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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: 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: Paulsell, Diane; Noyes, Jennifer L.; Selekman, Rebekah; Klein Vogel, Lisa; Sattar, Samina; Nerad, Benjamin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    In fall 2012, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project (CSPED) to identify effective approaches to enabling low-income noncustodial parents to pay their child support. OCSE competitively awarded grants to child support agencies in eight states to provide enhanced child support, employment, parenting, and case management services to noncustodial parents having difficulty meeting child support obligations. Grantees partnered with community organizations to deliver employment and parenting services. The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and Mathematica Policy Research are conducting an evaluation of CSPED that includes an impact study, an implementation study, and a benefit-cost study. This report presents early implementation findings from the first two years of the demonstration. (Author abstract)

    In fall 2012, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration Project (CSPED) to identify effective approaches to enabling low-income noncustodial parents to pay their child support. OCSE competitively awarded grants to child support agencies in eight states to provide enhanced child support, employment, parenting, and case management services to noncustodial parents having difficulty meeting child support obligations. Grantees partnered with community organizations to deliver employment and parenting services. The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and Mathematica Policy Research are conducting an evaluation of CSPED that includes an impact study, an implementation study, and a benefit-cost study. This report presents early implementation findings from the first two years of the demonstration. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Redcross, Cindy; Barden, Bret; Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents interim impact and implementation findings of seven transitional jobs programs from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Two of the sites in that study — in Atlanta and San Francisco — are also a part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration. The two studies closely coordinated beyond the shared sites, including shared reports, common data collection instruments, and other ongoing collaboration.

    The report shares early results in the areas of implementation, employment outcomes, recidivism, and child support payment.

    Early results include:

    • The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration programs were relatively well implemented.
    • All but one of the programs generated large increases in employment in the early months of follow-up; however, these increases were mostly or entirely the result of the transitional jobs and faded as participants left those jobs.
    • Two of the three programs targeting people recently released from prison appear to have reduced recidivism....

    This report presents interim impact and implementation findings of seven transitional jobs programs from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Two of the sites in that study — in Atlanta and San Francisco — are also a part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration. The two studies closely coordinated beyond the shared sites, including shared reports, common data collection instruments, and other ongoing collaboration.

    The report shares early results in the areas of implementation, employment outcomes, recidivism, and child support payment.

    Early results include:

    • The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration programs were relatively well implemented.
    • All but one of the programs generated large increases in employment in the early months of follow-up; however, these increases were mostly or entirely the result of the transitional jobs and faded as participants left those jobs.
    • Two of the three programs targeting people recently released from prison appear to have reduced recidivism.
    • Most programs increased payment of child support. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Karas, Andrew; Lerman, Robert I.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Many Americans lack the financial knowledge to navigate the modern economy and avoid financial hardship. While information regarding the costs and benefits of financial choices is readily available, many people enter the workforce without knowing how to convert that information into sound decisionmaking. Furthermore, financial education efforts have shown mixed results, and turning classroom theory into lasting habits remains difficult.

    In this report, we explore approaches that incorporate financial education into youth apprenticeship programs. Based on interviews with more than a dozen youth apprenticeship coordinators in Wisconsin and Georgia, we find that integrated financial education is the exception in youth apprenticeship, but we find broad support for the idea that apprentices would benefit from it. (Author abstract)

    Many Americans lack the financial knowledge to navigate the modern economy and avoid financial hardship. While information regarding the costs and benefits of financial choices is readily available, many people enter the workforce without knowing how to convert that information into sound decisionmaking. Furthermore, financial education efforts have shown mixed results, and turning classroom theory into lasting habits remains difficult.

    In this report, we explore approaches that incorporate financial education into youth apprenticeship programs. Based on interviews with more than a dozen youth apprenticeship coordinators in Wisconsin and Georgia, we find that integrated financial education is the exception in youth apprenticeship, but we find broad support for the idea that apprentices would benefit from it. (Author abstract)

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