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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: Halpern-Meekin, Sarah; Greene, Sara Sternberg; Levin, Ezra; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Financial stability depends on emergency savings. Low-wage workers regularly experience drops in income and unexpected expenses. Households with savings absorb these financial shocks but most low-income Americans lack rainy day savings. Therefore, even a small shock, like car repairs, can result in a cascade of events that throws a low-income family into poverty. Nonetheless, existing policies address emergency savings only indirectly. However, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) already functions as an imperfect, makeshift savings tool. This lump sum refund at tax time gives workers a moment of financial slack, but many EITC recipients lack emergency reserves later in the year. By creating a “Rainy Day EITC” component of the existing EITC, policymakers can help low-wage workers build up emergency savings. (Author abstract)

    Financial stability depends on emergency savings. Low-wage workers regularly experience drops in income and unexpected expenses. Households with savings absorb these financial shocks but most low-income Americans lack rainy day savings. Therefore, even a small shock, like car repairs, can result in a cascade of events that throws a low-income family into poverty. Nonetheless, existing policies address emergency savings only indirectly. However, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) already functions as an imperfect, makeshift savings tool. This lump sum refund at tax time gives workers a moment of financial slack, but many EITC recipients lack emergency reserves later in the year. By creating a “Rainy Day EITC” component of the existing EITC, policymakers can help low-wage workers build up emergency savings. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grist, Nicky; Plat, Katie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report, with generous support from Capital One, draws on data results from a two-city pilot to better understand how Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) clients are saving and ultimately inform new savings indicators for financial counseling success.

    In 2017, financial counselors at Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) in Nashville and Philadelphia tested an innovative approach to defining, discussing, and tracking their clients’ efforts to build savings, using new savings outcomes. The CFE Fund combined counselor and client experiences with academic and policy research to operationalize the field’s thinking about how people with low incomes save, to tell a more complete story about the impact of financial counseling on savings, and to learn whether changing a program’s data system affects the way financial counselors work and the results their clients achieve. (Author introduction)

     

    This report, with generous support from Capital One, draws on data results from a two-city pilot to better understand how Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) clients are saving and ultimately inform new savings indicators for financial counseling success.

    In 2017, financial counselors at Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) in Nashville and Philadelphia tested an innovative approach to defining, discussing, and tracking their clients’ efforts to build savings, using new savings outcomes. The CFE Fund combined counselor and client experiences with academic and policy research to operationalize the field’s thinking about how people with low incomes save, to tell a more complete story about the impact of financial counseling on savings, and to learn whether changing a program’s data system affects the way financial counselors work and the results their clients achieve. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Arkin, Monica
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    Posted by Monica Arkin, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Case workers and other practitioners in the welfare system benefit from keeping abreast of new research and clinical approaches when working with clients. One such method that has been around for decades but has only recently been popularized in the field of self-sufficiency is motivational interviewing. Developed in the 1980s by clinical psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick, motivational interviewing was created as an approach to behavioral change particularly for individuals dealing with substance use disorders. Compared with the more traditional dynamic of counselor-patient relationships, which commonly features an expert counselor educating or persuading a less-informed client, motivational interviewing...

    Posted by Monica Arkin, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Case workers and other practitioners in the welfare system benefit from keeping abreast of new research and clinical approaches when working with clients. One such method that has been around for decades but has only recently been popularized in the field of self-sufficiency is motivational interviewing. Developed in the 1980s by clinical psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick, motivational interviewing was created as an approach to behavioral change particularly for individuals dealing with substance use disorders. Compared with the more traditional dynamic of counselor-patient relationships, which commonly features an expert counselor educating or persuading a less-informed client, motivational interviewing occurs in the context of a partnership where client autonomy is the foundation. Together, the counselor and client engage in a collaborative conversation about identifying problems and solutions, particularly by focusing on barriers to change that are preventing progress toward the client’s goals. Rather than imposing change externally, motivational interviewing seeks to elicit and strengthen an individual’s intrinsic motivation for change.

    Since its initial development in substance abuse treatment spaces, motivational interviewing has proven to be an effective approach for facilitating productive change in various client contexts. With respect to self-sufficiency, studies of TANF-eligible client outcomes have shown that motivational interviewing is a valuable addition to case worker interventions. For example, a six-month follow-up evaluation of 322 randomly selected TANF-eligible clients participating in Kentucky’s Targeted Assessment Program (TAP), which combines motivational interviewing, holistic assessment and strengths-based case management, found medium-to-strong decreases in self-reported barriers to self-sufficiency. These included barriers related to physical health (at six-month follow-up the percentage of participants who had seen a doctor in the previous 12 months decreased, as did the percentage of participants who wanted to see a doctor but reported being unable to), mental health (feeling badly about oneself, having thoughts of self-harm, and feeling worried or anxious), substance use, and intimate partner violence. Additionally, TAP participants reported lower work difficulty and higher employment rates at the time of follow-up.

