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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: Acs, Gregory; Loprest, Pamela; Roberts, Tracy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), passed in 1996, replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states. Since that time, the federal cash assistance caseloads have dropped by over 50 percent, from 4.4 million in August, 1996 to 2.1 million in March, 2001. There is interest at the federal, state, and local levels in better understanding the circumstances of the unprecedented number of families that have left welfare, including their employment status, participation in public programs, and the overall well-being of both the leavers and their children.

    A host of state and policy researchers have examined the well-being of families leaving welfare in the post-reform era. These studies vary widely in the populations they study, how they define a welfare “leaver,” the outcomes that they examine and how those outcomes are measured, and in their methodological rigor. Consequently, it is difficult to use these studies to draw general conclusions...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), passed in 1996, replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to states. Since that time, the federal cash assistance caseloads have dropped by over 50 percent, from 4.4 million in August, 1996 to 2.1 million in March, 2001. There is interest at the federal, state, and local levels in better understanding the circumstances of the unprecedented number of families that have left welfare, including their employment status, participation in public programs, and the overall well-being of both the leavers and their children.

    A host of state and policy researchers have examined the well-being of families leaving welfare in the post-reform era. These studies vary widely in the populations they study, how they define a welfare “leaver,” the outcomes that they examine and how those outcomes are measured, and in their methodological rigor. Consequently, it is difficult to use these studies to draw general conclusions about the status of TANF leavers nationwide.

    In an effort to address the above questions about the circumstances of welfare leavers and to facilitate cross-state comparisons, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the United States the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded competitive grants to select states and large counties in September, 1998, to conduct studies of families that have left the welfare rolls. This report reviews and synthesizes key findings from fifteen of the ASPE-funded leavers studies.

    The studies, made possible by an earmarked Congressional appropriation to study the outcomes of welfare reform, include both administrative and survey data on the well-being of families who left welfare. This synthesis includes information on welfare leavers’ employment and earnings, public assistance program participation, income and poverty status, material hardships, and child well-being. In addition to publishing reports, grantees constructed public-use files containing state or county administrative data and/or survey data. Public use data from several of the sites are analyzed in this report to examine key outcomes for subgroups that may not have been included in the grantees’ published reports.

    Following the devolution of welfare programs to the state level, ASPE chose a research strategy that combined local flexibility in study design with some efforts to develop comparable measures across the studies in order to facilitate cross-study comparisons. There remain important differences in welfare policies, economic conditions, and the characteristics of leavers across the fifteen study areas that may affect leavers’ post-TANF experiences. However, despite these differences, some clear general patterns emerge. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Isaacs, Julia B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    As large numbers of recipients leave the welfare rolls, interest in their circumstances is widespread. Are individuals working? Are they and their families
    moving out of poverty? How are their children faring? Do they continue to need and receive assistance through other programs? To answer these questions, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded $2.9 million in grants in
    fiscal year 1998 to fourteen states and large counties to track and monitor outcomes among families leaving welfare.1 Funded out of a special congressional appropriation, these grants were designed to collect data documenting what was happening to poor families after the sweeping changes in welfare legislation. This chapter provides an overview of the design of the ASPE-funded leavers studies and reviews major cross-study findings in three areas: employment, program participation, and household income. In each area, the chapter discusses how data from administrative records are enriched by the more detailed...

    As large numbers of recipients leave the welfare rolls, interest in their circumstances is widespread. Are individuals working? Are they and their families
    moving out of poverty? How are their children faring? Do they continue to need and receive assistance through other programs? To answer these questions, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded $2.9 million in grants in
    fiscal year 1998 to fourteen states and large counties to track and monitor outcomes among families leaving welfare.1 Funded out of a special congressional appropriation, these grants were designed to collect data documenting what was happening to poor families after the sweeping changes in welfare legislation. This chapter provides an overview of the design of the ASPE-funded leavers studies and reviews major cross-study findings in three areas: employment, program participation, and household income. In each area, the chapter discusses how data from administrative records are enriched by the more detailed findings emerging from surveys of former recipients. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mikelson, Kelly S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Since the passage of PRWORA, there have been numerous efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of TANF and related programs and subpopulations. Some of the many issues being studied and described in this annotated bibliography include:

    • - The well-being of former welfare recipients;
    • - Evaluating various Welfare-to-Work strategies;
    • - Employment retention and advancement initiatives;
    • - Rural welfare initiatives;
    • - Programs designed to serve noncustodial parents;
    • - Hard-to-serve welfare recipients and barriers to self-sufficiency;
    • - Changes in the welfare caseload; and
    • - Welfare time limits
    • - TANF reauthorization.

