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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: Riccio, James A.; Bewley, Helen; Campbell-Barr, Verity; Dorsett, Richard; Hamilton, Gayle; Hoggart, Lesley; Marsh, Alan; Miller, Cynthia; Ray, Kathryn; Vegeri, Sandra
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This report presents new findings on the implementation and effectiveness of Britain's Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration programme, which is being evaluated though a large-scale randomised control trial. ERA's distinctive combination of post-employment advisory support and financial incentives was designed to help low-income individuals who entered work sustain employment and advance in the labour market.

    The analysis presented here focuses on the experiences of lone parents within the first two years following their entry onto the programme.

    Key Findings

    • ERA's implementation, which faced difficulties in the first year of operation, improved considerably over time, as staff grew more skilled in delivering a post-employment intervention.
    • Working lone parents in ERA were much more likely than those in the control group to receive retention and advancement-related help or advice from Jobcentre Plus staff.
    • Most ERA customers were aware of ERA's financial incentives, although many did...

    This report presents new findings on the implementation and effectiveness of Britain's Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration programme, which is being evaluated though a large-scale randomised control trial. ERA's distinctive combination of post-employment advisory support and financial incentives was designed to help low-income individuals who entered work sustain employment and advance in the labour market.

    The analysis presented here focuses on the experiences of lone parents within the first two years following their entry onto the programme.

    Key Findings

    • ERA's implementation, which faced difficulties in the first year of operation, improved considerably over time, as staff grew more skilled in delivering a post-employment intervention.
    • Working lone parents in ERA were much more likely than those in the control group to receive retention and advancement-related help or advice from Jobcentre Plus staff.
    • Most ERA customers were aware of ERA's financial incentives, although many did not meet the conditions for receiving them.
    • Lone parents earned substantially more than they would have without the programme, and New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) customers experienced a 24 per cent increase in earnings.
    • ERA had positive impacts on earnings, largely because it increased the proportion of lone parents working full time.
    • ERA increased the length of time that lone parents worked full time by accelerating entry into such jobs.
    • Lone parents on ERA were more likely to combine training or education with employment, and were more likely to take steps to advance in work. However, there is yet little impact of movement into 'better' jobs or an increase in qualifications.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nichols-Casebolt, Ann; Krysik, Judy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    This paper addresses the comparative economic wellbeing of never- and ever-married mother families across four Western industrialized countries. Data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) are used to describe the contribution of employment, public transfer, and child support income, as well as demographic variables, to the poverty status of these two family types. The findings are discussed within the context of what might be learned for addressing the economic risks faced by single mother families in the United States. (author abstract)

    This paper addresses the comparative economic wellbeing of never- and ever-married mother families across four Western industrialized countries. Data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) are used to describe the contribution of employment, public transfer, and child support income, as well as demographic variables, to the poverty status of these two family types. The findings are discussed within the context of what might be learned for addressing the economic risks faced by single mother families in the United States. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bowie, Stan L.; Dopwell, Donna M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    The mixed-method study examined welfare-reliant, female heads of households and the multilayered and persistent barriers they face in their attempts to obtain employment to sustain their families. The 30 respondents, aged 25–34, were African Americans and Latinas receiving various forms of public assistance and were plagued by a host of serious problems. The African American respondents were native-born American citizens who spoke only English, and almost all the Latina respondents spoke only Spanish and were born in South or Central America, Cuba, or the West Indies. A higher level of interpersonal violence was reported among the African American cohort. There were other strong contrasts between the cohorts, including the mean number of children, educational level, work experience, and type of housing. The theoretical framework for the study was liberationist feminist social work practice. The results revealed an alarming array of simultaneously occurring “metastressors” that are complex, comprehensive, suffocating to many respondents, and more difficult to resolve over time....

    The mixed-method study examined welfare-reliant, female heads of households and the multilayered and persistent barriers they face in their attempts to obtain employment to sustain their families. The 30 respondents, aged 25–34, were African Americans and Latinas receiving various forms of public assistance and were plagued by a host of serious problems. The African American respondents were native-born American citizens who spoke only English, and almost all the Latina respondents spoke only Spanish and were born in South or Central America, Cuba, or the West Indies. A higher level of interpersonal violence was reported among the African American cohort. There were other strong contrasts between the cohorts, including the mean number of children, educational level, work experience, and type of housing. The theoretical framework for the study was liberationist feminist social work practice. The results revealed an alarming array of simultaneously occurring “metastressors” that are complex, comprehensive, suffocating to many respondents, and more difficult to resolve over time. The study challenges the assumptions on which the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families operates, including its political origins and its current regulations that mandate time limits on assistance in spite of persistent national economic problems. The issue of intersectionality is explored in relation to gender and racial oppression in the United States and in terms of promoting positive social change among oppressed groups. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morris, Pamela; Michalopoulos, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This is the latest in a series of reports on the Self-Sufficiency Project. SSP is a test of a strategy to “make work pay” as a way of simultaneously addressing the problems of poverty and dependency. The participants in SSP were all single parents who had been receiving Income Assistance (IA) benefits for at least a year and, in many cases, much longer. The program that SSP offered them was a generous, but temporary, supplement to their earnings if they went to work full time and ceased receiving Income Assistance. The goal of SSP is to see whether this form of incentive is an effective way of putting more money into the hands of poor families and, at the same time, of encouraging work as a way to achieve greater economic self-sufficiency.

