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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: 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: Regenstein, Marsha; Meyer, Jack A.; Hicks, Jennifer Dickemper
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    While much of the welfare reform debate has centered on the supply side of the labor market-how to motivate welfare recipients to search for and take jobs-less attention has been paid to the demand side. Under what conditions will employers hire people on welfare? What are their requirements and expectations? What kinds of jobs are available to people leaving welfare, and what pay and benefits are offered?

    This brief presents the key results of a nationwide survey conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) as part of the Assessing the New Federalism project to determine employers' attitudes about hiring welfare recipients. The survey was predicated on the idea that if states have a better understanding of employers' attitudes and requirements, they will be better able to design successful approaches to moving people into jobs and helping them stay there.

    The survey included 500 businesses at the establishment level (e.g., individual stores, plants, or offices) in industries likely to have higher-than-average numbers of entry-level...

    While much of the welfare reform debate has centered on the supply side of the labor market-how to motivate welfare recipients to search for and take jobs-less attention has been paid to the demand side. Under what conditions will employers hire people on welfare? What are their requirements and expectations? What kinds of jobs are available to people leaving welfare, and what pay and benefits are offered?

    This brief presents the key results of a nationwide survey conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) as part of the Assessing the New Federalism project to determine employers' attitudes about hiring welfare recipients. The survey was predicated on the idea that if states have a better understanding of employers' attitudes and requirements, they will be better able to design successful approaches to moving people into jobs and helping them stay there.

    The survey included 500 businesses at the establishment level (e.g., individual stores, plants, or offices) in industries likely to have higher-than-average numbers of entry-level workers. The ESRI sample consists mostly of small employers with fewer than 50 workers. In order to gain insight into any potential differences in attitudes among establishments of different sizes, however, we oversampled those with 100 or more employees.

    We conducted an additional 200 interviews-100 each in Los Angeles and Milwaukee-to see how these two cities might differ from national responses. Both of these cities have large welfare populations. Milwaukee is considered a national leader in innovative welfare-to-work initiatives, while Los Angeles is a large urban area with a diverse population that includes many immigrants.

    Prior to undertaking the large national survey, we conducted a small exploratory telephone survey of 25 employers. Their responses, emerging from in-depth discussions, were very similar to the findings in the national sample. (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: 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: Martinson, Karin; Trutko, John; Strong, Debra
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grants Program, authorized by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, provides federal funding to states and local organizations to help welfare recipients and other low-income parents move into employment, stay employed, and improve their economic situation. Low-income noncustodial parents (NCPs) (mainly fathers) of welfare children are among the main target groups for WtW services, along with custodial parents who are receiving cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and moving from welfare to work. This focus reflects policymakers' growing interest in strategies to increase the employment and earnings of noncustodial fathers and thereby improve their ability to provide financial support for their children and play an active role in their lives.

    WtW grants represent a new source of funding for local work-focused services to NCPs. This report describes 11 local programs funded by WtW grants, in terms of the types of organizations operating the programs, the range of services offered, and the interagency...

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grants Program, authorized by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, provides federal funding to states and local organizations to help welfare recipients and other low-income parents move into employment, stay employed, and improve their economic situation. Low-income noncustodial parents (NCPs) (mainly fathers) of welfare children are among the main target groups for WtW services, along with custodial parents who are receiving cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and moving from welfare to work. This focus reflects policymakers' growing interest in strategies to increase the employment and earnings of noncustodial fathers and thereby improve their ability to provide financial support for their children and play an active role in their lives.

    WtW grants represent a new source of funding for local work-focused services to NCPs. This report describes 11 local programs funded by WtW grants, in terms of the types of organizations operating the programs, the range of services offered, and the interagency collaborations in effect. No single strategy or set of services predominates. Rather, local grant recipients have discretion in developing and implementing program models, within the parameters of the WtW regulations. Thus, the experiences of these programs illustrate a variety of strategies and approaches that are being implemented around the nation and highlight key issues that must be addressed to serve this population group. (author abstract)

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