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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: Guo, Baorong; Huang, Jin; Porterfield, Shirley L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and...

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and without disabilities regarding changes in food security status and their health-related outcomes in the transition to adulthood. State SNAP policy variables were used as exogenous instruments to estimate the effects of SNAP participation on food security and health/healthcare use for youth and young adults with disabilities in the models of instrumental variables.

    The study’s limitations are closely examined with a focus on the constraints that we had in the DID analysis and the IV analysis. We also suggested directions for future research. Since food security likely has a profound impact on the long-term development, economic independence, and self-sufficiency, we discussed a few policy strategies that may help individuals with disabilities in their transition to adulthood. These include special outreach services to improve SNAP accessibility, an embedded alert system that serves to bring awareness of a SNAP participant’s upcoming transition to adulthood, incorporation of nutrition assistance in transition planning for youth, and better coordination of multiple public programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Copson, Elizabeth; Gardiner, Karen; Kitrosser, Daniel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous...

    This report documents the implementation and early impacts of the Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health) program, operated by Instituto del Progreso Latino, in Chicago, Illinois. The Carreras en Salud program is one promising effort aimed at helping low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete occupational training that can lead to increased employment and higher earnings. A distinctive feature of this program is its focus on training for low-income Latinos for employment in healthcare occupations, primarily Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It is among nine career pathways programs being evaluated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. The Carreras en Salud program consists of five elements: (1) a structured healthcare training pathway, starting at low skill levels; (2) contextualized and accelerated basic skills and ESL instruction; (3) academic advising and non-academic supports; (4) financial assistance; and (5) employment services. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that the Carreras en Salud program increased hours of occupational training and basic skills instruction received and the attainment of education credentials within an 18-month follow-up period. The program also increased employment in the healthcare field and resulted in a reduction of participants reporting financial hardship. Future reports will examine whether these effects translate into gains in employment and earnings. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia ; Cummings, Danielle ; Millenky, Megan; Wiegand, Andrew ; Long, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Making the successful transition to adulthood has become increasingly difficult for many young people in the United States, particularly for those without a college education. Those without a high school degree face even tougher prospects, with especially high unemployment rates and falling wages. A typical worker without a high school diploma earns less today than the same worker did in the 1970s. YouthBuild is a program that attempts to improve prospects for less-educated young people, serving over 10,000 individuals each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides hands-on, construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, case management, counseling, service to the community, and leadership-development opportunities, to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned to either a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or a control group, referred to other...

    Making the successful transition to adulthood has become increasingly difficult for many young people in the United States, particularly for those without a college education. Those without a high school degree face even tougher prospects, with especially high unemployment rates and falling wages. A typical worker without a high school diploma earns less today than the same worker did in the 1970s. YouthBuild is a program that attempts to improve prospects for less-educated young people, serving over 10,000 individuals each year at over 250 organizations nationwide. Each organization provides hands-on, construction-related or other vocational training, educational services, case management, counseling, service to the community, and leadership-development opportunities, to low-income young people ages 16 to 24 who did not complete high school.

    YouthBuild was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, in which eligible young people at participating programs were assigned to either a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or a control group, referred to other services in the community. The evaluation included 75 programs across the country and nearly 4,000 young people who enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2013. This report, the final in the evaluation, presents the program’s effects on young people after four years.

    Main Findings

    The effects observed through four years indicate that the program provides a starting point for redirecting otherwise disconnected young people, but one that could be improved upon.

    • YouthBuild increased the receipt of high school equivalency credentials.
    • YouthBuild increased enrollment in college, largely during the first two years. Very few young people had earned a degree after four years, and the program had a very small effect on degree receipt.
    • YouthBuild increased survey-reported employment rates, wages and earnings, but did not increase employment as measured with employer-provided administrative records, which might not include certain kinds of employment, such as jobs in the gig economy and other types of informal work.
    • YouthBuild increased civic engagement, largely via participation in YouthBuild services. It had no effects on other measures of positive youth development.
    • YouthBuild had few effects on involvement with the criminal justice system.

    As with many youth programs, YouthBuild’s benefits through four years do not outweigh its costs. But it is too early to draw firm conclusions about YouthBuild as an investment, since the benefits accrue over participants’ lifetimes. (Author abstract)

    YouthBuild has continued to evolve since it started in the 1970s and even since the study began. The findings from the evaluation can inform its future direction and help it have greater impact.

     

  • Individual Author: Miller, Rachel; Sevak, Purvi; Honeycutt, Todd
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief illustrates how state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use performance management tools and processes to leverage their data systems to improve their programs. VR agencies play an important role in delivering services to transition-aged youth with disabilities who are preparing to move into employment or postsecondary education. VR agencies collect, or can obtain, large amounts of data on client services and outcomes—data that can go largely underutilized. As agencies try to improve outcomes for youth clients, performance management tools can use these data to track existing outcomes and can inform program and policy changes to serve clients better. These tools are especially important, given the emphasis on performance measurement and evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and organizations like the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. (Author abstract) 

    This brief illustrates how state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use performance management tools and processes to leverage their data systems to improve their programs. VR agencies play an important role in delivering services to transition-aged youth with disabilities who are preparing to move into employment or postsecondary education. VR agencies collect, or can obtain, large amounts of data on client services and outcomes—data that can go largely underutilized. As agencies try to improve outcomes for youth clients, performance management tools can use these data to track existing outcomes and can inform program and policy changes to serve clients better. These tools are especially important, given the emphasis on performance measurement and evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and organizations like the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Theresa; Dodkowitz, Alan; Braga, Breno; Damron, Neil; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Lipman, Micaela; Martin-Caughey, Ananda; Peters, H. Elizabeth; Pratt, Eleanor; Winkler, Mary K.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

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