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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Gonzales, Lisa; Hudson, Kenneth; Acker, Joan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    As part of welfare reform, many states developed programs to “divert” applicants from receiving public assistance. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data from Oregon are used to assess the outcomes of diverted women during a 21-month period in 1998 and 1999. Within nine months of their initial application, about half of those who were diverted received TANF. Prior welfare use did not increase the likelihood of TANF use. By the end of the study, half of all respondents had incomes below the federal poverty threshold, with more women dropping below the poverty level than rising above it. Neither employment nor TANF receipt during the study had a significant impact on the respondent's poverty status. (author abstract)

    As part of welfare reform, many states developed programs to “divert” applicants from receiving public assistance. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data from Oregon are used to assess the outcomes of diverted women during a 21-month period in 1998 and 1999. Within nine months of their initial application, about half of those who were diverted received TANF. Prior welfare use did not increase the likelihood of TANF use. By the end of the study, half of all respondents had incomes below the federal poverty threshold, with more women dropping below the poverty level than rising above it. Neither employment nor TANF receipt during the study had a significant impact on the respondent's poverty status. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hetling, Andrea; Ovwigho, Pamela C.; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    Cash diversion strategies, a 1996 U.S. welfare reform innovation, are intended to alleviate short-term crises and prevent the need for ongoing cash assistance among certain welfare applicants. Using administrative data, this work compares the welfare outcomes of Maryland Welfare Avoidance Grant recipients from October 1998 to September 2000 (n p 1,992) with those of a sample of welfare leavers (n p 1,219). It relies on event-history analyses and covers a 3-year follow-up period. Findings show that diversion grants lower, to a statistically significant degree, the relative odds of future cash assistance among first time welfare agency clients but have no demonstrated effect among those with a history of welfare receipt. (author abstract)

    Cash diversion strategies, a 1996 U.S. welfare reform innovation, are intended to alleviate short-term crises and prevent the need for ongoing cash assistance among certain welfare applicants. Using administrative data, this work compares the welfare outcomes of Maryland Welfare Avoidance Grant recipients from October 1998 to September 2000 (n p 1,992) with those of a sample of welfare leavers (n p 1,219). It relies on event-history analyses and covers a 3-year follow-up period. Findings show that diversion grants lower, to a statistically significant degree, the relative odds of future cash assistance among first time welfare agency clients but have no demonstrated effect among those with a history of welfare receipt. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ridzi, Frank; London, Andrew
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) encouraged states to reduce welfare caseloads. Caseload reduction can be accomplished by promoting exit for work, marriage, or other private means of support and by diverting new applicants. Most research on caseload decline has focused on welfare-to-work outcomes; less is known about processes of diversion. This study employs administrative records and ethnographic data to examine diversion in West County, New York, from 1999 to 2003. Findings demonstrate a high level of diversion and suggest that application is an ongoing and at times remedial process rather than an event. Diversion occurs at all points of the expanded TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) intake process and is associated with one-time lump sum payments as well as the hassle factor engendered by new eligibility requirements. The encumbered lives of applicants and TANF staff discretion are also implicated as factors contributing to diversion. We conclude with an analysis of the implications of TANF diversion for access to...

    The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) encouraged states to reduce welfare caseloads. Caseload reduction can be accomplished by promoting exit for work, marriage, or other private means of support and by diverting new applicants. Most research on caseload decline has focused on welfare-to-work outcomes; less is known about processes of diversion. This study employs administrative records and ethnographic data to examine diversion in West County, New York, from 1999 to 2003. Findings demonstrate a high level of diversion and suggest that application is an ongoing and at times remedial process rather than an event. Diversion occurs at all points of the expanded TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) intake process and is associated with one-time lump sum payments as well as the hassle factor engendered by new eligibility requirements. The encumbered lives of applicants and TANF staff discretion are also implicated as factors contributing to diversion. We conclude with an analysis of the implications of TANF diversion for access to benefits. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hetling, Andrea; Tracy, Kirk; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    Critics of diversion grants, lump-sum payments designed to alleviate short-term emergencies and prevent the need for ongoing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, claim that recipients use monetary amounts similar to traditional welfare recipients. This paper examines the total cash grants for two cohorts of TANF applicants: those whose applications resulted in a TANF grant and those who received a diversion grant. Multivariate regression models show that diversion leads to a reduction of $1,841.44 in cash benefit receipt during the three-year tracking period (p < 0.001). Findings suggest that diversion payments are not TANF under another name. (author abstract)

    Critics of diversion grants, lump-sum payments designed to alleviate short-term emergencies and prevent the need for ongoing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, claim that recipients use monetary amounts similar to traditional welfare recipients. This paper examines the total cash grants for two cohorts of TANF applicants: those whose applications resulted in a TANF grant and those who received a diversion grant. Multivariate regression models show that diversion leads to a reduction of $1,841.44 in cash benefit receipt during the three-year tracking period (p < 0.001). Findings suggest that diversion payments are not TANF under another name. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: London, Rebecca
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    Thirty-four states have diversion programs in place that offer lump-sum payments or service vouchers to applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who have short-term needs, enabling them to avoid beginning a spell of aid. Using data from the National Survey of America’s Families, the author finds that diversion programs appear to target applicants at the high and low ends of the educational spectrum, as well as Hispanic and married families. Diverters are substantially less likely to be employed than TANF leavers and more likely to receive food stamps. These findings suggest that the need for short-term assistance may recur. (author abstract)

    Thirty-four states have diversion programs in place that offer lump-sum payments or service vouchers to applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who have short-term needs, enabling them to avoid beginning a spell of aid. Using data from the National Survey of America’s Families, the author finds that diversion programs appear to target applicants at the high and low ends of the educational spectrum, as well as Hispanic and married families. Diverters are substantially less likely to be employed than TANF leavers and more likely to receive food stamps. These findings suggest that the need for short-term assistance may recur. (author abstract)