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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: 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: Mulligan-Hansel, Kathleen; Fendt, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include...

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include whether to allow a family to enroll in W-2, what placement the family will receive, what kinds of education and supervised work activity to assign, and whether a family loses benefits because of absences from assigned work activity. In order to determine if service levels are affected by ethnicity or race, this report examines data from the Department of Workforce Development on the use of sanctions against W-2 participants to see if there is a differential in the rate of sanctions against Hispanic, African-American and white clients. If disparities do, in fact, exist, it would suggest that similar discrepancies in other services are occurring which would negatively impact participants ability to secure skills and support needed to leave the program and function independently.

  • Individual Author: DeParle, Jason
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2004

    In this definitive work, two-time Pulitzer finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce a masterpiece of literary journalism. At the heart of the story are three cousins whose different lives follow similar trajectories. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart in her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that threatens her kids and her life. DeParle traces  their family history back six generations to slavery and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic.

    With a vivid sense of humanity, DeParle demonstrates that although we live in a country where anyone can make it, generation after generation some families don’t. To read American Dream is to understand why. (author abstract)

    In this definitive work, two-time Pulitzer finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce a masterpiece of literary journalism. At the heart of the story are three cousins whose different lives follow similar trajectories. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart in her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that threatens her kids and her life. DeParle traces  their family history back six generations to slavery and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic.

    With a vivid sense of humanity, DeParle demonstrates that although we live in a country where anyone can make it, generation after generation some families don’t. To read American Dream is to understand why. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hildebrandt, Eugenie; Kelber, Sheryl T.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    Women who are single parents, poor, and employed in low-paying jobs have little choice about being dependent on public assistance programs to meet basic personal and family needs. Objective: To explore women's perceptions of their health and well-being while enrolled in a work-based welfare program. This is the second in a series of articles about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Design and Sample: Qualitative interviews and quantitative survey methods were used to explore perceptions of health and well-being in a purposive sample of mothers (n = 34) enrolled in a work-based welfare program in a city in the U.S. Midwest. Methods: Instruments used were a semistructured interview guide, a demographic data form, and the General Well-Being Schedule (i.e., a survey tool developed for the U.S. Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). Data collection was completed in June 2000. The data were triangulated; using both quantitative and qualitative data added to the in-depth understanding of the subjects. Results: Distress levels reported by participants were significantly...

    Women who are single parents, poor, and employed in low-paying jobs have little choice about being dependent on public assistance programs to meet basic personal and family needs. Objective: To explore women's perceptions of their health and well-being while enrolled in a work-based welfare program. This is the second in a series of articles about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Design and Sample: Qualitative interviews and quantitative survey methods were used to explore perceptions of health and well-being in a purposive sample of mothers (n = 34) enrolled in a work-based welfare program in a city in the U.S. Midwest. Methods: Instruments used were a semistructured interview guide, a demographic data form, and the General Well-Being Schedule (i.e., a survey tool developed for the U.S. Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). Data collection was completed in June 2000. The data were triangulated; using both quantitative and qualitative data added to the in-depth understanding of the subjects. Results: Distress levels reported by participants were significantly higher than in the general U.S. population. Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that current policies do not effectively support health and well-being of single mothers enrolled in work-based welfare programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Green, Gary
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Job training is an important factor in enhancing the economic well-being of workers. Technological advances, especially with computers, have led to dramatic improvements over the past decade or so in productivity and the demand for skilled workers. There are concerns, however, that many workers will be left behind in the shift toward a more “high-tech” economy. In particular, the persistence of gender and racial differences in earnings raises concerns that some workers may not be receiving enough training to be successful in the new economy.

    Along with the shift in demand for skilled workers, there has been a relatively important shift in how and where job training takes place. Historically, public policy has focused on developing training programs for workers in educational institutions and other organizations outside the workplace. Over the years these programs, especially for disadvantaged workers, proliferated and there was little coherence to the federal, and state, programs that were available. These programs have become more streamlined and coordinated through the...

    Job training is an important factor in enhancing the economic well-being of workers. Technological advances, especially with computers, have led to dramatic improvements over the past decade or so in productivity and the demand for skilled workers. There are concerns, however, that many workers will be left behind in the shift toward a more “high-tech” economy. In particular, the persistence of gender and racial differences in earnings raises concerns that some workers may not be receiving enough training to be successful in the new economy.

    Along with the shift in demand for skilled workers, there has been a relatively important shift in how and where job training takes place. Historically, public policy has focused on developing training programs for workers in educational institutions and other organizations outside the workplace. Over the years these programs, especially for disadvantaged workers, proliferated and there was little coherence to the federal, and state, programs that were available. These programs have become more streamlined and coordinated through the Workforce Investment Act, which establishes regional boards to coordinate training activities.

    There also has been a growing recognition that workers learn best in the their work environment. Numerous institutional innovations, such as youth apprenticeships, school-to-work programs, and others have placed much greater emphasis on experiential learning. Research on training also has focused increasingly on formal training offered by employers and the obstacles employers face in provided general training to their workforce.

    In this paper I examine the willingness of employers to provide formal training to women and minorities. The analysis focuses on the role of firm, worker and job characteristics in the receipt of job training. (author)

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