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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: Kirby, Gretchen; Ross, Christine; Puffer, Loren
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 changed cash welfare from a system of income maintenance as an entitlement to low-income families to one in which assistance to families is both limited and temporary, and in which work and economic self-sufficiency are emphasized. The emerging emphasis on work has led many states to significantly narrow the exemptions from welfare-related work requirements. Under prior Federal law, states could opt to adjust the young-child work exemption from its Federally-mandated level, which exempted parents with a child under three years old, to exempt only parents with a child under one year old. In 1998, 22 states used the new flexibility granted under PRWORA to require parents to work if their youngest child was less than one year old. This report examines the state and local policies and practices that encourage and support the activities of welfare-reliant parents of infants who are required to engage in work and school activities.

    Juggling work and family responsibilities is a formidable...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 changed cash welfare from a system of income maintenance as an entitlement to low-income families to one in which assistance to families is both limited and temporary, and in which work and economic self-sufficiency are emphasized. The emerging emphasis on work has led many states to significantly narrow the exemptions from welfare-related work requirements. Under prior Federal law, states could opt to adjust the young-child work exemption from its Federally-mandated level, which exempted parents with a child under three years old, to exempt only parents with a child under one year old. In 1998, 22 states used the new flexibility granted under PRWORA to require parents to work if their youngest child was less than one year old. This report examines the state and local policies and practices that encourage and support the activities of welfare-reliant parents of infants who are required to engage in work and school activities.

    Juggling work and family responsibilities is a formidable challenge for two-parent families with young children, but it is even harder for single parents, who make up the majority of the welfare caseload. Even more challenging for single parents who work is the task of caring for an infant because infant care is generally less available, more expensive, and harder to assess in terms of quality. As states seek ways to support families with infants in their transition from welfare to work, many questions emerge for researchers and policymakers alike. How successful is the welfare-to-work transition for parents of infants? What special challenges do these parents face in balancing their parenting activities with required work or school activities? What supportive services are critical to continued participation in work and school activities, and ultimately, to a successful transition from welfare to work? Is continuous, reliable, affordable, and good-quality infant care available to these parents? Have states taken the opportunity to link these families with child care that can promote the health and development of infants?

    In an effort to answer these questions and, ultimately, to address the issue of providing infant care for single, working, low-income parents, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) to conduct the Study of Infant Care Under Welfare Reform. The study was designed to provide information about the strategies states and communities are using to help parents of infants make the transition to school or work while promoting the health and development of their infants, and about the policy and program challenges states and communities are facing in this effort. The information is intended both to inform policymakers about the experience of several communities and to build a foundation for future research on the effectiveness of particular programs, policies, and strategies in supporting the transition to work or school while promoting infant health and development.

    The study has three phases:

    A general information-gathering phase, focusing on the work-, school-, and child care-related policies and programs in 22 states that required parents of infants to work in 1998, when the study was launched.

    An in-depth study phase, focusing on welfare and child care program policy and practice in eight communities, and on the experiences of welfare-reliant parents of infants in these sites.

    A research design phase, focusing on the evaluation of programs, policies, and strategies designed to support parents’ transitions to work and their infants’ health and development.

    This report presents the findings from the first two phases of the study, with an emphasis on the second phase. We end with a summary of research directions, which will be expanded upon in a forthcoming report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen; Fishman, Mike; Ragan, Mark; Gais, Tom
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a study to determine how local management of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs has adapted practices to address changing needs and improve program results. To understand these local adaptations, the research team—which included staff from the Lewin Group and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government—visited five local TANF offices to interview staff and collect data. The sites selected were among locations where field research was conducted several years ago in order to gauge changes since the early years of TANF implementation. The five sites were in Phoenix, Arizona; Macon, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Site visits were conducted between February and July 2006. This report presents major findings from the site visits. Several cross-cutting findings emerged from the study: (author abstract)

