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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: Fraker, Thomas M.; Nixon, Lucia A.; Losby, Jan L.; Prindle, Carol S.; Else, John F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Acting under federal waivers authorized by Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and Section 17(b) of the Food Stamp Act, Iowa implemented a comprehensive package of welfare reforms on October 1, 1993. These reforms replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with the Family Investment Program (FIP) and made complementary changes in the Food Stamp Program. The reforms encourage and require welfare recipients to take steps toward self-sufficiency. These steps, which are specified in the Family Investment Agreement (FIA), may include participating in education programs, engaging in job search and job readiness activities, and obtaining employment. The reforms stop short of requiring FIP participants to achieve self-sufficiency; however, it is expected that by following the required steps most of them will eventually leave cash assistance.
    
    The Limited Benefit Plan (LBP) is an alternative assistance program for FIP participants. Adult members of FIP cases who are able-bodied and are not caring for infants are required to develop and carry out...

    Acting under federal waivers authorized by Section 1115 of the Social Security Act and Section 17(b) of the Food Stamp Act, Iowa implemented a comprehensive package of welfare reforms on October 1, 1993. These reforms replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children with the Family Investment Program (FIP) and made complementary changes in the Food Stamp Program. The reforms encourage and require welfare recipients to take steps toward self-sufficiency. These steps, which are specified in the Family Investment Agreement (FIA), may include participating in education programs, engaging in job search and job readiness activities, and obtaining employment. The reforms stop short of requiring FIP participants to achieve self-sufficiency; however, it is expected that by following the required steps most of them will eventually leave cash assistance.
    
    The Limited Benefit Plan (LBP) is an alternative assistance program for FIP participants. Adult members of FIP cases who are able-bodied and are not caring for infants are required to develop and carry out FIAs under the auspices of the PROMISE JOBS program, which provides employment and training services to welfare recipients in Iowa. If those individuals do not comply with this requirement, they and their associated FIP cases are assigned to the LBP. These assignments are most often perceived as sanctions for failing to develop and carry out an FIA, but some reflect the wishes of the individuals. LBP assignments may be canceled if the individuals come into compliance with the FIA requirement or, less frequently, on appeal. The original LBP provided three months of cash benefits at the same level as under FIP, followed by three months of reduced cash benefits, and then six months of no cash benefits. The initial period of level benefits was eliminated in February 1996, resulting in a modified LBP that provides three months of reduced benefits, followed by six months of no cash benefits. LBP cases may reapply to FIP at the end of the period of no cash bene fits, but those who do so are again subject to the FIA requirement.
    
    This report presents findings from a study of the original LBP conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and the Institute for Social and Economic Development for the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). The data analyzed in this study are from DHS records on over 4,200 cases assigned to the LBP during six months in 1994 and 1995, a survey of 137 cases whose cash benefits had been terminated under the rules of the LBP, and case studies of 12 LBP families. The findings provide a comprehensive picture of LBP cases--who they are, why they are on the LBP, how the loss of cash benefits affects their financial status and family functioning in the short run, and what they are doing to cope. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: McIntire, James L.; Robins, Amy F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This study was undertaken in an effort to assess the impacts of recent policy, organizational, and technology changes on the delivery of employment services to welfare recipients. The study examines five of the most developed and promising One-Stop Job Centers around the country to find out what makes them work well, and to understand their potential for moving people from welfare to self-sufficiency. This study does not provide a formal evaluation of these model programs, but identifies those approaches and practices that seem to be working well in different locations. (author abstract)

    This study was undertaken in an effort to assess the impacts of recent policy, organizational, and technology changes on the delivery of employment services to welfare recipients. The study examines five of the most developed and promising One-Stop Job Centers around the country to find out what makes them work well, and to understand their potential for moving people from welfare to self-sufficiency. This study does not provide a formal evaluation of these model programs, but identifies those approaches and practices that seem to be working well in different locations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brauner, Sarah; Loprest, Pamela J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    Given welfare policies’ greater emphasis on leaving the rolls for work, interest has grown in determining how families that have left the program are faring. State and local governments, policymakers, and others want to know whether those who leave welfare ("leavers") are financially better off than when they were receiving benefits. The primary concern is whether leavers have found jobs and, if so, whether their hourly wages or hours per week are high enough to raise their families out of poverty. Policymakers and researchers would also like to know to what extent leavers are relying on other forms of federal, state, or local assistance.

