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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: Hamadyk, Jill; Gardiner, Karen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This brief summarizes the experiences of leaders and staff from eight career pathways programs that participated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. Based on firsthand accounts, the brief describes how staff perceived the benefits of participating in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation, the challenges they experienced—in particular recruiting study participants and implementing its random assignment procedures—and how they overcame challenges. The brief then describes lessons staff learned from participating in PACE. The insights presented below will be helpful for future evaluation teams as they approach potential study sites, as well as for programs considering participating in a rigorous evaluation. (Edited author introduction)

     

    This brief summarizes the experiences of leaders and staff from eight career pathways programs that participated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. Based on firsthand accounts, the brief describes how staff perceived the benefits of participating in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation, the challenges they experienced—in particular recruiting study participants and implementing its random assignment procedures—and how they overcame challenges. The brief then describes lessons staff learned from participating in PACE. The insights presented below will be helpful for future evaluation teams as they approach potential study sites, as well as for programs considering participating in a rigorous evaluation. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Guarin, Angela; Hodges, Leslie; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The purpose of this report is to begin to fill in the blanks by documenting the characteristics of more than 10,000 noncustodial parents who participated in the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration program (CSPED).  The federally funded intervention was operated by child support agency grantees within eight eligible states, and served noncustodial parents who were behind on child support payments and experiencing employment difficulties. (Author introduction)

    The purpose of this report is to begin to fill in the blanks by documenting the characteristics of more than 10,000 noncustodial parents who participated in the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration program (CSPED).  The federally funded intervention was operated by child support agency grantees within eight eligible states, and served noncustodial parents who were behind on child support payments and experiencing employment difficulties. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wood, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout...

    The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

    Grantees designated 18 implementation sites, ranging from one to five counties per grantee. Grantees enrolled participants in the demonstration over a three year period, from October 2013 through September 2016. Half of the demonstration's 10,161 enrollees were randomly assigned to receive CSPED services, including enhanced child support services, employment assistance, parenting education delivered in a peer-supported format and case management. Half were assigned to a control group and did not receive extra services. On average, participants assigned to the extra services group received about 22 hours of services. 

    As the report describes, throughout the demonstration, CSPED grantees and their partners grappled with a complex array of challenges. These included reorienting child support staff and systems toward helping low-income noncustodial parents obtain employment; recruiting noncustodial parents to enroll in CSPED; keeping participants engaged in services; addressing participants' barriers to employment; establishing partnerships and meshing different organizational cultures; and helping participants with parenting time issues.

    The successes and challenges experienced by CSPED grantees offer important insights into strategies from which future programs serving similar populations can learn, adapt, and innovate. These include investing in strong partnerships and communication systems; drawing on strong leaders with a commitment to facilitating a cultural shift towards a customer-oriented apporach within child support agencies; staffing programs with employees who support CSPED's goals, and hiring and retaining a sufficient number of staff to manage large and challening caseloads; developing services that take into account the substantial barriers to employment faced by the target population; and designing services to promote sustained participant engagement. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wood, Robert G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The final impact report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on March 14, 2019. The primary goal of the intervention was to improve the reliable payment of child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. Key outcomes related to noncustodial parents' (1) child support orders, payments and compliance, as well as attitudes toward the child support program; (2) work and earnings; (3) sense of responsibility for their children.

    Over 10,000 noncustodial parents with difficulty meeting their child support obligations were enrolled between October 2013 and 2016; half were randomly assigned to receive extra services as part of CPSED while the other half received regular services. The evaluation results are based on a comparison of outcomes between these two groups, drawing on data from administrative records and surveys administered at enrollment and one year later. 

    As described in the report, results show that the program led to modest declines in child support orders (consistent with "...

    The final impact report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on March 14, 2019. The primary goal of the intervention was to improve the reliable payment of child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. Key outcomes related to noncustodial parents' (1) child support orders, payments and compliance, as well as attitudes toward the child support program; (2) work and earnings; (3) sense of responsibility for their children.

