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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: Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This report summarizes the early findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), including lessons learned from implementing the project, from focus groups held with participants, and from an examination of the program’s effects on employment, earnings, and income assistance receipt in the first 18 months after random assignment. (author abstract)

    This report summarizes the early findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), including lessons learned from implementing the project, from focus groups held with participants, and from an examination of the program’s effects on employment, earnings, and income assistance receipt in the first 18 months after random assignment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Friedlander, Daniel; Martinson, Karin
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    Only small education effects were found for a large-scale program requiring participation in basic education by adult welfare recipients without a high school diploma or with low reading or math pretest scores. Positive results found in some of the research sites suggest that, with a focused program effort, GED certificates and improved achievement test scores may be obtained for individuals with pretest scores that are relatively high for this population. Raising achievement levels and increasing GED receipt appreciably among the many welfare recipients with lower pretest scores will require substantially improved program effectiveness. (author abstract)

    Only small education effects were found for a large-scale program requiring participation in basic education by adult welfare recipients without a high school diploma or with low reading or math pretest scores. Positive results found in some of the research sites suggest that, with a focused program effort, GED certificates and improved achievement test scores may be obtained for individuals with pretest scores that are relatively high for this population. Raising achievement levels and increasing GED receipt appreciably among the many welfare recipients with lower pretest scores will require substantially improved program effectiveness. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kemple, James J.; Rock, JoAnn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    Career Academies are one of several school-to-work approaches specifically authorized under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, a major milestone in the school-to-work movement. The Career Academies are “schools-within-schools” in which groups of students (usually 30 to 60 per grade in grades 9 through 12 or 10 through 12) take several classes together each year with the same group of teachers. The Academies focus on a career theme, such as health, business and finance, or electronics, which is usually determined by local employment opportunities and evidence of growing demand for such expertise in the marketplace. Career Academies’ curricula consist of traditional academic classes (such as math, English, science, and social studies) combined with occupation-related classes that focus on the career theme. Local employers from that field help plan and guide the program, and they serve as mentors and provide work experience for the students...

    This is the first report on the Career Academies Evaluation. It includes several preliminary findings that have important...

    Career Academies are one of several school-to-work approaches specifically authorized under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, a major milestone in the school-to-work movement. The Career Academies are “schools-within-schools” in which groups of students (usually 30 to 60 per grade in grades 9 through 12 or 10 through 12) take several classes together each year with the same group of teachers. The Academies focus on a career theme, such as health, business and finance, or electronics, which is usually determined by local employment opportunities and evidence of growing demand for such expertise in the marketplace. Career Academies’ curricula consist of traditional academic classes (such as math, English, science, and social studies) combined with occupation-related classes that focus on the career theme. Local employers from that field help plan and guide the program, and they serve as mentors and provide work experience for the students...

    This is the first report on the Career Academies Evaluation. It includes several preliminary findings that have important implications both for the evaluation and for policy and practice related to the Career Academies and other school-to-work approaches. Later reports will include additional analyses of how the Career Academies operate and will examine students’ and teachers’ experiences in the Academy and non-Academy high school environments. These reports will also include findings on the extent to which the Academies improve education and work-related outcomes for students. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Bos, Johannes; Polit, Denise
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across...

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across the country, sought to help the young mothers acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could secure jobs offering opportunities for advancement and could thereby reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants in postponing additional childbearing and to help them become better parents. Finally, New Chance was explicitly "two-generational" in its approach, seeking to enhance the cognitive abilities, health, and socioemotional well-being of enrollees' children. The program was, for the most part, voluntary; that is, young women were generally not required to attend in order to receive public assistance. Instead, most joined it because they wanted to earn their General Educational Development (GED, or high school equivalency) certificates and the program offered free child care to enable them to participate.