    Many localities have sought to answer these questions through studies of leavers’ well-being. This brief summarizes findings on employment rates, characteristics of employment, and other determinants of well-being from 11 such studies conducted in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio (Cuyahoga County), South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. We focus on employment because of its key role in determining welfare...

    Given welfare policies’ greater emphasis on leaving the rolls for work, interest has grown in determining how families that have left the program are faring. State and local governments, policymakers, and others want to know whether those who leave welfare ("leavers") are financially better off than when they were receiving benefits. The primary concern is whether leavers have found jobs and, if so, whether their hourly wages or hours per week are high enough to raise their families out of poverty. Policymakers and researchers would also like to know to what extent leavers are relying on other forms of federal, state, or local assistance.

    Many localities have sought to answer these questions through studies of leavers’ well-being. This brief summarizes findings on employment rates, characteristics of employment, and other determinants of well-being from 11 such studies conducted in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio (Cuyahoga County), South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. We focus on employment because of its key role in determining welfare leavers’ economic well-being. Because of the great number and variety of "leaver studies" being undertaken, we also point out issues to consider in comparing study results.

    Numerous studies of welfare leavers have been published, and more are being released all the time. We attempted to review all publicly available studies that examine employment outcomes. Only studies that clearly described their methodology and reported survey response rates of 50 percent or higher were included. While some studies that meet these criteria may have been missed, this brief presents results from a range of reports. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Berlin, Lisa J.; Kisker, Ellen Eliason; Love, John M.; Raikes, Helen; Boller, Kimberly ; Paulsell, Diane; Rosenberg, Linda; Coolahan, Kathleen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This volume and its companion volumes are the first of two reports designed to share the experiences of the 17 Early Head Start research programs with others. The first report focuses on the programs early in their implementation (fall 1997), approximately two years after they were funded and one year after they began serving families. Volume I examines the characteristics and experiences of the 17 research programs from a cross-site perspective, focusing on the similarities and differences among the programs in fall 1997. Volume III analyzes the levels of program implementation achieved by the programs across program areas in fall 1997. Following a brief description of Early Head Start and the national evaluation, this volume presents in-depth profiles of each of the research programs in fall 1997. (Edited author introduction)

     

    This volume and its companion volumes are the first of two reports designed to share the experiences of the 17 Early Head Start research programs with others. The first report focuses on the programs early in their implementation (fall 1997), approximately two years after they were funded and one year after they began serving families. Volume I examines the characteristics and experiences of the 17 research programs from a cross-site perspective, focusing on the similarities and differences among the programs in fall 1997. Volume III analyzes the levels of program implementation achieved by the programs across program areas in fall 1997. Following a brief description of Early Head Start and the national evaluation, this volume presents in-depth profiles of each of the research programs in fall 1997. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Needles Fletcher, Cynthia; Flora, Jan L.; Gaddis, Barbara J.; Winter, Mary; Litt, Jacquelyn S.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2000

    This paper examines rural-urban differences in the implementation of welfare reform policies using Iowa as a case study. Information was gathered at the state, community, and family levels to study community-level implications of the policy mandate to move families off the welfare rolls and into the workforce. State and community interviews with key informants were conducted using The Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism state and community case study protocols. Seven communities/counties, including one metropolitan city, were selected to form a rural-urban continuum. Within those communities, five recipient families were selected for intensive interviews every six months over a three-year period.

    Differences between the metropolitan area and the rural communities were related to differences in population density. Although the problems appear to be universal, solutions may be different for urban and rural communities. The most important differences that manifested themselves along the rural-urban continuum were related to accessibility and distance to jobs and...

    This paper examines rural-urban differences in the implementation of welfare reform policies using Iowa as a case study. Information was gathered at the state, community, and family levels to study community-level implications of the policy mandate to move families off the welfare rolls and into the workforce. State and community interviews with key informants were conducted using The Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism state and community case study protocols. Seven communities/counties, including one metropolitan city, were selected to form a rural-urban continuum. Within those communities, five recipient families were selected for intensive interviews every six months over a three-year period.

    Differences between the metropolitan area and the rural communities were related to differences in population density. Although the problems appear to be universal, solutions may be different for urban and rural communities. The most important differences that manifested themselves along the rural-urban continuum were related to accessibility and distance to jobs and support services. Rural welfare-recipient families moving from welfare to work encountered fewer services locally. When services were available locally, access was less frequent. This pattern was particularly notable with respect to accessibility of jobs, job training and education, health care, child care, and emergency services. (Author abstract)

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