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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: Doolittle, Fred; Lynn, Suzanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program. Later reports in the project will continue the story, examining the implementation of PFS’s enhanced child support enforcement for noncustodial parents referred to the program and estimating program impacts on payment of child support and other key outcomes. (author abstract)

    Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program. Later reports in the project will continue the story, examining the implementation of PFS’s enhanced child support enforcement for noncustodial parents referred to the program and estimating program impacts on payment of child support and other key outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Doolittle, Fred; Knox, Virginia; Miller, Cynthia; Rowser, Sharon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Over the past 25 years, policymakers have come to acknowledge the link between lack of child support and the pressing problem of child poverty for a broad range of American families. With over 20 million children under age 18 now living with only one parent or neither parent, there is an urgency to develop more effective methods for obtaining support from noncustodial parents. Much of the public concern about child support has focused on the noncustodial parents (usually fathers) of children receiving welfare, a group for whom earnings and support payments tend to be low. Interest in these families has also been heightened by recent changes in federally funded public assistance, which are gradually leading states to impose various time limits on aid. Since poor families will have to rely even more on nongovernment sources of income in the future, their stake in successful child support enforcement (CSE) has dramatically increased.

    The noncustodial parents of children receiving welfare have largely been left out of the reform debate and programmatic initiatives, except as...

    Over the past 25 years, policymakers have come to acknowledge the link between lack of child support and the pressing problem of child poverty for a broad range of American families. With over 20 million children under age 18 now living with only one parent or neither parent, there is an urgency to develop more effective methods for obtaining support from noncustodial parents. Much of the public concern about child support has focused on the noncustodial parents (usually fathers) of children receiving welfare, a group for whom earnings and support payments tend to be low. Interest in these families has also been heightened by recent changes in federally funded public assistance, which are gradually leading states to impose various time limits on aid. Since poor families will have to rely even more on nongovernment sources of income in the future, their stake in successful child support enforcement (CSE) has dramatically increased.

    The noncustodial parents of children receiving welfare have largely been left out of the reform debate and programmatic initiatives, except as targets of increasing CSE efforts. Unfortunately for poor families, most of the recent CSE reforms have been more effective in increasing collections from noncustodial parents with relatively stable jobs and residence; many of the fathers of children receiving welfare do not fall within this group.

    The Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) Demonstration tests a new approach: in exchange for current and future cooperation with the child support system, a partnership of local organizations offered fathers services designed to help them (1) find more stable and better-paying jobs, (2) pay child support on a consistent basis, and (3) assume a fuller and more responsible parental role. Among the key services were peer support (focused on issues of responsible parenting), employment and training services, and an offer of voluntary mediation between the custodial and noncustodial parents. During the period in which parents participated in PFS services, the child support system gave them some "breathing room" and an incentive to invest in themselves by temporarily lowering their current obligation to pay support. CSE staff also closely monitored the status of PFS cases. When a parent found employment, CSE staff were to act quickly to raise the support order to an appropriate level (based on the state’s child support payment guidelines), and if a parent ceased to cooperate with PFS program requirements, CSE staff were to act quickly to enforce the pre-PFS child support obligation. The demonstration is a test of the feasibility of implementing this new "bargain" and its effects on parents, children, and the child support system.

    PFS rests on an unusual partnership of funders and program operators, including federal agencies, private foundations, states, localities, and nonprofit community-based organizations. Organized by MDRC, it began in 1992 with a pilot phase to refine the program model and test the feasibility of implementing it at the local level and, despite a variety of implementation challenges, moved into a seven-site demonstration phase in 1994.

    This report presents findings from the demonstration-phase implementation of the program, characteristics of the parents in the sample, and early impacts on two outcomes of interest (fathers’ earnings and child support payments). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kisker, Ellen Eliason; Rangarajan, Anu; Boller, Kimberly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Anticipating the mandatory participation requirements of the 1988 Family Support Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in 1986, launched the Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) to test the feasibility and effects of requiring teenage parents on welfare to participate in activities aimed at achieving economic self-sufficiency in order to receive maximum welfare benefits. Public welfare agencies in Illinois and New Jersey were awarded grants to design and implement the TPD programs. The Illinois program, Project Advance, operated in the south side of Chicago; the New Jersey program. Teen Progress, operated in Newark and Camden. The programs began serving young mothers in mid-1987 and continued through mid-1991. DHHS contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to evaluate the demonstration programs. The first phase of the evaluation focused on documenting the implementation and costs of the programs, assessing the service needs and use of participants (including special studies of child care needs and use), and examining the short-term impacts of the...

