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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: McGranahan, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Poverty always signifies economic stress, but poverty among children is particularly problematic as it can be detrimental to health and economic well-being as they make their way to adulthood. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) showed that nearly 2.6 million nonmetropolitan children younger than 18 years old lived in families with incomes below the official poverty line. The overall nonmetropolitan area child poverty rate of 26 percent was markedly higher than the 1999 rate of 19 percent reported for the same area in the 2000 Census. It was also higher than the 2013 metropolitan rate of 21 percent (up from 16 percent in 1999).

    The problem of high and rising rural child poverty has been widespread but not pandemic across rural areas. Child poverty rates varied considerably across nonmetropolitan (rural) counties according to 2009 to 2013 county averages (county data on poverty are only available from the ACS for 5-year averages). One in five rural counties had child poverty rates of over 33 percent in 2009/13, but another one in five had child...

    Poverty always signifies economic stress, but poverty among children is particularly problematic as it can be detrimental to health and economic well-being as they make their way to adulthood. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) showed that nearly 2.6 million nonmetropolitan children younger than 18 years old lived in families with incomes below the official poverty line. The overall nonmetropolitan area child poverty rate of 26 percent was markedly higher than the 1999 rate of 19 percent reported for the same area in the 2000 Census. It was also higher than the 2013 metropolitan rate of 21 percent (up from 16 percent in 1999).

    The problem of high and rising rural child poverty has been widespread but not pandemic across rural areas. Child poverty rates varied considerably across nonmetropolitan (rural) counties according to 2009 to 2013 county averages (county data on poverty are only available from the ACS for 5-year averages). One in five rural counties had child poverty rates of over 33 percent in 2009/13, but another one in five had child poverty rates of less than 16 percent. Overall, county average rates of child poverty rose from 20 percent to 25 percent over 1999-2009/13, with the proportion of counties with child poverty rates of over 33 percent doubling in this period. Meanwhile, estimated child poverty rates declined in one in five counties. To better understand this diversity of experience, we examine three factors shaping the geography of the change in rural child poverty over this period: changing economic conditions, young adult education, and family structure. (Author introduction)

     

  • 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)

  • Individual Author: Rural Policy Research Institute
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    State caseloads have decreased across the nation, with declines in both rural and urban areas of the country. Welfare reform and a strong national economy are both important factors producing these changes.

    There is no clear evidence about what is happening to former recipients after they leave the rolls. Recent reports provide a mixed review. Studies indicate that more recipients are finding employment, and that the overall child poverty rate is declining. Many studies also indicate that work is not available for everyone leaving the welfare rolls, and in cases where individuals do find work, it has not necessarily lifted families out of poverty. Furthermore, these outcomes seem to differ across regions and across rural and urban areas.

    This report takes a deeper look at early evidence of rural outcomes over the two years since the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act was implemented. Analysis of the March 1998 Current Population Survey, county caseload data, and other sources reveals important differences in rural and urban outcomes...

    State caseloads have decreased across the nation, with declines in both rural and urban areas of the country. Welfare reform and a strong national economy are both important factors producing these changes.

    There is no clear evidence about what is happening to former recipients after they leave the rolls. Recent reports provide a mixed review. Studies indicate that more recipients are finding employment, and that the overall child poverty rate is declining. Many studies also indicate that work is not available for everyone leaving the welfare rolls, and in cases where individuals do find work, it has not necessarily lifted families out of poverty. Furthermore, these outcomes seem to differ across regions and across rural and urban areas.

    This report takes a deeper look at early evidence of rural outcomes over the two years since the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act was implemented. Analysis of the March 1998 Current Population Survey, county caseload data, and other sources reveals important differences in rural and urban outcomes under welfare reform. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burchinal, Margaret; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Vitiello, Virginia; Greenberg, Mark; The Family Life Project Key Investigators
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    This study examined whether a minimum level of preschool quality (threshold) is needed in order for a relationship to exist between preschool quality and children's academic, behavioral, and working memory in a sample of children from low-wealth rural communities where quality child care has been found to be lower than more urban communities. Participants included 849 children from two high-poverty, rural regions. Preschool quality was rated using the CLASS observational measure. Child outcomes included direct assessments of early language, mathematics, and working memory, as well as teacher ratings of attention, emotion regulation, problem behaviors, and peer relationships. Analyses included piecewise regression analyses that tested a priori specified cut-points and flexible b-spline analyses that tested for thresholds empirically. Results indicated some evidence for quality thresholds, suggesting that quality was related to children's behavioral outcomes above, but not below, a cut-point. Language, literacy, and working memory did not show evidence of threshold effects....

    This study examined whether a minimum level of preschool quality (threshold) is needed in order for a relationship to exist between preschool quality and children's academic, behavioral, and working memory in a sample of children from low-wealth rural communities where quality child care has been found to be lower than more urban communities. Participants included 849 children from two high-poverty, rural regions. Preschool quality was rated using the CLASS observational measure. Child outcomes included direct assessments of early language, mathematics, and working memory, as well as teacher ratings of attention, emotion regulation, problem behaviors, and peer relationships. Analyses included piecewise regression analyses that tested a priori specified cut-points and flexible b-spline analyses that tested for thresholds empirically. Results indicated some evidence for quality thresholds, suggesting that quality was related to children's behavioral outcomes above, but not below, a cut-point. Language, literacy, and working memory did not show evidence of threshold effects. Results are discussed in the context of prior mixed evidence for child care quality thresholds in other samples of predominantly low-income preschoolers in center-based child care in more urban areas. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: De Marco, Allison; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    RESEARCH FINDINGS: Prior research with older urban children indicates that disadvantaged neighborhood context is associated with poorer early development, including poorer verbal ability, reading recognition, and achievement scores among children. Neighborhood disadvantage in rural communities and at younger age levels may also be related to development; however this relationship has received little examination. In this study we utilize data from the Family Life Project, a representative sample of babies born to mothers in poor rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to address questions related to the relationship between neighborhood context (disadvantage and safety) and children's early language development. We examine mediation of this relationship by child care quality. We also examine geographic isolation and collective socialization as moderators of the relationship between neighborhood context and child care quality. Results indicated that while neighborhood disadvantage did not predict children's development or child care quality, neighborhood...

    RESEARCH FINDINGS: Prior research with older urban children indicates that disadvantaged neighborhood context is associated with poorer early development, including poorer verbal ability, reading recognition, and achievement scores among children. Neighborhood disadvantage in rural communities and at younger age levels may also be related to development; however this relationship has received little examination. In this study we utilize data from the Family Life Project, a representative sample of babies born to mothers in poor rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to address questions related to the relationship between neighborhood context (disadvantage and safety) and children's early language development. We examine mediation of this relationship by child care quality. We also examine geographic isolation and collective socialization as moderators of the relationship between neighborhood context and child care quality. Results indicated that while neighborhood disadvantage did not predict children's development or child care quality, neighborhood safety predicted children's receptive language, with child care quality a partial mediator of this relationship. Collective socialization but not geographic isolation moderated the relationship between neighborhood safety and child care quality.

    PRACTICE OR POLICY: Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed, including improving community safety through community policing, neighborhood watch, and social networks and increasing access to quality child care. (Author abstract)

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