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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 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: Wiseman, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    The experience of Wisconsin is commonly cited as evidence of the capability of states for reforming welfare. Wisconsin’s welfare caseload declined by 22.5 percent between December 1986 and December 1994. This paper argues that the decline was most likely the product of restriction of eligibility and benefits, a strong state economy, and large expenditures on welfare-to-work programs encouraged by an exceptional fiscal bargain with the federal government. Opportunities for continued reduction of welfare utilization by means other than denying access are jeopardized by proposed changes in federal cost-sharing, a prospective state deficit, and the growing share of the caseload accounted for by residents of Milwaukee. Wisconsin Works, the state’s plan for public assistance in a post-block-grant world, continues benefit reduction and eligibility restriction but expands emphasis on employment. The special circumstances enjoyed by Wisconsin are unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere. Other states and the federal government should not assume that expanded state discretion will produce...

    The experience of Wisconsin is commonly cited as evidence of the capability of states for reforming welfare. Wisconsin’s welfare caseload declined by 22.5 percent between December 1986 and December 1994. This paper argues that the decline was most likely the product of restriction of eligibility and benefits, a strong state economy, and large expenditures on welfare-to-work programs encouraged by an exceptional fiscal bargain with the federal government. Opportunities for continued reduction of welfare utilization by means other than denying access are jeopardized by proposed changes in federal cost-sharing, a prospective state deficit, and the growing share of the caseload accounted for by residents of Milwaukee. Wisconsin Works, the state’s plan for public assistance in a post-block-grant world, continues benefit reduction and eligibility restriction but expands emphasis on employment. The special circumstances enjoyed by Wisconsin are unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere. Other states and the federal government should not assume that expanded state discretion will produce comparable gains unless accompanied by major outlays for employment and training programs, reduction in benefits, and tightening of eligibility requirements. The first policy is expensive to taxpayers; the second and third approaches harm recipients. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holcomb, Pamela A.; Pavetti, LaDonna; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Riedinger, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of...

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of the study states have experienced significant declines in their cash assistance caseloads that are well above the national average, low unemployment and strong economies.

    Work-oriented reforms in place at the time of this study were implemented at different points between 1993 and 1996. Since the passage of PRWORA, Indiana and Wisconsin both implemented new work-oriented reforms while Virginia, Massachusetts, and Oregon have made few changes.

    Thus, while this study captures state experiences at one point in time, it also reflects states at different stages in their own evolution toward a more employment focused welfare system. It is also important to note that this study took place too soon after TANF went into effect to fully capture the implications and impact of the new federal welfare reform law (e.g., progressively steeper participation rate requirements, lifetime limit on benefit receipt). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Seefeldt, Kristin S.; Kaye, Laura K.; Botsko, Christopher; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Flores, Kimura; Herbig, Carla; Tumlin, Karen C.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    This report focuses on the baseline conditions of cash assistance and social services in the state of Wisconsin in 1996 and early 1997. Site visits were conducted in March and April of 1997, at which time Wisconsin's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) plan, as authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), was approved by the federal government, and the state was preparing to implement its welfare replacement program, Wisconsin Works (W-2). (author introduction)

    This report focuses on the baseline conditions of cash assistance and social services in the state of Wisconsin in 1996 and early 1997. Site visits were conducted in March and April of 1997, at which time Wisconsin's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) plan, as authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), was approved by the federal government, and the state was preparing to implement its welfare replacement program, Wisconsin Works (W-2). (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Meyer, Daniel R.; Bartfeld, Judi
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1998

    This article examines compliance patterns of child support cases taking place in Wisconsin from 1986 through 1988. The researchers find that sixty-five percent of child support is paid during each of the first five years following divorce, dispelling the notion that child support payments decline over time. The researchers also find a large polarization between full-payers and complete non-payers, as those who tend to comply during the first year tend to indicate a long-term compliance. An examination of divorced and unmarried fathers is also given. (author abstract)

    This article examines compliance patterns of child support cases taking place in Wisconsin from 1986 through 1988. The researchers find that sixty-five percent of child support is paid during each of the first five years following divorce, dispelling the notion that child support payments decline over time. The researchers also find a large polarization between full-payers and complete non-payers, as those who tend to comply during the first year tend to indicate a long-term compliance. An examination of divorced and unmarried fathers is also given. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    Year: 1999

    For at least 30 years, states’ welfare and workforce development systems have been collaborating at some level to provide employment and training services to welfare clients, but their efforts often focused more on skills training than on getting a job. Over time, federal welfare reform initiatives have given states greater flexibility to design and administer their welfare programs to serve their unique program needs, including greater flexibility in collaborating with workforce development systems. At the same time, the workforce development system has established a new service delivery mechanism, called the one-stop career center, which states have been implementing to deliver employment and training services to all clients. (author abstract)

    For at least 30 years, states’ welfare and workforce development systems have been collaborating at some level to provide employment and training services to welfare clients, but their efforts often focused more on skills training than on getting a job. Over time, federal welfare reform initiatives have given states greater flexibility to design and administer their welfare programs to serve their unique program needs, including greater flexibility in collaborating with workforce development systems. At the same time, the workforce development system has established a new service delivery mechanism, called the one-stop career center, which states have been implementing to deliver employment and training services to all clients. (author abstract)

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