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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: Wisconsin Council on Children and Families
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2000

    Long before welfare was considered something that needed reformation, before public assistance became a privilege rather than a right, and before it was assumed that almost anybody could get a job if you simply threatened to cut off their assistance, there were people who lacked job skills and there were programs designed to help them get those skills. Some people completed the programs, got jobs, and stayed off welfare. Others, many of whom had major employment barriers that kept them out of the workforce, including learning disabilities, mental health issues, drug or alcohol problems, no transportation, inadequate childcare, and children with special needs, did not. Still others were able to subsist on AFDC while they completed college or vocational programs. Because of parenting responsibilities and other obstacles, getting a degree or certificate sometimes took quite a while. Things have changed dramatically in the last few years. Welfare has become workfare, and is no longer an entitlement. Participants now face lifetime limits on how long they can receive assistance....

    Long before welfare was considered something that needed reformation, before public assistance became a privilege rather than a right, and before it was assumed that almost anybody could get a job if you simply threatened to cut off their assistance, there were people who lacked job skills and there were programs designed to help them get those skills. Some people completed the programs, got jobs, and stayed off welfare. Others, many of whom had major employment barriers that kept them out of the workforce, including learning disabilities, mental health issues, drug or alcohol problems, no transportation, inadequate childcare, and children with special needs, did not. Still others were able to subsist on AFDC while they completed college or vocational programs. Because of parenting responsibilities and other obstacles, getting a degree or certificate sometimes took quite a while. Things have changed dramatically in the last few years. Welfare has become workfare, and is no longer an entitlement. Participants now face lifetime limits on how long they can receive assistance. Education and training now take a distant back seat to “work first” approaches that emphasize job search and soft skills at the expense of substantial training opportunities that can lead to a family-sustaining career. The result has been a precipitous decline in welfare caseloads nationwide, with Wisconsin’s W-2 program leading the way. But while people are leaving welfare in unprecedented numbers, families continue to struggle; their incomes remain low and their prospects for true self-sufficiency remain remote. With the loss of entitlements have come highly discretionary programs in which eligible applicants may be denied help. The strong economy has enabled many former welfare recipients to get jobs, but without adequate skills and access to education and training, most of them have merely gone from being just plain poor to being “working and poor.” Current policy in Wisconsin makes the pursuit of a college or vocational degree impractical for the vast majority of W-2 participants and other low-income parents. This paper focuses on the importance of restoring their access to postsecondary education. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2003

    This report is a direct look at the problems that confront Wisconsin’s working poor families, and good information about how some of those problems can be solved.

    The Casey Foundation is using the release of five state-level reports to bring working poor families into the spotlight of state and national policy. As our policies increasingly focus on work as the solution to problems of self-sufficiency, we need to consistently measure and evaluate the outcomes of those policies.

    Starting with basic outcome data on families in economic distress, the Wisconsin report goes on to identify benchmark data in key areas, and state policy levers that can help improve outcomes for working families in the state. (author abstract)

    This report is a direct look at the problems that confront Wisconsin’s working poor families, and good information about how some of those problems can be solved.

    The Casey Foundation is using the release of five state-level reports to bring working poor families into the spotlight of state and national policy. As our policies increasingly focus on work as the solution to problems of self-sufficiency, we need to consistently measure and evaluate the outcomes of those policies.

    Starting with basic outcome data on families in economic distress, the Wisconsin report goes on to identify benchmark data in key areas, and state policy levers that can help improve outcomes for working families in the state. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fischer, David Jason
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2005

    In the 21st century, local economies won’t stand or fall on the presence of sports stadiums and office parks; they’ll be built on competitive workforce systems. But that work of construction is far more difficult than it sounds. To do it right, workforce systems must balance the oft-competing needs of workers and businesses; leverage millions in new dollars to pay for increased training programs; and link diverse players including nonprofits, colleges, and business associations through common goals and interests.

    This is the role of workforce intermediaries, quasi-governmental entities that are quickly becoming indispensable players in 21st century workforce systems. The consensus behind the intermediary approach solidified in early 2003, when the 102nd American Assembly issued a report entitled “Achieving Worker Success and Business Prosperity: The New Role for Workforce Intermediaries.” In this report, we assess lessons learned from three key intermediaries funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As regions across the U.S. work to develop their own intermediaries, the...

    In the 21st century, local economies won’t stand or fall on the presence of sports stadiums and office parks; they’ll be built on competitive workforce systems. But that work of construction is far more difficult than it sounds. To do it right, workforce systems must balance the oft-competing needs of workers and businesses; leverage millions in new dollars to pay for increased training programs; and link diverse players including nonprofits, colleges, and business associations through common goals and interests.

    This is the role of workforce intermediaries, quasi-governmental entities that are quickly becoming indispensable players in 21st century workforce systems. The consensus behind the intermediary approach solidified in early 2003, when the 102nd American Assembly issued a report entitled “Achieving Worker Success and Business Prosperity: The New Role for Workforce Intermediaries.” In this report, we assess lessons learned from three key intermediaries funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As regions across the U.S. work to develop their own intermediaries, the Casey experience offers helpful insights into the importance of intermediaries and what qualities to look for in organizations that can serve in this role...

    In this report, we look at three very distinct intermediary organizations —The Reinvestment Fund, a social-purpose lender and financier of community and economic revitalization in Philadelphia; Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, a labor/management partnership in Milwaukee; and the Seattle Jobs Initiative, an agency that began its operations within Seattle’s city government and later reconstituted itself as an independent nonprofit — that share both common organizational traits and operational goals. Despite the very significant differences among the three sites in regional economic and local political support, we found that the successful workforce intermediaries profiled here shared several organizational strengths they could bring to bear as problems arose: proven credibility, access to leaders and key stakeholders in government and business, and a willingness to embrace pragmatism over ideology and make changes to programs and approaches as events dictate. Strong leadership and an organizational willingness to take risks were also key elements in their successes. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: National Governor's Association (NGA) Center For Best Practices
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2007

    Research studies during the past decade have shown that despite the large number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients entering the workforce, many of these individuals have difficulty remaining employed and advancing in the labor market.
    
    Governors and other state leaders are in a strong position to assume a lead role in developing programs and policies that help TANF and low-income families achieve long-term self-sufficiency through stable employment. This Issue Brief lays out ways states can create opportunities for TANF clients and low-wage workers to advance in the labor market, including:
    -Helping them prepare for success in the workforce through education and skills development activities, career and work readiness credentials, and postsecondary education;
    -Establishing "launching pads" that can help them quickly advance in the labor market through such efforts as transitional jobs programs and career ladder strategies; and
    -Providing them with ongoing support...

    Research studies during the past decade have shown that despite the large number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients entering the workforce, many of these individuals have difficulty remaining employed and advancing in the labor market.
    
    Governors and other state leaders are in a strong position to assume a lead role in developing programs and policies that help TANF and low-income families achieve long-term self-sufficiency through stable employment. This Issue Brief lays out ways states can create opportunities for TANF clients and low-wage workers to advance in the labor market, including:
    -Helping them prepare for success in the workforce through education and skills development activities, career and work readiness credentials, and postsecondary education;
    -Establishing "launching pads" that can help them quickly advance in the labor market through such efforts as transitional jobs programs and career ladder strategies; and
    -Providing them with ongoing support through earnings supplements, earnings disregards, work support benefits, and child and earned income tax credits.
    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rawlings, Lynette A.; Gentsch, Kerstin
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2008

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

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