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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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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Kainz, Kirsten
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Since 1965 the purpose of Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been to improve the educational outcomes of economically disadvantaged students and reduce achievement gaps. This paper presents analysis of data from a nationally representative sample of African American and Latinx kindergartners who attended public schools operating school-wide Title I programs in the 2010–11 school year. The purpose of analysis was to examine the associations between Title I programming and achievement gaps. The results indicated that African American students in high poverty, high minority schools made greater gains in reading in schools that used Title I for reduced class size. African American and Latinx students in high poverty, high minority schools made greater gains in mathematics in schools that used Title I for professional development. Findings were scrutinized via propensity score weighting, which revealed the tangled nature of school context, child and family characteristics, and student learning. Suggestions for future research include random assignment...

    Since 1965 the purpose of Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been to improve the educational outcomes of economically disadvantaged students and reduce achievement gaps. This paper presents analysis of data from a nationally representative sample of African American and Latinx kindergartners who attended public schools operating school-wide Title I programs in the 2010–11 school year. The purpose of analysis was to examine the associations between Title I programming and achievement gaps. The results indicated that African American students in high poverty, high minority schools made greater gains in reading in schools that used Title I for reduced class size. African American and Latinx students in high poverty, high minority schools made greater gains in mathematics in schools that used Title I for professional development. Findings were scrutinized via propensity score weighting, which revealed the tangled nature of school context, child and family characteristics, and student learning. Suggestions for future research include random assignment studies and local partnerships to determine effective uses of Title I monies. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edin, Kathryn; Nelson, Timothy J.; Butler, Rachel; Francis, Robert
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schilling, Samantha ; Jamison, Shaundreal ; Wood, Charles ; Perrin, Eliana; Jansen Austin, Coby ; Sheridan, Juliet; Young, Allison ; Burchinal, Margaret ; Flower, Kori B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    In 2014, Family Success Alliance (FSA) was formed as a place-based initiative to build a pipeline of programs to reduce the impact of poverty on outcomes for children living in Orange County, North Carolina. In this study, FSA parents’ perception of child health, parent and child adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and resilience were obtained by parent interview. Receipt of recommended health services were abstracted from primary care medical records of FSA children. Correlation coefficients investigated relationships among health, ACEs, and resilience. Among 87 parent-child dyads, 65% were Spanish speaking. At least 1 of the 7 ACEs measured was reported in 37% of children and 70% of parents. Parent perceptions of child health were lower than national averages. Routine preventive services included the following: autism screening at 18 months (15%) and 24 months (31%); ≥4 fluoride varnish applications (10%); lead screening (66%); and receipt of immunizations (94%). Parent perception of child health was moderately correlated with resilience. (Author abstract)

    In 2014, Family Success Alliance (FSA) was formed as a place-based initiative to build a pipeline of programs to reduce the impact of poverty on outcomes for children living in Orange County, North Carolina. In this study, FSA parents’ perception of child health, parent and child adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and resilience were obtained by parent interview. Receipt of recommended health services were abstracted from primary care medical records of FSA children. Correlation coefficients investigated relationships among health, ACEs, and resilience. Among 87 parent-child dyads, 65% were Spanish speaking. At least 1 of the 7 ACEs measured was reported in 37% of children and 70% of parents. Parent perceptions of child health were lower than national averages. Routine preventive services included the following: autism screening at 18 months (15%) and 24 months (31%); ≥4 fluoride varnish applications (10%); lead screening (66%); and receipt of immunizations (94%). Parent perception of child health was moderately correlated with resilience. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Elliott, Diana; Quakenbush, Caleb
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Washington, DC, is a city of contrasts with respect to residents’ financial security. While some residents are among the country’s most financially secure, others find it hard to make ends meet. High housing costs, unequal opportunity, and economically segregated neighborhoods make it challenging for some residents to feel financially secure and to weather unexpected expenses and emergencies.

    The city has extensive resources to support residents, ranging from policies that protect consumers to city-led programs that assist those in need to deep nonprofit capacity that helps residents improve their financial standing. But even in a city with strong supports for financial health, more can be done. To learn where gaps and opportunities exist in DC’s financial landscape, we spoke with residents about their financial challenges, how they address financial crises, the financial services they like and use most, and what financial service needs are not being met. From this knowledge, better programs can be designed to help residents shore up their financial standing.

    This...

    Washington, DC, is a city of contrasts with respect to residents’ financial security. While some residents are among the country’s most financially secure, others find it hard to make ends meet. High housing costs, unequal opportunity, and economically segregated neighborhoods make it challenging for some residents to feel financially secure and to weather unexpected expenses and emergencies.

    The city has extensive resources to support residents, ranging from policies that protect consumers to city-led programs that assist those in need to deep nonprofit capacity that helps residents improve their financial standing. But even in a city with strong supports for financial health, more can be done. To learn where gaps and opportunities exist in DC’s financial landscape, we spoke with residents about their financial challenges, how they address financial crises, the financial services they like and use most, and what financial service needs are not being met. From this knowledge, better programs can be designed to help residents shore up their financial standing.

    This brief describes the financial landscape for DC residents and the products and services that would help them most. Additionally, this brief is responsive to the city’s concurrent and ongoing policy and program conversations. For one, the DC government is investigating whether a financial empowerment center—where residents can receive financial counseling—may be needed and for whom. For another, nonprofit and government stakeholders have been discussing small-dollar loan gaps, where residents seek emergency funds, and how best to address such needs. This brief is grounded in these conversations and related questions, explored through six focus groups conducted in October and December 2018 with residents accessing financial programs through various DC nonprofit service providers. We conducted additional stakeholder interviews among leaders working within the DC government and at area nonprofits who work with people with notable financial needs of potential interest for financial empowerment center programming. These people include returning citizens, immigrants, those transitioning off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and those transitioning out of homelessness.

    The findings reveal the financial service needs that programs are not meeting and potential avenues to better help DC residents move toward greater security.

    Key findings include the following:

    • Distrust in financial institutions is prevalent. Most residents in the focus groups were banked. But there was considerable distrust of large financial institutions because of negative experiences with banks and loans. Some residents reported switching banks or credit unions after bad experiences and reported pulling money out of their accounts.
    • Residents struggle to build up savings. Most respondents reported that saving money for emergencies and long-term financial goals was difficult for such reasons as student loan payments, transportation expenses, financial disruptions, unpredictable employment, and consumer debt. Housing costs were frequently cited as the biggest expense and concern.
    • Credit access and understanding is limited. Despite an interest in improving their credit scores, respondents did not necessarily have the correct information or know the best way to achieve this goal. In addition, not all residents have access to revolving credit, and its access is limited in less affluent areas.
    • Small-dollar loans could help. Residents expressed a need for emergency cash assistance. There are few safe and affordable small-dollar loan products in DC, and none provide immediate assistance, so expanding access could help. But residents are concerned about borrowing money and being locked into an inflexible payment cycle and schedule.

    Many residents could be served well by a financial empowerment center. This includes returning citizens, people transitioning off government assistance and housing programs, and immigrants. Financial counseling and coaching, loan products, and programs that target debt management and housing expenses could offer benefits. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Bitler, Marianne; Hoynes, Hilary; Domina, Thurston
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author...

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author introduction)

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