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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: 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: Gibson, Cynthia M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The Jobs Initiative, an eight-year demonstration, helps low-income residents find jobs that pay family-supporting wages in Denver, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle. "Entrepreneurial intermediaries," ranging from a private foundation to a city agency, manage six sites that take a dramatically different, long-term approach emphasizing comprehensive strategies that fuel community-based work force development. They have a dual customer focus, meeting needs of supply (workers) and demand (employer) sides; identify and secure entry-level jobs offering low-income people livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for wage and career advancement; build on job-seekers' strengths and respect their talent, dignity, and self reliance, while providing support services; increase dialogue, communication, and understanding among stakeholders; provide community-based organizations with sustained support and technical assistance; stress outcomes-based management; and suggest and provoke broader systemic change leading to more effective jobs and work force development...

    The Jobs Initiative, an eight-year demonstration, helps low-income residents find jobs that pay family-supporting wages in Denver, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle. "Entrepreneurial intermediaries," ranging from a private foundation to a city agency, manage six sites that take a dramatically different, long-term approach emphasizing comprehensive strategies that fuel community-based work force development. They have a dual customer focus, meeting needs of supply (workers) and demand (employer) sides; identify and secure entry-level jobs offering low-income people livable wages, benefits, and opportunities for wage and career advancement; build on job-seekers' strengths and respect their talent, dignity, and self reliance, while providing support services; increase dialogue, communication, and understanding among stakeholders; provide community-based organizations with sustained support and technical assistance; stress outcomes-based management; and suggest and provoke broader systemic change leading to more effective jobs and work force development programs and policies. Site results indicate that individuals placed in jobs had experienced significant hourly wage and earnings increases; more than twice as many had medical benefits; and more than half had been employed 12 months. Requirements for meeting workplace demands are employer engagement; employee retention and advancement; collaboration; and building organizational capacity. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lynn, Suzanne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, welfare was no longer held to be an entitlement under federal law. This basic policy shift created the opportunity for states to change the way disputes between welfare recipients and program administrators would be resolved. Wisconsin was unique among the states in taking up this challenge, creating a novel complaint-resolution process as part of its welfare reform program called Wisconsin Works, or W-2. The state’s aim was to simplify and streamline the old fair hearing system, and it provided that the agencies administering the W-2 program would be responsible for conducting reviews of their own decisions, with a central state agency hearing appeals.

    This paper reports on the implementation of the complaint resolution process during the first three years of W-2 in Milwaukee County, a place where the operation of W-2 has been contracted out by the state to five private agencies. It focuses on several key issues, including how the tensions between caseworker discretion and...

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, welfare was no longer held to be an entitlement under federal law. This basic policy shift created the opportunity for states to change the way disputes between welfare recipients and program administrators would be resolved. Wisconsin was unique among the states in taking up this challenge, creating a novel complaint-resolution process as part of its welfare reform program called Wisconsin Works, or W-2. The state’s aim was to simplify and streamline the old fair hearing system, and it provided that the agencies administering the W-2 program would be responsible for conducting reviews of their own decisions, with a central state agency hearing appeals.

    This paper reports on the implementation of the complaint resolution process during the first three years of W-2 in Milwaukee County, a place where the operation of W-2 has been contracted out by the state to five private agencies. It focuses on several key issues, including how the tensions between caseworker discretion and accountability are being resolved; how a process that is subject to legal scrutiny can operate within a model of decentralized program administration; and how the goal of informality and speed of process can be reconciled with the need to treat clients fairly and equitably. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gooden, Susan; Doolittle, Fred; Glispie, Ben
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The passage of federal legislation reforming welfare in 1996 challenged states to be innovative in structuring and administering public assistance for needy families with children. As one of the first states to end Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replace it with a new program, Wisconsin provided a new vision for many key decisions that states now face about imposing time limits on assistance (within the federal five-year lifetime limit), setting levels of cash assistance, the variety of employment-related services to offer, and how to enforce requirements for participating in services.

    In the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program, applicants for public assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must be assessed and assigned quickly to one of several “tiers” that entail different levels of cash assistance, different services, and different participation requirements. Two tiers (community service jobs and W-2 transitional placements) have two-year limits unless an extension is granted. Thus, caseworkers' decisions about initial tier...

    The passage of federal legislation reforming welfare in 1996 challenged states to be innovative in structuring and administering public assistance for needy families with children. As one of the first states to end Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replace it with a new program, Wisconsin provided a new vision for many key decisions that states now face about imposing time limits on assistance (within the federal five-year lifetime limit), setting levels of cash assistance, the variety of employment-related services to offer, and how to enforce requirements for participating in services.

    In the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program, applicants for public assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must be assessed and assigned quickly to one of several “tiers” that entail different levels of cash assistance, different services, and different participation requirements. Two tiers (community service jobs and W-2 transitional placements) have two-year limits unless an extension is granted. Thus, caseworkers' decisions about initial tier assignments have important implications for participants and the agencies that administer services. Although state policy sets guidelines for making initial tier assignments, caseworkers have much discretion in designing an individualized service plan for applicants and participants. Moreover, in Milwaukee County, the state has contracted with private agencies to administer W-2, and the agencies have developed their own procedures for conducting intake and assessing applicants.

    This report - the first in a series on W-2 administration - describes how the early assessment of applicants' job readiness and service needs was actually done in Milwaukee County during the program's first two years. Based on field research, administrative records, and observations of program operations, it analyzes the initial tier and activity assignments. The study's findings illustrate how W-2 has evolved, how caseworkers have handled the many tasks of enrolling someone in the program, and the challenges of assessing the circumstances and needs of applicants who have serious barriers to employment. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Duncan, Greg J.; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care compared 3 statistical methods that adjust for family selection bias to test whether child care type and quality relate to cognitive and academic skills. The methods included: multiple regression models of 54-month outcomes, change models of differences in 24- and 54-month outcomes, and residualized change models of 54-month outcomes adjusting for the 24-month outcome. The study was unable to establish empirically which model best adjusted for selection and omitted-variable bias. Nevertheless, results suggested that child care quality predicted cognitive outcomes at 54 months, with effect sizes of .04 to .08 for both infant and preschool ages. Center care during preschool years also predicted outcomes across all models. (Author abstract)

    The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care compared 3 statistical methods that adjust for family selection bias to test whether child care type and quality relate to cognitive and academic skills. The methods included: multiple regression models of 54-month outcomes, change models of differences in 24- and 54-month outcomes, and residualized change models of 54-month outcomes adjusting for the 24-month outcome. The study was unable to establish empirically which model best adjusted for selection and omitted-variable bias. Nevertheless, results suggested that child care quality predicted cognitive outcomes at 54 months, with effect sizes of .04 to .08 for both infant and preschool ages. Center care during preschool years also predicted outcomes across all models. (Author abstract)

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