    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, young women who applied and were determined to be eligible for New Chance were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, whose members could enroll in the program, or the control group, whose members could not join New Chance but could receive other services available in their communities. To ascertain both short- and longer-term program effects, comparable information was collected from each member of both groups through in-home survey interviews conducted approximately 1½ and 3½ years after the individual had been randomly assigned. The measured average differences between the two groups' outcomes over time (such as their differences in rates of GED attainment, employment, or subsequent childbearing) and between the outcomes for their children are the observed results (or impacts) of New Chance. This, the final report on the New Chance program and its impacts, examines the trajectories of 2,079 young mothers who responded to the 3½-year survey.  (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Brock, Thomas ; Doolittle, Fred ; Fellerath, Veronica ; Wiseman, Michael ; Greenberg, David; Hollister, Robinson Jr.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    At this time of national debate about the best way to promote and reward work among low-income people, Milwaukee's New Hope Demonstration provides an unusual learning opportunity. With its goals of increasing employment, reducing poverty, and reducing receipt of welfare, New Hope is an ambitious undertaking. It seeks to achieve these goals through a simple offer: Participants who work full time (defined as an average of 30 hours per week) are assured of earnings above poverty, access to subsidized child care and health insurance (if needed), and a paid community service job if they are unable to find unsubsidized employment. This mix of work-conditioned incentives and services makes New Hope unique among the tests of reforms under way today. The Board and staff of New Hope are unusual, too, in having committed themselves from the very beginning to a rigorous research agenda, believing that for their project to influence national policy, it would have to be studied seriously.

    The program is operated by a community-based organization, the New Hope Project, outside the...

    At this time of national debate about the best way to promote and reward work among low-income people, Milwaukee's New Hope Demonstration provides an unusual learning opportunity. With its goals of increasing employment, reducing poverty, and reducing receipt of welfare, New Hope is an ambitious undertaking. It seeks to achieve these goals through a simple offer: Participants who work full time (defined as an average of 30 hours per week) are assured of earnings above poverty, access to subsidized child care and health insurance (if needed), and a paid community service job if they are unable to find unsubsidized employment. This mix of work-conditioned incentives and services makes New Hope unique among the tests of reforms under way today. The Board and staff of New Hope are unusual, too, in having committed themselves from the very beginning to a rigorous research agenda, believing that for their project to influence national policy, it would have to be studied seriously.

    The program is operated by a community-based organization, the New Hope Project, outside the traditional public assistance system. During the demonstration, the program is operating in two low-income areas of Milwaukee. Eligibility is based solely on income and a willingness to work full time, without any requirement that there be a single parent or even any children present in the household, as has been common in many welfare programs. At entry into the program, approximately 70 percent of New Hope participants lived in households with children, and 63 percent were receiving some type of public assistance.

    This report, the first major product of the evaluation, presents findings on New Hope's context, design, and implementation. A future report will present findings on the program's impacts on key outcomes and costs. Funding for the evaluation has been provided by the Helen Bader Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the State of Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development.

    Several messages emerge from the findings of this report. First, through an analysis of the context in which New Hope operates, the report presents a picture of the conditions in two central-city, low-income areas within a very strong metropolitan economy. This illustrates both the benefits of the strong overall employment picture and the limits on residents' abilities to participate in the economic growth.

    Second, the New Hope Project successfully put in place the benefits and services called for in the program design, in the process learning many lessons about how to administer monthly earnings supplements, subsidies for health insurance and child care, and paid community service jobs. The program thus provides an opportunity to learn how to link more closely work and supplemental financial support than is possible under existing earned income tax credits, which largely operate on an annual basis. Among the insights emerging from the New Hope experience is the central role program staff can play in helping participants understand the various financial incentives, make informed choices, and pursue employment.

    In New Hope, unlike many other programs, participants must work to receive program benefits, so this report's findings on use of the benefits are also of special importance. New Hope was not designed with any fixed sequence of program participation. Instead, it provides a collection of benefits that participants can access as they wish. Approximately three-quarters of those accepted into the New Hope program worked full time at some point in the following 12 months and received a program benefit, but — not surprisingly — patterns of benefit use were complex and varied.

    Final results on the effectiveness of New Hope in meeting its goals must await later reports on program impacts. Nevertheless, this report illustrates how the New Hope Project succeeded in putting in place services that have the potential to provide low-income workers with a bridge from below-poverty incomes to greater economic security. (author abstract)

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