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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: Bos, Johannes M.; Huston, Aletha C.; Granger, Robert C.; Brock, Thomas W.; McLoyd, Vonnie C.; Duncan, Greg J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This is the second report from the evaluation of New Hope, an innovative project developed and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has sought to improve the lives and reduce the poverty of low-income workers and their families. New Hope relied on several components and services to increase the income, financial security, and access to full-time employment of low-income workers in two areas of Milwaukee. In these target areas, all low-income workers (and those not employed, but willing to work full time) were eligible to receive New Hope benefits. New Hope began operating as a demonstration program in 1994, enrolling volunteers during an intake period that lasted through December 1995. (author abstract)

    This is the second report from the evaluation of New Hope, an innovative project developed and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has sought to improve the lives and reduce the poverty of low-income workers and their families. New Hope relied on several components and services to increase the income, financial security, and access to full-time employment of low-income workers in two areas of Milwaukee. In these target areas, all low-income workers (and those not employed, but willing to work full time) were eligible to receive New Hope benefits. New Hope began operating as a demonstration program in 1994, enrolling volunteers during an intake period that lasted through December 1995. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia; Huston, Aletha C.; Duncan, Greg J. ; McLoyd, Vonnie C. ; Weisner, Thomas S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Conceived of in the late 1980s and implemented in 1994 in two inner-city areas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, New Hope was an innovative program designed to address problems in the low-wage labor market. Based on the simple premise that people who work full time should not be poor, New Hope provided fulltime workers with several benefits: an earnings supplement to raise their income above poverty, low-cost health insurance, and subsidized child care. For those unable to find full-time work, the program offered help in finding a job and referral to a wage-paying community service job when necessary. During the demonstration project, each of these benefits was available for up to three years. 
    
    New Hope’s designers expected that its combination of benefits and services would have the direct effects of increasing parents’ employment and income and their use of health insurance and licensed child care. These effects, in turn, might influence the well-being of these adults and their families. MDRC, along with researchers from the University of Texas at Austin...

    Conceived of in the late 1980s and implemented in 1994 in two inner-city areas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, New Hope was an innovative program designed to address problems in the low-wage labor market. Based on the simple premise that people who work full time should not be poor, New Hope provided fulltime workers with several benefits: an earnings supplement to raise their income above poverty, low-cost health insurance, and subsidized child care. For those unable to find full-time work, the program offered help in finding a job and referral to a wage-paying community service job when necessary. During the demonstration project, each of these benefits was available for up to three years. 
    
    New Hope’s designers expected that its combination of benefits and services would have the direct effects of increasing parents’ employment and income and their use of health insurance and licensed child care. These effects, in turn, might influence the well-being of these adults and their families. MDRC, along with researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, Northwestern University, and the University of North Carolina, examined New Hope’s effects in a large-scale random assignment study. This report, the final one in a series, summarizes the program’s implementation and effects over eight years –– the first three years while the program operated and five years after it had ended. The findings show that work supports can have a range of positive effects on low-income families and their children. Although the economic effects on employment and income lasted for most families only during the three years in which New Hope operated, some effects on children lasted into the longer term: Employment, income, and parents’ well-being. Adults in the New Hope program were more likely to work than their control group counterparts, and the combination of earnings supplements and the Earned Income Tax Credit also resulted in higher incomes. Less consistently, New Hope also had some effects on parents’ well-being. Most of these effects did not last beyond the three years that the program operated — except for a subgroup of individuals facing moderate barriers to work, for whom New Hope increased employment, earnings, and income through Year 8. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Heinrich, Carolyn J.; Burkhardt, Brett C.; Shager, Hilary M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    As child support debt owed nationally persists at enormous levels, both noncustodial parents and the custodial families who are not receiving support suffer significant hardships, and states are forced to expend greater resources on collection and enforcement efforts. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of a demonstration program developed to help noncustodial parents with large child support debts reduce their debt while simultaneously increasing child support paid to families, through gradual forgiveness of arrears conditional on payment of current child support obligations. The evaluation employs a randomized experimental design, nonexperimental analyses using propensity score matching and multilevel modeling techniques, and focus groups and follow-up interviews. Results show a pattern of effects that suggests individuals responded to the program as intended. State- and family-owed child support debt balances decreased for program participants, and participants paid more toward their child support obligations and arrears and made more frequent child support...

    As child support debt owed nationally persists at enormous levels, both noncustodial parents and the custodial families who are not receiving support suffer significant hardships, and states are forced to expend greater resources on collection and enforcement efforts. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of a demonstration program developed to help noncustodial parents with large child support debts reduce their debt while simultaneously increasing child support paid to families, through gradual forgiveness of arrears conditional on payment of current child support obligations. The evaluation employs a randomized experimental design, nonexperimental analyses using propensity score matching and multilevel modeling techniques, and focus groups and follow-up interviews. Results show a pattern of effects that suggests individuals responded to the program as intended. State- and family-owed child support debt balances decreased for program participants, and participants paid more toward their child support obligations and arrears and made more frequent child support payments. The study findings suggest promise for the effectiveness of this program model in reducing child support debt burdens and in increasing families' receipt of child support, and they also point to ways in which the implementation of the program might be improved (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Jacobs, Erin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    More than 1.6 million people are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, and around 700,000 are released from prison each year. Those released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they seek to reintegrate into their communities, and rates of recidivism are high. Many experts believe that stable employment is critical to a successful transition from prison to the community.

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, tested employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC led the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focused on transitional jobs programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had...

    More than 1.6 million people are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, and around 700,000 are released from prison each year. Those released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they seek to reintegrate into their communities, and rates of recidivism are high. Many experts believe that stable employment is critical to a successful transition from prison to the community.

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, tested employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC led the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focused on transitional jobs programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had recently been released from prison were assigned, at random, to a transitional jobs program or to a program providing basic job search assistance but no subsidized jobs. The research team tracked both groups using state data on employment and recidivism. Because of the random assignment design, one can be confident that significant differences that emerged between the groups are attributable to the services each group received.

    This is the final report in the TJRD project. It assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the two years after people entered the study. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    There is longstanding interest among policy makers and program operators in finding ways to increase the skill levels of low-income individuals, improve their enrollment in and completion of post-secondary education, and improve their economic prospects. The career pathways approach is gaining steady acceptance as a promising strategy to address these challenges and improve post-secondary education and training for low-income and low-skilled adults.

    This summary is an easy-to-read overview of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency project; a major national effort to evaluate the effectiveness of nine career pathways programs using an experimental design. the ISIS study. The summary includes the frame career pathway programming, the promise of these programs, and a list of the nine programs being evaluated in the study. (author abstract)

    There is longstanding interest among policy makers and program operators in finding ways to increase the skill levels of low-income individuals, improve their enrollment in and completion of post-secondary education, and improve their economic prospects. The career pathways approach is gaining steady acceptance as a promising strategy to address these challenges and improve post-secondary education and training for low-income and low-skilled adults.

    This summary is an easy-to-read overview of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency project; a major national effort to evaluate the effectiveness of nine career pathways programs using an experimental design. the ISIS study. The summary includes the frame career pathway programming, the promise of these programs, and a list of the nine programs being evaluated in the study. (author abstract)

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