    Anticipating the mandatory participation requirements of the 1988 Family Support Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in 1986, launched the Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) to test the feasibility and effects of requiring teenage parents on welfare to participate in activities aimed at achieving economic self-sufficiency in order to receive maximum welfare benefits. Public welfare agencies in Illinois and New Jersey were awarded grants to design and implement the TPD programs. The Illinois program, Project Advance, operated in the south side of Chicago; the New Jersey program. Teen Progress, operated in Newark and Camden. The programs began serving young mothers in mid-1987 and continued through mid-1991. DHHS contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to evaluate the demonstration programs. The first phase of the evaluation focused on documenting the implementation and costs of the programs, assessing the service needs and use of participants (including special studies of child care needs and use), and examining the short-term impacts of the programs on mothers' prospects for attaining economic self-sufficiency. The second phase of the evaluation focused on measuring the endurance of the short-term impacts of the programs on mothers' prospects and assessing program impacts on the well-being of each mother's first-born child during the first few years after the program requirements and special services ended.

    This report presents the findings from the second phase of the evaluation. The remaining sections of this chapter provide an overview of the demonstration rationale, the intervention design, the demonstration evaluation, and a summary of the key findings. The following chapters present the evaluation findings in detail. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Coe, Norma B.; Watson, Keith; Lerman, Robert I.
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 1998

    The basic analysis describes how the income of a single parent with two children changes as she moves from not working to working at a part-time job at minimum wage, then to full-time work at minimum wage, and finally to a full-time job paying $9/hour. In calculating income, we consider the family's earnings, its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant, the cash value of food stamps it receives, federal and state earned income tax credits, any other state tax credits, and all federal and state tax liabilities. In subsequent analyses, we consider the impact of other public assistance programs such as federal housing assistance, child care subsidies, and Medicaid on work incentives. We then explore how lifetime time limits may affect a family's work-welfare decisions. While we focus on the incentives of welfare recipients to go to work, we also examine how the differential treatment of participants and applicants in benefit determination may affect the decisions of low-income workers to leave work and go on welfare. (author abstract)

    The basic analysis describes how the income of a single parent with two children changes as she moves from not working to working at a part-time job at minimum wage, then to full-time work at minimum wage, and finally to a full-time job paying $9/hour. In calculating income, we consider the family's earnings, its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant, the cash value of food stamps it receives, federal and state earned income tax credits, any other state tax credits, and all federal and state tax liabilities. In subsequent analyses, we consider the impact of other public assistance programs such as federal housing assistance, child care subsidies, and Medicaid on work incentives. We then explore how lifetime time limits may affect a family's work-welfare decisions. While we focus on the incentives of welfare recipients to go to work, we also examine how the differential treatment of participants and applicants in benefit determination may affect the decisions of low-income workers to leave work and go on welfare. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Besharov, Douglas J.; Germanis, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also...

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also offers three comments from people closely associated with that project and other analysts: Michael Camasso at the School of Social Work and Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University (and his colleagues); Michael Laracy, a senior program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and David Murray, director of research at the Statistical Assessment Service. Some of their comments support Loury's and Rossi's assessments, and some do not. This volume also includes an analysis of the New Jersey study from the Congressional Research Service. All of these materials are appended to this report so that readers can make their own judgements.

    Finally, this volume contains a paper by Michael Wiseman that presents the California estimates described above. Wiseman uses a longitudinal database to estimate the number of subsequent births to California welfare mothers in 1995, including an estimate of those who would have been subject to the family cap had that policy been in effect at that time. He finds that a significant number of children would have been subject to the family cap had it been in effect in 1995, and he provides estimates for the rate at which the number of children affected grows over time. His estimates highlight the importance of the issue. (author introduction)

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