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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: Steuerle, Eugene; Reischauer, Robert D.; Simms, Margaret; Golden, Olivia; Rueben, Kim; Dubay, Lisa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Urban Institute scholars from diverse disciplines tackle a simple-to-state, hard-to-answer question: How can solutions to our national and state budget crises fit the facts about children in the United States? In their responses, the contributors wrestle with recent and approaching economic and demographic challenges in different ways and bring very different experiences to bear. (author abstract)

    Contents

    1. Children Caught in the Budget Crossfire/ Eugene Steuerle
    2. Budgeting for Tomorrow’s Workforce and Economy/ Robert D. Reischauer
    3. Persistent Childhood Poverty’s Double Whammy/ Margaret Simms
    4. Translating Good Ideas into Budget Realities for Children/ Olivia Golden
    5. The Children’s Budget — The Federal/State Bargain/ Kim Rueben
    6. What Spending on Child Health Looks Like/ Lisa Dubay

    Urban Institute scholars from diverse disciplines tackle a simple-to-state, hard-to-answer question: How can solutions to our national and state budget crises fit the facts about children in the United States? In their responses, the contributors wrestle with recent and approaching economic and demographic challenges in different ways and bring very different experiences to bear. (author abstract)

    Contents

    1. Children Caught in the Budget Crossfire/ Eugene Steuerle
    2. Budgeting for Tomorrow’s Workforce and Economy/ Robert D. Reischauer
    3. Persistent Childhood Poverty’s Double Whammy/ Margaret Simms
    4. Translating Good Ideas into Budget Realities for Children/ Olivia Golden
    5. The Children’s Budget — The Federal/State Bargain/ Kim Rueben
    6. What Spending on Child Health Looks Like/ Lisa Dubay
  • Individual Author: Skinner, Curtis; Hartig, Seth; Setty, Suma
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Colorado advocates and policymakers have launched important recent initiatives—both legislated and proposed—to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief presents the results of three state policy reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Colorado families with children: (1) Implementing two state income tax credits for families with children that have been signed into law, the Child Tax Credit for children under six years old and the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds; and (3) Initiating universal, full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Colorado Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. (Author abstract)

     

    Colorado advocates and policymakers have launched important recent initiatives—both legislated and proposed—to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief presents the results of three state policy reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Colorado families with children: (1) Implementing two state income tax credits for families with children that have been signed into law, the Child Tax Credit for children under six years old and the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds; and (3) Initiating universal, full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Colorado Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Pac, Jessica; Nam, Jaehyun; Waldfogel, Jane; Wimer, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an...

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an increasing role in reducing the poverty of young children, especially among Black non-Hispanic children, whose poverty rate would otherwise be 20.8 percentage points higher in 2013. Third, the composition of support has changed from virtually all cash transfers in 1968, to about one third each of cash, credit and in-kind transfers today. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bohn, Sarah; Danielson, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty—a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term. High housing costs and low wages are key barriers to reducing the prevalence of child poverty. Lawmakers have taken action to address these issues: the minimum wage is slated to increase to $15 an hour by 2022, and recently enacted laws aim to ease the state’s housing crisis.

    This report examines how high housing costs and low wages contribute to poverty among young children ages 0–5 and considers additional policy approaches that could mitigate need among this population. Our related interactive allows for a deeper exploration of how these potential changes could affect California’s diverse counties. We find:

    • In California, most young children live in areas with high costs of living, and most parents work. Among poor families with young children, 78 percent of adults work in low-wage jobs and 31 percent pay more than half their income toward housing. The challenges facing these families differ...

    Nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty—a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term. High housing costs and low wages are key barriers to reducing the prevalence of child poverty. Lawmakers have taken action to address these issues: the minimum wage is slated to increase to $15 an hour by 2022, and recently enacted laws aim to ease the state’s housing crisis.

    This report examines how high housing costs and low wages contribute to poverty among young children ages 0–5 and considers additional policy approaches that could mitigate need among this population. Our related interactive allows for a deeper exploration of how these potential changes could affect California’s diverse counties. We find:

    • In California, most young children live in areas with high costs of living, and most parents work. Among poor families with young children, 78 percent of adults work in low-wage jobs and 31 percent pay more than half their income toward housing. The challenges facing these families differ across the state. Those in low-cost areas—mostly inland and northern regions—are more likely to work low-wage jobs, while those in high-cost coastal and urban areas are more likely to pay a large share of their income toward housing. Minimum wage increases and lower housing costs could reduce child poverty substantially, especially in high-cost areas.
    • The current safety net is limited in its ability to reach some of the lowest-income families in the state. Devoting more resources to address this gap through, for example, expansions to the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit or a broad-based child credit could assist many severely poor families. Such approaches would have larger impacts on child poverty in low-cost areas. In contrast, rental assistance that targets both low incomes and high housing costs would reduce child poverty to a similar degree across the state. The approaches we examine range widely in estimated total costs, from $417 million to $2.3 billion, and would assist 210,000 to 390,000 young children statewide.
    • The current safety net is also limited in its ability to reach low- and moderate-income families who are struggling but may not fully qualify for existing programs—a particular challenge in high-cost areas. Taking into account the cost of living when determining income eligibility for work-based, child, or renter’s credits would help address this gap and could reach those missed by current programs. These approaches range from $4.1 billion to $5.6 billion in estimated total costs and would assist 310,000 to 1.6 million young children statewide. (Author summary)
  • Individual Author: Shapiro, Isaac; Trisi, Danilo
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The child poverty rate fell to a record low of 15.6 percent in 2016, a little more than half its 1967 level of 28.4 percent. This finding emerges from a new poverty series we have developed that combines the Census Bureau’s poverty data for 2016 with long-term poverty data compiled by Columbia University researchers. The new poverty series relies on the federal government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a comprehensive yardstick that most analysts believe provides a more accurate assessment of the resources available to low-income households to meet basic needs than the “official” poverty measure does. That’s because the SPM counts the income that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), rental subsidies, and other federal non-cash benefits and refundable tax credits provide, while the “official” poverty measure ignores such benefits. (Author introduction)

    The child poverty rate fell to a record low of 15.6 percent in 2016, a little more than half its 1967 level of 28.4 percent. This finding emerges from a new poverty series we have developed that combines the Census Bureau’s poverty data for 2016 with long-term poverty data compiled by Columbia University researchers. The new poverty series relies on the federal government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a comprehensive yardstick that most analysts believe provides a more accurate assessment of the resources available to low-income households to meet basic needs than the “official” poverty measure does. That’s because the SPM counts the income that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), rental subsidies, and other federal non-cash benefits and refundable tax credits provide, while the “official” poverty measure ignores such benefits. (Author introduction)

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