    Over 10,000 noncustodial parents with difficulty meeting their child support obligations were enrolled between October 2013 and 2016; half were randomly assigned to receive extra services as part of CPSED while the other half received regular services. The evaluation results are based on a comparison of outcomes between these two groups, drawing on data from administrative records and surveys administered at enrollment and one year later. 

    As described in the report, results show that the program led to modest declines in child support orders (consistent with "right-sizing" these orders), and even smaller reductions in payments. While there was no significant change in child support compliance, CSPED resulted in major improvements in noncustodial parents' attitudes towards the program. There was some evidence of increases in earnings, but not in employment. Noncustodial parents' sense of responsibility to their children also increased. 

    The evaluation suggests that the potential exists for child support agencies to lead broader interventions, incorporating components beyond child support services alone, aimed at helping unemployed and underemployed noncustodial parents to increase the reliability of their financial support for their children. Results suggest these effects can improve noncustodial parents' attitudes towards the child support program and sense of responsibility for their children, and reduce punitive enforcement with bigger impacts on right-sizing orders than on reducing payments. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Goesling, Brian; Wood, Robert G.; Covington, Reginald D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    This report presents evidence on the early impacts of the Wise Guys Male Responsibility Curriculum in middle schools in and near the city of Davenport, Iowa. In recent years, researchers and policymakers have increasingly recognized and prioritized the need to support young men in achieving positive educational and career outcomes and becoming responsible fathers. However, many of these efforts target young men only after they become fathers. The related issue of how to help adolescent males make responsible decisions about their sexual behavior and avoid early entry into fatherhood has received considerably less attention. Recognizing the need for research on programs designed to support adolescent males, the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a rigorous evaluation of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. The program was delivered by trained staff from a local nonprofit social service provider, Bethany for Children & Families, with federal grant funding to the Iowa...

    Introduction

    This report presents evidence on the early impacts of the Wise Guys Male Responsibility Curriculum in middle schools in and near the city of Davenport, Iowa. In recent years, researchers and policymakers have increasingly recognized and prioritized the need to support young men in achieving positive educational and career outcomes and becoming responsible fathers. However, many of these efforts target young men only after they become fathers. The related issue of how to help adolescent males make responsible decisions about their sexual behavior and avoid early entry into fatherhood has received considerably less attention. Recognizing the need for research on programs designed to support adolescent males, the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a rigorous evaluation of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. The program was delivered by trained staff from a local nonprofit social service provider, Bethany for Children & Families, with federal grant funding to the Iowa Department of Public Health from the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

    Purpose

    This report is the second in a series on the implementation and impacts of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools. It presents evidence on the program’s early impacts after one year. It also documents the study methods. An earlier process study report described the design and implementation of the program. A future report will present evidence on the program’s longer-term impacts after two years. The report presents evidence on the early impacts of Wise Guys on boys’ exposure to information on healthy relationships and reproductive health topics; knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections; attitudes toward relationships, sexual activity, and condom use; motivation to avoid getting someone pregnant; intentions to have sex; goal-setting abilities; and communication skills.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    • After one year, Wise Guys increased boys’ exposure to information on healthy relationships and reproductive health topics.
    • Wise Guys increased boys’ knowledge of contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and their level of agreement with statements about the importance of condom use among sexually active youth.
    • After one year, the program did not change boys’ motivation to avoid getting someone pregnant, intentions to have sex, relationship attitudes, goal-setting abilities, or communication skills.
    • Few boys in the study sample reported having ever had sexual intercourse, as was expected at the time of the one-year follow-up survey because of their young ages.

    Methods

    To test the effectiveness of Wise Guys in Davenport middle schools, the study team used a random assignment evaluation design. Boys assigned to the treatment group could attend the Wise Guys sessions during the regular school day as an elective supplement to the regular school curriculum. Boys assigned to the control group could not attend Wise Guys but continued to receive the sexuality and reproductive health education provided as part of the regular school curriculum. The study team enrolled and randomly assigned a total of 736 boys over three consecutive school years, from 2013–2014 to 2015–2016. Boys in both research groups completed a baseline survey upon enrolling in the study and follow-up surveys one and two years later. Data from the one-year follow-up survey are the focus of this report. (Author introduction)

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