996, welfare applicants and recipients were assigned at random to WRP or to the Aid to Needy Families with Children (ANFC) group, which remained subject to the prior welfare...

    Vermont's Welfare Restructuring Project (WRP) was one of the earliest statewide reform programs initiated under waivers of federal welfare rules granted before the passage of the 1996 federal welfare reform law. Operating statewide from 1994 to 2001, WRP required single-parent welfare recipients to work in a wage-paying job after they had received cash assistance for 30 months, and it offered minimum-wage community service jobs to those who could not find regular, unsubsidized jobs. If a recipient did not comply with the work requirement, the state took control of her grant, used the money to pay her bills, and required her to attend frequent meetings at the welfare office. The program also included modest financial work incentives to encourage and reward work. Vermont's current welfare program shares many features with WRP.

    MDRC evaluated WRP under contract to the State of Vermont. Between 1994 and 1996, welfare applicants and recipients were assigned at random to WRP or to the Aid to Needy Families with Children (ANFC) group, which remained subject to the prior welfare rules. (A third group received WRP’s incentives but was not subject to the work requirement.) WRP's effects were estimated by comparing how the groups fared over a six-year follow-up period. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schochet, Peter Z.; Burghardt, John; McConnell, Sheena
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    This report is the final in a series of project reports presenting impact and benefit-cost findings from this large-scale random assignment evaluation of Job Corps. The report serves two main purposes. First, it presents an additional year of earnings impacts to those presented in the previous project report (Schochet and Burghardt 2005) and updates findings from the benefit-cost analysis. Second, it places the earnings impact findings in perspective, by providing a comprehensive summary of key study findings across all project reports. Thus, this selfcontained report pulls together and interprets the main evaluation results from the past twelve years. (author abstract)

    This report is the final in a series of project reports presenting impact and benefit-cost findings from this large-scale random assignment evaluation of Job Corps. The report serves two main purposes. First, it presents an additional year of earnings impacts to those presented in the previous project report (Schochet and Burghardt 2005) and updates findings from the benefit-cost analysis. Second, it places the earnings impact findings in perspective, by providing a comprehensive summary of key study findings across all project reports. Thus, this selfcontained report pulls together and interprets the main evaluation results from the past twelve years. (author abstract)

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