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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: King, Elisabeth; Elliott, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This report describes family centered employment strategies. It begins with a look at the economics of families in poverty and provides a brief outline of the many ways in which employment and training programs have begun to work with families. The report then examines the work of four employment programs now offering employment services to families: (1) a transitional employment program; (2) a refugee resettlement program; (3) a youth employment program; and (4) a faith-based program. The key elements that have enabled these programs to provide services successfully are discussed. The major federal programs used to meet the employment needs of the poor, however, remain focused principally on serving individuals. Recent Clinton administration proposals indicate that the family is beginning to occupy a more central place in the discussion of federal employment programs. Until public resources are available, it seems unlikely that many organizations will make the extraordinary effort to combine multiple revenue sources needed to serve families' employment needs successfully. An...

    This report describes family centered employment strategies. It begins with a look at the economics of families in poverty and provides a brief outline of the many ways in which employment and training programs have begun to work with families. The report then examines the work of four employment programs now offering employment services to families: (1) a transitional employment program; (2) a refugee resettlement program; (3) a youth employment program; and (4) a faith-based program. The key elements that have enabled these programs to provide services successfully are discussed. The major federal programs used to meet the employment needs of the poor, however, remain focused principally on serving individuals. Recent Clinton administration proposals indicate that the family is beginning to occupy a more central place in the discussion of federal employment programs. Until public resources are available, it seems unlikely that many organizations will make the extraordinary effort to combine multiple revenue sources needed to serve families' employment needs successfully. An appendix describes the four programs in detail.

  • Individual Author: Chow, Julian; Bester, Nancy; Shinn, Alan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    Achieving economic self-sufficiency through employment is the ultimate goal of recent changes to the welfare program. The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population is most vulnerable to failing in this goal because of language difficulty, low education levels and lack of job skills in the labor market. Many AAPI immigrants, and Southeast Asian Americans in particular, suffer from adjustment and mental health problems due to their experiences as refugees. These are but a few of the obstacles for AAPI welfare recipients to become self-sufficient, making them one of the most “hard-to-serve” populations. The goal of self-sufficiency through employment can be reached if culturally appropriate and adequate support services are provided to meet the unique needs of the population. Few programs, however, are targeted at AAPIs. Using key-informant interviews and the case material review method, this article highlights the difficulties of AAPI welfare recipients and describes a unique program serving the Southeast Asian American, particularly the Cambodian, population. The...

    Achieving economic self-sufficiency through employment is the ultimate goal of recent changes to the welfare program. The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population is most vulnerable to failing in this goal because of language difficulty, low education levels and lack of job skills in the labor market. Many AAPI immigrants, and Southeast Asian Americans in particular, suffer from adjustment and mental health problems due to their experiences as refugees. These are but a few of the obstacles for AAPI welfare recipients to become self-sufficient, making them one of the most “hard-to-serve” populations. The goal of self-sufficiency through employment can be reached if culturally appropriate and adequate support services are provided to meet the unique needs of the population. Few programs, however, are targeted at AAPIs. Using key-informant interviews and the case material review method, this article highlights the difficulties of AAPI welfare recipients and describes a unique program serving the Southeast Asian American, particularly the Cambodian, population. The article focuses on the program components of outreach and engagement, day socialization and job readiness, and family support services, and it discusses improvement to service access and lessons learned for the practice of cultural competence. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wrigley-Spruck, Heide; Richer, Elise; Martinson, Karin; Kubo, Hitomi; Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Adults who have limited English skills, usually immigrants or refugees, often face poor labor market prospects. The number of such individuals in the U.S. workforce has grown dramatically over the past decade—accounting for nearly half of all workforce growth—yet the workforce development implications of this growth have received scant attention. Current resources for language and job training services are dwarfed by the need. Moreover, few programs focus on providing the nexus of language, cultural, and specific job skills that are key to helping low-income adults with limited English skills increase their wages and economic status—and to helping our nation’s economy grow. More help is urgently needed. Virtually all of our nation’s new workforce growth for the foreseeable future will come from immigration, so failure to assist immigrants in improving their language and job skills is likely to hurt workforce productivity over the long term. Other key national priorities, such as meeting high educational standards in our public schools and helping welfare recipients move toward...