    The Self-Sufficiency Project is a rigorous research project that uses a random assignment evaluation design generally accepted to be the most reliable way of measuring program impacts. This is a long-term study that, ultimately, will last 10 years from start to finish.

    The opening chapters of the unfolding SSP story have been...

    This is the latest in a series of reports on the Self-Sufficiency Project. SSP is a test of a strategy to “make work pay” as a way of simultaneously addressing the problems of poverty and dependency. The participants in SSP were all single parents who had been receiving Income Assistance (IA) benefits for at least a year and, in many cases, much longer. The program that SSP offered them was a generous, but temporary, supplement to their earnings if they went to work full time and ceased receiving Income Assistance. The goal of SSP is to see whether this form of incentive is an effective way of putting more money into the hands of poor families and, at the same time, of encouraging work as a way to achieve greater economic self-sufficiency.

    The Self-Sufficiency Project is a rigorous research project that uses a random assignment evaluation design generally accepted to be the most reliable way of measuring program impacts. This is a long-term study that, ultimately, will last 10 years from start to finish.

    The opening chapters of the unfolding SSP story have been exciting. Previous reports have shown that significant numbers of single-parent, long-term IA recipients are willing and able to leave welfare for work if employment can be made a financially rewarding alternative; that SSP’s short-term impacts on full-time employment and earnings are among the largest ever seen in a rigorously evaluated welfare-to-work program; and that the effects can be even larger when the program is provided to a somewhat less disadvantaged group of IA recipients or when financial incentives are offered in combination with employment services.

    The previously published results have been based on what happened in the first 18 months after participants became eligible for SSP’s offer of financial assistance. In a companion report to this one, entitled The Self-Sufficiency Project at 36 Months: Effects of a Financial Work Incentive on Employment and Income, the results are extended for a further 18 months and show that, after 36 months, SSP’s impacts on the labour market experiences of participants remain substantial.

    SSP’s evaluation is not limited to the economic circumstances of the single parents taking part. The project is also examining the effects SSP may have had on family functioning and on the well-being of the children in these families. The results presented here show that, overall, SSP had few effects and those that were observed were quite small. For example, there is no evidence of any effects on the youngest children’s functioning. There were small positive effects on children’s cognitive and school outcomes for those in a middle-age cohort. And among the oldest children, SSP may have produced small negative effects.

    About six months ago, the operational phase of SSP concluded when the last of its participants reached the end of the period during which they were eligible to receive earnings supplements. Longer-term program impacts will be based on a subsequent survey of participants’ post-program experiences. However, we believe that the findings that SSP has produced so far are already providing policy-makers with much useful evidence to guide social policy development. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lei, Ying; Michalopoulos, Charles
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Since the mid-1990s, welfare caseloads have declined dramatically as the economy has improved and federal and provincial reforms have been implemented to encourage or require welfare recipients to work. When welfare recipients begin working, however, they typically obtain low-wage jobs that make them only slightly better off than they would be under welfare. In addition, many welfare recipients have trouble making the transition from welfare to work.

    The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) met this challenge head-on. SSP is a research and demonstration project designed to test a policy innovation that makes work pay better than welfare. Conceived and funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), managed by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and evaluated by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) and SRDC, SSP offered a temporary earnings supplement to selected long-term income assistance (IA) recipients in British Columbia and New Brunswick. The earnings supplement was a monthly cash payment available to single parents who had been...

    Since the mid-1990s, welfare caseloads have declined dramatically as the economy has improved and federal and provincial reforms have been implemented to encourage or require welfare recipients to work. When welfare recipients begin working, however, they typically obtain low-wage jobs that make them only slightly better off than they would be under welfare. In addition, many welfare recipients have trouble making the transition from welfare to work.

    The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) met this challenge head-on. SSP is a research and demonstration project designed to test a policy innovation that makes work pay better than welfare. Conceived and funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), managed by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and evaluated by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) and SRDC, SSP offered a temporary earnings supplement to selected long-term income assistance (IA) recipients in British Columbia and New Brunswick. The earnings supplement was a monthly cash payment available to single parents who had been on income assistance for at least one year and who left it for full-time work. The supplement was paid on top of earnings from employment for up to three years, as long as participants continued to work full time and remained off income assistance. While collecting the supplement, single parents received an immediate payoff from work; for those working full time at the minimum wage, total income before taxes was about twice their earnings.

    Although SSP’s financial work incentives have been found to encourage work for many (Michalopoulos et al., 2000), only about one third of people who were offered its earnings supplement were able to find jobs that allowed them to take up the offer. Many simply failed to find the full-time jobs that would have made it possible for them to participate, which raises the question of whether more of these recipients would have used the earnings supplement if they had been offered job-search and other assistance. Many of the people who did take advantage of the supplement offer soon lost their jobs, raising a second question: Would employment related services help new job takers hold onto their jobs?

    The SSP Plus program, which offered both a financial incentive and services, was designed to address these questions. To study the effects of the program, a small group of IA recipients in New Brunswick was offered both the earnings supplement and a range of employment services (SSP Plus), including help finding work, keeping a job, and advancing in a career. A second group was offered the earnings supplement only and a third group was offered neither supplement nor services. People were randomly assigned to one of these three groups. (author abstract)

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