    Another study found a connection between motivational interviewing and veterans’ self-sufficiency. Eighty-four veterans who had psychiatric disorders and had applied for service-connected compensation were assigned to either a control condition, where they received an orientation to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system and services, or an experimental condition, where they received four 50-minute sessions of individual counseling that followed a motivational interviewing framework. At a six-month follow up, veterans in the experimental group reported significantly more days of paid employment compared with participants in the control group. This suggests that motivational interviewing may reduce barriers to employment that are associated with disability payments for psychiatric disorders.

    The benefits of motivational interviewing serve the client as well as the practitioner. A qualitative study in Alamance County, North Carolina gathered the perceptions of case workers within the child welfare system that were trained in motivational interviewing. When initial training was supplemented with coaching from clinical coaches, case workers reported that motivational interviewing “helped them deal with difficult issues they encountered, changed-long held perspectives, and provided a new approach to working with families.”

    The SSRC Library contains numerous reports and stakeholder resources about motivational interviewing, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to the SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.

     

  • Individual Author: Heiman, Patrick; Pilkauskas, Natasha; Michelmore, Katherine; Curtis, Marah; McKernan, Pat
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar, Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability, on March 7, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm EST. The webinar focused on human service policies and programs that may directly influence low-income and vulnerable families’ housing stability. There is a well-established connection between consistent, stable, and affordable housing and positive family physical, emotional, and economic well-being. Housing instability – frequent moves because of social, familial, financial, mental health, and violence related issues – is common among low-income households and other vulnerable populations such as recently incarcerated individuals. A lack of stable housing is linked to increased food insecurity, mental health barriers, physical hardships, and poorer education outcomes for children. These negative outcomes become more prevalent and extreme when housing instability leads to homelessness. While there is little argument over housing stability and its connection to family self-sufficiency, there is...

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar, Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability, on March 7, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm EST. The webinar focused on human service policies and programs that may directly influence low-income and vulnerable families’ housing stability. There is a well-established connection between consistent, stable, and affordable housing and positive family physical, emotional, and economic well-being. Housing instability – frequent moves because of social, familial, financial, mental health, and violence related issues – is common among low-income households and other vulnerable populations such as recently incarcerated individuals. A lack of stable housing is linked to increased food insecurity, mental health barriers, physical hardships, and poorer education outcomes for children. These negative outcomes become more prevalent and extreme when housing instability leads to homelessness. While there is little argument over housing stability and its connection to family self-sufficiency, there is less clarity on how to efficiently and effectively address this housing challenge. The supply of affordable housing has declined while overall levels of housing instability have increased. There is evidence showing how housing subsidies for low-income individuals increase housing stability, but less than 25 percent of the 19 million eligible households receive this support. In addition, waiting lists for housing subsidies and other forms of assistance can be up to three years long. Given these challenges, it is important to understand the potential of other human services supports and policies, besides housing assistance, to promote positive housing outcomes for low-income individuals.

    This document is the transcript from Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The webinar PowerPoint slides can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the webinar can be found here.

  • Individual Author: Heiman, Patrick; Pilkauskas, Natasha; Michelmore, Katherine; Curtis, Marah; McKernan, Pat
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2018

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar, Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability, on March 7, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm EST. The webinar focused on human service policies and programs that may directly influence low-income and vulnerable families’ housing stability. There is a well-established connection between consistent, stable, and affordable housing and positive family physical, emotional, and economic well-being. Housing instability – frequent moves because of social, familial, financial, mental health, and violence related issues – is common among low-income households and other vulnerable populations such as recently incarcerated individuals. A lack of stable housing is linked to increased food insecurity, mental health barriers, physical hardships, and poorer education outcomes for children. These negative outcomes become more prevalent and extreme when housing instability leads to homelessness. While there is little argument over housing stability and its connection to family self-sufficiency, there is less...

    The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) sponsored a webinar, Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability, on March 7, 2018, 2:00-3:30pm EST. The webinar focused on human service policies and programs that may directly influence low-income and vulnerable families’ housing stability. There is a well-established connection between consistent, stable, and affordable housing and positive family physical, emotional, and economic well-being. Housing instability – frequent moves because of social, familial, financial, mental health, and violence related issues – is common among low-income households and other vulnerable populations such as recently incarcerated individuals. A lack of stable housing is linked to increased food insecurity, mental health barriers, physical hardships, and poorer education outcomes for children. These negative outcomes become more prevalent and extreme when housing instability leads to homelessness. While there is little argument over housing stability and its connection to family self-sufficiency, there is less clarity on how to efficiently and effectively address this housing challenge. The supply of affordable housing has declined while overall levels of housing instability have increased. There is evidence showing how housing subsidies for low-income individuals increase housing stability, but less than 25 percent of the 19 million eligible households receive this support. In addition, waiting lists for housing subsidies and other forms of assistance can be up to three years long. Given these challenges, it is important to understand the potential of other human services supports and policies, besides housing assistance, to promote positive housing outcomes for low-income individuals.

    This document is the Q&A from Beyond Housing Policy: Human Service Policies to Address Housing Instability. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The webinar transcript can be found here. The PowerPoint presentation from the webinar can be found here.

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