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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: Farrell, Mary; Morrison, Carly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is...

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is statistically significant at the 10 percent level (which suggests that it is due to the Start Smart intervention rather than random chance), and represents a 9 percent increase in payments made during the first month. Start Smart did not produce statistically significant differences in payments made in the second or third month. (Edited author overview)

  • Individual Author: Walton, Douglas; Harvill, Eleanor L.; Peck, Laura R.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    In 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the first round of five-year grants from the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) Program to 32 organizations in 23 states; five were tribal organizations. The purpose of the HPOG Program is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. HPOG 1.0 grantees designed and implemented programs to provide eligible participants with education, occupational training, support, and employment services to help them train for and find jobs in a variety of healthcare professions.

    This paper uses variation in program characteristics—including program components, implementation features, local context, and participant traits—to explore which characteristics are associated with the size of HPOG’s short-term impact on participant...

    In 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the first round of five-year grants from the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) Program to 32 organizations in 23 states; five were tribal organizations. The purpose of the HPOG Program is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. HPOG 1.0 grantees designed and implemented programs to provide eligible participants with education, occupational training, support, and employment services to help them train for and find jobs in a variety of healthcare professions.

    This paper uses variation in program characteristics—including program components, implementation features, local context, and participant traits—to explore which characteristics are associated with the size of HPOG’s short-term impact on participant outcomes. We examine the relationship between program characteristics and impacts on four key HPOG outcomes—educational progress, employment, employment in healthcare, and earnings. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Harvill, Eleanor; Litwok, Daniel; Schwartz, Deena; De La Rosa, Siobhan Mills; Saunders, Correne; Bell, Stephen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance applicants in New York City. From 2015 to 2016, the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration administered two JSA programs for “job ready” cash assistance applicants: Back to Work (known as B2W, the pre-existing program) and Independent Job Search (IJS, a new program). The study examined the effects of these programs on cash assistance applicants, including both families with children and single, childless adults, who were determined to be able to work and who might need less job search assistance than other applicants.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study did not find a difference in employment rates or earnings during the six month follow-up period. However, compared to the IJS program, the B2W program increased the rate at which cash assistance applications were denied for not meeting application requirements and decreased the receipt of...

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance applicants in New York City. From 2015 to 2016, the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration administered two JSA programs for “job ready” cash assistance applicants: Back to Work (known as B2W, the pre-existing program) and Independent Job Search (IJS, a new program). The study examined the effects of these programs on cash assistance applicants, including both families with children and single, childless adults, who were determined to be able to work and who might need less job search assistance than other applicants.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study did not find a difference in employment rates or earnings during the six month follow-up period. However, compared to the IJS program, the B2W program increased the rate at which cash assistance applications were denied for not meeting application requirements and decreased the receipt of cash assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. While participation in job search assistance services was high for both groups, compared to IJS, those assigned to the B2W program were more likely to participate in group and one-on-one activities and to attend these activities for a greater number of hours. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Harvill, Eleanor; Saunders, Correne; Litwok, Daniel; Meckstroth, Alicia; Bates, Steve
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance recipients in Sacramento County, California. From 2016 to 2018, the Sacramento County’s Department of Human Assistance operated two JSA programs for cash assistance recipients who were required to work: Standard Job Club and Fast Track Job Club.

    While cash assistance recipients in both programs were generally expected to participate in job search activities or search for work for 35 hours per week, recipients in the Standard Job Club participated in three weeks of instruction on job search and soft skills in a group setting followed by five weeks of daily on-site supervised job search. In contrast, in the Fast Track Job Club program, recipients participated in three-and-a-half days of group job search assistance, followed by seven weeks of independent job search with weekly on-site meetings. Participation in both programs was required, and recipients faced a sanction, in the form of...

    This report describes the implementation and impact study findings from an evaluation of the relative effectiveness of two approaches to providing job search assistance (JSA) to cash assistance recipients in Sacramento County, California. From 2016 to 2018, the Sacramento County’s Department of Human Assistance operated two JSA programs for cash assistance recipients who were required to work: Standard Job Club and Fast Track Job Club.

    While cash assistance recipients in both programs were generally expected to participate in job search activities or search for work for 35 hours per week, recipients in the Standard Job Club participated in three weeks of instruction on job search and soft skills in a group setting followed by five weeks of daily on-site supervised job search. In contrast, in the Fast Track Job Club program, recipients participated in three-and-a-half days of group job search assistance, followed by seven weeks of independent job search with weekly on-site meetings. Participation in both programs was required, and recipients faced a sanction, in the form of a grant reduction, if they did not comply.

    Using a rigorous research design, the study did not find a difference in employment rates, earnings, or the receipt of public assistance during the six month follow-up period. While participation in job search assistance services was high for both groups, compared to the Fast Track Job Club, those assigned to the Standard Job Club participated more frequently in group and one-on-one job search activities. In spite of the more rigorous participation requirement of the Standard Job Club, the sanction rates were the same for the two programs and it did not affect employment or public assistance outcomes. (Author abstract)

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