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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: Cancian, Maria ; Meyer, Daniel
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    Wisconsin is at the forefront of a national movement to require AFDC recipients to find employment. The move toward work-based welfare reform raises important questions about the job prospects, potential wages, and child care responsibilities of current recipients. To begin answering these questions, we analyzed administrative data concerning the characteristics of Wisconsin women who headed AFDC-Regular (primarily single parent) cases, which account for about 80 percent of all AFDC cases in Wisconsin.

    We first looked at changes in the state’s caseload from 1983 to 1993 to learn whether the remarkable decline in the number of AFDC recipients that took place over that period meant that those who were better prepared for work had already left the rolls. We found that, over the decade, the AFDC-Regular caseload increasingly contained recipients with low levels of education, larger families, and younger children. The percentage of those recipients who lacked a high school diploma rose from 35 to 42 percent of the total; the proportion of families with more than one child grew...

    Wisconsin is at the forefront of a national movement to require AFDC recipients to find employment. The move toward work-based welfare reform raises important questions about the job prospects, potential wages, and child care responsibilities of current recipients. To begin answering these questions, we analyzed administrative data concerning the characteristics of Wisconsin women who headed AFDC-Regular (primarily single parent) cases, which account for about 80 percent of all AFDC cases in Wisconsin.

    We first looked at changes in the state’s caseload from 1983 to 1993 to learn whether the remarkable decline in the number of AFDC recipients that took place over that period meant that those who were better prepared for work had already left the rolls. We found that, over the decade, the AFDC-Regular caseload increasingly contained recipients with low levels of education, larger families, and younger children. The percentage of those recipients who lacked a high school diploma rose from 35 to 42 percent of the total; the proportion of families with more than one child grew from 50 to 57 percent; and families with a preschool child increased from 62 to 72 percent. These figures indicate that the current caseload includes a greater proportion of individuals who face barriers to full-time work. To learn more about the nature of those barriers, we turned to a close examination of those who were recipients in December 1993, the latest date for which information was available at the time of our study. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Institute for Research on Poverty
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    There has been very little agreement on the ultimate goals of out-of-home care. Tension has always existed between “child saving” and “family preservation,” and the emphasis has sometimes shifted dramatically between the two. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96–272) came down decisively in favor of preserving families or of ensuring that children moved quickly from out-of-home care to permanent adoptive families. Out-of-home care was viewed as the least desirable alternative—perhaps a consequence of the failure to achieve permanent placement. As the caseload has grown and the controversy over ends has continued, it has become particularly critical to determine what we really know about out-of-home care and its long-term effects on the children served. It is frequently claimed, for example, that most of the long-term effects of foster care are negative: that former foster-care children are disproportionately represented among the homeless, the unemployed, the welfare-dependent, and the delinquent. But there are gaping holes in our knowledge of the...

    There has been very little agreement on the ultimate goals of out-of-home care. Tension has always existed between “child saving” and “family preservation,” and the emphasis has sometimes shifted dramatically between the two. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96–272) came down decisively in favor of preserving families or of ensuring that children moved quickly from out-of-home care to permanent adoptive families. Out-of-home care was viewed as the least desirable alternative—perhaps a consequence of the failure to achieve permanent placement. As the caseload has grown and the controversy over ends has continued, it has become particularly critical to determine what we really know about out-of-home care and its long-term effects on the children served. It is frequently claimed, for example, that most of the long-term effects of foster care are negative: that former foster-care children are disproportionately represented among the homeless, the unemployed, the welfare-dependent, and the delinquent. But there are gaping holes in our knowledge of the circumstances and outcomes of children in foster care—in part, as is noted below, because of the absence of well-designed and commensurably oriented studies. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.; Stoll, Michael A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This paper uses new survey data on employers in four large metropolitan areas to examine the determinants of employer demand for welfare recipients. The results suggest a high level of demand for welfare recipients, though such demand appears fairly sensitive to business cycle conditions. A broad range of factors, including skill needs and industry, affect the prospective demand for welfare recipients among employers, while other characteristics that affect the relative supply of welfare recipients to these employers (such as location and employer use of local agencies or welfare-to-work programs) influence the extent to which such demand is realized in actual hiring. Moreover, the conditional demand for black (and to a lesser extent Hispanic) welfare recipients lags behind their representation in the welfare population and seems to be more heavily affected by employers' location and indicators of preferences than by their skill needs or overall hiring activity. Thus, a variety of factors on the demand side of the labor market continue to limit the employment options of welfare...