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a study to determine how local management of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs has adapted practices to address changing needs and improve program results. To understand these local adaptations, the research team—which included staff from the Lewin Group and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government—visited five local TANF offices to interview staff and collect data. The sites selected were among locations where field research was conducted several years ago in order to gauge changes since the early years of TANF implementation. The five sites were in Phoenix, Arizona; Macon, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Site visits were conducted between February and July 2006. This report presents major findings from the site visits. Several cross-cutting findings emerged from the study: (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gardiner, Karen; Fishman, Mike; Ragan, Mark; Gais, Tom
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    In 2006, the Lewin Group and its subcontractor, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, assessed and reported on recent adaptations made by local offices in managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. This assessment sought to provide a clear picture of recent changes implemented by local program managers to improve performance, several years after the initial wave of change brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) the study team visited local sites in five states, interviewing staff and management in TANF and other local offices that provide services for TANF clients. The results of the field work and analyses were published in January 2007. (author abstract)

    In 2006, the Lewin Group and its subcontractor, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, assessed and reported on recent adaptations made by local offices in managing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. This assessment sought to provide a clear picture of recent changes implemented by local program managers to improve performance, several years after the initial wave of change brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). Under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) the study team visited local sites in five states, interviewing staff and management in TANF and other local offices that provide services for TANF clients. The results of the field work and analyses were published in January 2007. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Hamilton, Gayle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This brief presents findings, and lessons for policy and practice, from MDRC-conducted studies of five programs that provided earnings supplements and that have been rigorously evaluated using a random assignment research design: the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Milwaukee’s New Hope Project, the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) program, and the United Kingdom Employment Retention and Advancement (UK ERA) program. The evaluations primarily focus on the effects of the programs on single parents. SSP, MFIP, and New Hope operated some time ago (primarily in the 1990s), but long-run follow-up data are available only recently. In addition, relatively new evaluation results are available from the more recent Texas ERA and UK ERA programs.

    This brief discusses key findings from evaluations of these earnings supplement programs and then provides lessons for both policy and practice that have emerged from these initiatives. While each program had its own set of unique circumstances and lessons (and none is...

    This brief presents findings, and lessons for policy and practice, from MDRC-conducted studies of five programs that provided earnings supplements and that have been rigorously evaluated using a random assignment research design: the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Milwaukee’s New Hope Project, the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) program, and the United Kingdom Employment Retention and Advancement (UK ERA) program. The evaluations primarily focus on the effects of the programs on single parents. SSP, MFIP, and New Hope operated some time ago (primarily in the 1990s), but long-run follow-up data are available only recently. In addition, relatively new evaluation results are available from the more recent Texas ERA and UK ERA programs.

    This brief discusses key findings from evaluations of these earnings supplement programs and then provides lessons for both policy and practice that have emerged from these initiatives. While each program had its own set of unique circumstances and lessons (and none is currently operating), the focus here is on common themes across the initiatives. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meit, Michael; Bushar, Jessica; Langerman, Heather; Scherer, Hilary; Hafford, Carol; Knudson, Alana; Hernandez, Aleena; Dotomain, Evangeline; Allis, Paul
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This practice brief is the first in a series of practice briefs being developed by the Tribal HPOG evaluation team, comprised of NORC at the University of Chicago, Red Star Innovations, and the National Indian Health Board. The briefs will be used to disseminate important lessons learned and findings from the Evaluation of the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program , which is being funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families. The Tribal HPOG program is funded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to support 32 demonstration projects, including 5 Tribal Organizations and Colleges, to train Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals as health care professionals. The purpose of this first practice brief is to: (1) describe the unique aspects of the Tribal HPOG grantee organizations and the target populations they serve; (2) introduce the program frameworks of the Tribal HPOG grantees; and (3) provide an overview of the Federally-sponsored evaluation of the...

    This practice brief is the first in a series of practice briefs being developed by the Tribal HPOG evaluation team, comprised of NORC at the University of Chicago, Red Star Innovations, and the National Indian Health Board. The briefs will be used to disseminate important lessons learned and findings from the Evaluation of the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program , which is being funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families. The Tribal HPOG program is funded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to support 32 demonstration projects, including 5 Tribal Organizations and Colleges, to train Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals as health care professionals. The purpose of this first practice brief is to: (1) describe the unique aspects of the Tribal HPOG grantee organizations and the target populations they serve; (2) introduce the program frameworks of the Tribal HPOG grantees; and (3) provide an overview of the Federally-sponsored evaluation of the Tribal HPOG grantees. (author abstract)

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