    (author abstract)

    Since the passage of PRWORA, there have been numerous efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of TANF and related programs and subpopulations. Some of the many issues being studied and described in this annotated bibliography include:

    • - The well-being of former welfare recipients;
    • - Evaluating various Welfare-to-Work strategies;
    • - Employment retention and advancement initiatives;
    • - Rural welfare initiatives;
    • - Programs designed to serve noncustodial parents;
    • - Hard-to-serve welfare recipients and barriers to self-sufficiency;
    • - Changes in the welfare caseload; and
    • - Welfare time limits
    • - TANF reauthorization.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kauffman, Jo Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRETORIA) gives American Indian tribes the option to run their own Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or leave these services under state administration. Eight case studies were conducted in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Arizona with the Klamath Tribes, Siletz Tribe, Warm Springs Confederated Tribes, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of the Mohican Indians, Forest County Potawatomi Tribe, Oneida Nation, White Mountain Apache, and Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Document reviews and interviews with tribal and state officials and TANF participants provided data on coordination with the state, training and technical assistance, program design, impact of TANF on the tribe, and tribal views of TANF strengths and weaknesses. Six tribes designed and administered their own TANF program, one tribe left TANF entirely up to the state, and one tribe is serving as a contractor for the state's welfare reform program. Most tribal plans mirrored state plans but were flexible as to time limits and work hours and...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRETORIA) gives American Indian tribes the option to run their own Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or leave these services under state administration. Eight case studies were conducted in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Arizona with the Klamath Tribes, Siletz Tribe, Warm Springs Confederated Tribes, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of the Mohican Indians, Forest County Potawatomi Tribe, Oneida Nation, White Mountain Apache, and Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Document reviews and interviews with tribal and state officials and TANF participants provided data on coordination with the state, training and technical assistance, program design, impact of TANF on the tribe, and tribal views of TANF strengths and weaknesses. Six tribes designed and administered their own TANF program, one tribe left TANF entirely up to the state, and one tribe is serving as a contractor for the state's welfare reform program. Most tribal plans mirrored state plans but were flexible as to time limits and work hours and expanded the definition of work activities to include education. Tribal and state relationships were key to successful efforts; assuring access to medical assistance and food stamps was not always a priority; developing new job opportunities was challenging; and unmet needs persisted for alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment. Lessons learned include TANF affected tribes regardless of whether they administered programs; restructuring tribal programs benefitted clients; welfare reform is about work and community support; there was no one model for a TANF effort; medical assistance and food stamps need to be coordinated with TANF; and coordination between tribes and states is critical. Three appendices present methodology, interviewees, and acronyms. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nightingale, Demetra S.; Pindus, Nancy; Trutko, John; Egner, Michael
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This is one of several reports from the congressionally mandated national evaluation of the WtW grants program, being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., along with its subcontractors the Urban Institute and Support Services International. The report presents findings from the process and implementation analysis component of the evaluation, and describes the service delivery operations of programs funded with WtW grants in eleven study sites in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Fort Worth, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Yakima, Washington; Indiana (19-county area); West Virginia (29-county area); and the Johns Hopkins University Multi-site Grantee operating in Baltimore County, Maryland; St. Lucie, Florida; and Long Beach, California. This report is based on (1) information collected through two rounds of site visits in 1999 and 2001, and (2) management information system data maintained by the programs on participants and services.

    The organizational systems within which the WtW grant...

    This is one of several reports from the congressionally mandated national evaluation of the WtW grants program, being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., along with its subcontractors the Urban Institute and Support Services International. The report presents findings from the process and implementation analysis component of the evaluation, and describes the service delivery operations of programs funded with WtW grants in eleven study sites in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Fort Worth, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Yakima, Washington; Indiana (19-county area); West Virginia (29-county area); and the Johns Hopkins University Multi-site Grantee operating in Baltimore County, Maryland; St. Lucie, Florida; and Long Beach, California. This report is based on (1) information collected through two rounds of site visits in 1999 and 2001, and (2) management information system data maintained by the programs on participants and services.

    The organizational systems within which the WtW grant programs operate are complex and highly decentralized. In most of the eleven study sites, there are multiple programs, often operating in multiple locations, with varying arrangements for coordinating procedures with TANF agencies. Although Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) are the primary administrative entity, many have formal interaction with TANF agencies, and are often contracted to operate TANF work programs. Nonprofit organizations also play a major role, as direct program operators under subcontract from a WtW grantee, and as providers of special services. (author abstract)

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