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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: Anderson, Steven G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    Welfare reform policies assume that recipients will increase work efforts if they are offered improved income and support services incentives. Yet, based on personal interviews with 60 welfare recipients, this study found that recipients often do not understand the incentives provided. This results both from a lack of knowledge about existing incentives and from confusion about eligibility rules and benefit calculations. Such knowledge deficits do not appear to be the result of lack of interest in working, but rather stem from the complexity of incentives. To improve recipient responsiveness and well-being, work incentives need to be simplified and strategies developed for better dissemination of information to recipients. Caseworkers must play a vital role in such efforts, because they often are the key to ensuring that recipients gain access to available benefits. (author abstract)

    Welfare reform policies assume that recipients will increase work efforts if they are offered improved income and support services incentives. Yet, based on personal interviews with 60 welfare recipients, this study found that recipients often do not understand the incentives provided. This results both from a lack of knowledge about existing incentives and from confusion about eligibility rules and benefit calculations. Such knowledge deficits do not appear to be the result of lack of interest in working, but rather stem from the complexity of incentives. To improve recipient responsiveness and well-being, work incentives need to be simplified and strategies developed for better dissemination of information to recipients. Caseworkers must play a vital role in such efforts, because they often are the key to ensuring that recipients gain access to available benefits. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Herbert, Christopher E. ; Turnham, Jennifer; Wood, Michelle; Rodger, Christopher N.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    This report presents the final results of an evaluation of the home purchase component of Michigan's Links to Homeownership program. The program used TANF funds to expand down payment assistance and homeownership education for low-income home buyers in the state. The evaluation assessed the quality of program implementation and the effects of the program on attainment and sustainability of homeownership for families served.

    This report presents the final results of an evaluation of the home purchase component of Michigan's Links to Homeownership program. The program used TANF funds to expand down payment assistance and homeownership education for low-income home buyers in the state. The evaluation assessed the quality of program implementation and the effects of the program on attainment and sustainability of homeownership for families served.

  • Individual Author: McCulloch, Heather
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2005

    To expand ownership, one must start by confronting the reality that millions of Americans do not have the means and opportunity to be owners today. The good news is that the current policy; environment gives states the opportunity to advance asset-building policies that help more residents save and invest in themselves, their families, and their communities. Even in today's tight fiscal conditions, state asset policy initiatives are brokering near-term strategies that are leveraging public (federal and state) and private (business and philanthropic) resources to help families build assets. And these asset policy initiatives are building a new policy dialogue that is laying the groundwork to implement longer-term strategies. Although these asset-building policies represent just the; beginning of statewide efforts, they are already helping to open up economic opportunities for working families. If successful, over time, these state initiatives will result in; broader ownership and a brighter future for America’s working families. (Author abstract)

    To expand ownership, one must start by confronting the reality that millions of Americans do not have the means and opportunity to be owners today. The good news is that the current policy; environment gives states the opportunity to advance asset-building policies that help more residents save and invest in themselves, their families, and their communities. Even in today's tight fiscal conditions, state asset policy initiatives are brokering near-term strategies that are leveraging public (federal and state) and private (business and philanthropic) resources to help families build assets. And these asset policy initiatives are building a new policy dialogue that is laying the groundwork to implement longer-term strategies. Although these asset-building policies represent just the; beginning of statewide efforts, they are already helping to open up economic opportunities for working families. If successful, over time, these state initiatives will result in; broader ownership and a brighter future for America’s working families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Barr, Michael S.; Dokko, Jane K.
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2006

    The United States Federal income tax code has an enormous potential to shape the economic and financial decisions of taxpaying households. Tax rates, compliance laws, and the withholding system create incentives, as do the methods by which the Treasury collects tax receipts and disburses tax refunds. The role of third party service providers in this incentive structure is less well understood, even though tax preparation firms play important roles in our tax system. Nationally, more than half of taxpayers use paid preparers to submit their tax returns. Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households are among those who use the paid tax preparation system. In fact, among those who file, more than two-thirds of low-income households use paid tax preparation services. Thus, understanding the role of third party providers in the tax system is critical to understanding how our tax system functions. (author abstract)

    The United States Federal income tax code has an enormous potential to shape the economic and financial decisions of taxpaying households. Tax rates, compliance laws, and the withholding system create incentives, as do the methods by which the Treasury collects tax receipts and disburses tax refunds. The role of third party service providers in this incentive structure is less well understood, even though tax preparation firms play important roles in our tax system. Nationally, more than half of taxpayers use paid preparers to submit their tax returns. Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households are among those who use the paid tax preparation system. In fact, among those who file, more than two-thirds of low-income households use paid tax preparation services. Thus, understanding the role of third party providers in the tax system is critical to understanding how our tax system functions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Barnes, Carolyn; Danziger, Sandra K.; Rodems, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Research on public welfare agencies demonstrates that the design of the cash assistance program negatively affects recipients’ external political efficacy and political participation. This line of research suggests that public welfare administration may have political feedback effects on mass political behavior in two ways: 1) by offering resources and incentives for political action (resource effects) and 2) by providing information and meaning (interpretive effects). Essentially, policies teach lessons about citizenship, government, and politics that influence people’s values and attitudes, group identities, their orientations to government, and patterns of political participation.

    Our inquiry examines these questions in the context of a voluntary private social service program, Starfish Family Success Program (FSP). We ask whether and how participation shapes the efficacy beliefs of low income parents and specifically disconnected parents in the Detroit metro area. Our data consists of panel survey data and in-depth interview data collected as part of a program...

    Research on public welfare agencies demonstrates that the design of the cash assistance program negatively affects recipients’ external political efficacy and political participation. This line of research suggests that public welfare administration may have political feedback effects on mass political behavior in two ways: 1) by offering resources and incentives for political action (resource effects) and 2) by providing information and meaning (interpretive effects). Essentially, policies teach lessons about citizenship, government, and politics that influence people’s values and attitudes, group identities, their orientations to government, and patterns of political participation.

    Our inquiry examines these questions in the context of a voluntary private social service program, Starfish Family Success Program (FSP). We ask whether and how participation shapes the efficacy beliefs of low income parents and specifically disconnected parents in the Detroit metro area. Our data consists of panel survey data and in-depth interview data collected as part of a program evaluation of the Starfish Family Success Program. We use ordinary least squares regression to test the claim that FSP participation has spill-over effects on individuals’ values and beliefs. Through qualitative analysis, we further highlight mechanisms of program design that may affect our efficacy outcomes. The subjective reports of experiences in the FSP program highlight the most salient program attributes and how these experiences may contribute to their efficacy beliefs. Our findings suggest that voluntary FSP program participation is associated with substantial increases in both self-efficacy and parental efficacy among parents in our sample who have been disconnected from work and welfare. Our qualitative analysis supports our statistical findings regarding self-efficacy, suggesting that the FSP program is a source of social and emotional support that helps families feel empowered to improve how they navigate hardships, cope with stress and solve problems. (author abstract)

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