    This paper uses new survey data on employers in four large metropolitan areas to examine the determinants of employer demand for welfare recipients. The results suggest a high level of demand for welfare recipients, though such demand appears fairly sensitive to business cycle conditions. A broad range of factors, including skill needs and industry, affect the prospective demand for welfare recipients among employers, while other characteristics that affect the relative supply of welfare recipients to these employers (such as location and employer use of local agencies or welfare-to-work programs) influence the extent to which such demand is realized in actual hiring. Moreover, the conditional demand for black (and to a lesser extent Hispanic) welfare recipients lags behind their representation in the welfare population and seems to be more heavily affected by employers' location and indicators of preferences than by their skill needs or overall hiring activity. Thus, a variety of factors on the demand side of the labor market continue to limit the employment options of welfare recipients, especially those who are minorities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bartfeld, Judi
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    This article provides national estimates of the current and potential impact of private child support transfers on the economic well-being of custodial and noncustodial families following marital dissolution. Mothers and children fare dramatically worse than fathers after marital dissolution; these differences, however, would be much more pronounced in the absence of private child support. Simulations of four existing child support guidelines show that substantial increases in economic well-being among mother-custody families are possible within the structure of the existing child support system, with minimal impact on poverty among nonresident fathers. Under all of these guidelines, however, custodial-mother families would continue to fare substantially worse than nonresident fathers. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a discussion paper published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

    This article provides national estimates of the current and potential impact of private child support transfers on the economic well-being of custodial and noncustodial families following marital dissolution. Mothers and children fare dramatically worse than fathers after marital dissolution; these differences, however, would be much more pronounced in the absence of private child support. Simulations of four existing child support guidelines show that substantial increases in economic well-being among mother-custody families are possible within the structure of the existing child support system, with minimal impact on poverty among nonresident fathers. Under all of these guidelines, however, custodial-mother families would continue to fare substantially worse than nonresident fathers. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a discussion paper published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: Wolfe, Barbara L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the U.S. welfare system dramatically. Its primary goal was to reduce dependency by moving most of those receiving cash welfare into the work force. One tool to accomplish this objective was a change in the incentives facing actual and potential recipients. States were granted flexibility in how to accomplish this objective. This paper evaluates the program in four states in terms of efficiency and equity. It looks briefly at resulting labor force participation and incomes of those most directly affected by welfare reforms. The analysis highlights the difficulty of simultaneously providing incentives to work and incentives to increase individuals' labor market productivity while maintaining a minimal safety net and avoiding high marginal rates of taxation. None of the states studied is able to avoid a "poverty trap" in its program. The need to coordinate the benefit and withdrawal schedule of programs designed to help this population flows from the analysis. (author abstract)

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the U.S. welfare system dramatically. Its primary goal was to reduce dependency by moving most of those receiving cash welfare into the work force. One tool to accomplish this objective was a change in the incentives facing actual and potential recipients. States were granted flexibility in how to accomplish this objective. This paper evaluates the program in four states in terms of efficiency and equity. It looks briefly at resulting labor force participation and incomes of those most directly affected by welfare reforms. The analysis highlights the difficulty of simultaneously providing incentives to work and incentives to increase individuals' labor market productivity while maintaining a minimal safety net and avoiding high marginal rates of taxation. None of the states studied is able to avoid a "poverty trap" in its program. The need to coordinate the benefit and withdrawal schedule of programs designed to help this population flows from the analysis. (author abstract)

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