    Adults who have limited English skills, usually immigrants or refugees, often face poor labor market prospects. The number of such individuals in the U.S. workforce has grown dramatically over the past decade—accounting for nearly half of all workforce growth—yet the workforce development implications of this growth have received scant attention. Current resources for language and job training services are dwarfed by the need. Moreover, few programs focus on providing the nexus of language, cultural, and specific job skills that are key to helping low-income adults with limited English skills increase their wages and economic status—and to helping our nation’s economy grow. More help is urgently needed. Virtually all of our nation’s new workforce growth for the foreseeable future will come from immigration, so failure to assist immigrants in improving their language and job skills is likely to hurt workforce productivity over the long term. Other key national priorities, such as meeting high educational standards in our public schools and helping welfare recipients move toward economic self-sufficiency, also depend on expanding opportunities for individuals with limited English skills and helping them gain the skills they need to get ahead economically and socially. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Halpern, Peggy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    A refugee is a person outside of his or her own country and unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (ORR, 2007b).  Refugees are fleeing their homes as a result of violent conflict or other disruption.  Some spend many long years in refugee camps, cut off from normal life, and they may experience physical hardship and psychological trauma (IRC).

    It is the historic policy of the United States to admit to this country refugees of special humanitarian concern, reflecting our core values and our tradition of being a safe haven for the oppressed (ORR, 2007c).  Thus, refugees who are resettled in the United States are given legal immigration status. Furthermore, because they often lack the basic foundation to rebuild their lives in the United States, they are assisted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  ORR provides...

    A refugee is a person outside of his or her own country and unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (ORR, 2007b).  Refugees are fleeing their homes as a result of violent conflict or other disruption.  Some spend many long years in refugee camps, cut off from normal life, and they may experience physical hardship and psychological trauma (IRC).

    It is the historic policy of the United States to admit to this country refugees of special humanitarian concern, reflecting our core values and our tradition of being a safe haven for the oppressed (ORR, 2007c).  Thus, refugees who are resettled in the United States are given legal immigration status. Furthermore, because they often lack the basic foundation to rebuild their lives in the United States, they are assisted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) located in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  ORR provides refugees with cash and medical assistance and social services including employment services for a time-limited period.  This type of assistance, which is not provided to all immigrants, is designed to enable refugees to become employed and economically self-sufficient as soon as possible after their arrival and to support their social integration in this country (ORR, 2007d).

    Since 1975, the U.S. has settled 2.6 million refugees (ORR, 2008b) Numbers declined immediately following the 9/11 attacks; anti-terrorism legislation contributed to these declines.  In 2006, 41,150  persons were admitted as refugees and 26,113 were granted asylum, and in 2007, 48, 217 refugees were admitted and 25,270 asylees were granted asylum (U.S.DHS, 2006, 2007, 2008).

    ORR reports that the economic adjustment of refugees has been a relatively successful and generally rapid process.  The purpose of this exploratory study was to learn what factors and approaches contribute to refugee economic self-sufficiency and to ORR’s success in getting refugees employed.  Qualitative methods were used to obtain information for this study that included a literature review, discussions with a small convenience sample of ORR federal staff and resettlement program providers, attendance at ORR workshops, and a site visit.  Findings from the major sections of this report are summarized below. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Government Accountability Office
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    In fiscal year 2009, the United States resettled close to 70,000 refugees fleeing persecution in their homelands. To assist in their transition to the United States and help them attain employment, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides temporary cash, medical, and other assistance through four different assistance programs. The economic downturn and an increase in refugee arrivals posed challenges to ORR's efforts to assist refugees and estimate program costs, resulting in fluctuating unobligated balances. Congress required GAO to examine (1) differences in ORR's refugee assistance programs and factors program providers consider when placing refugees in a particular program; (2) refugee employment outcomes and the effectiveness of different approaches to providing assistance; and (3) how ORR estimates program costs and how its estimates have affected the agency's unobligated balances. GAO met with federal and state officials, voluntary agency staff, and refugees; reviewed selected case files; analyzed ORR performance data for...

    In fiscal year 2009, the United States resettled close to 70,000 refugees fleeing persecution in their homelands. To assist in their transition to the United States and help them attain employment, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides temporary cash, medical, and other assistance through four different assistance programs. The economic downturn and an increase in refugee arrivals posed challenges to ORR's efforts to assist refugees and estimate program costs, resulting in fluctuating unobligated balances. Congress required GAO to examine (1) differences in ORR's refugee assistance programs and factors program providers consider when placing refugees in a particular program; (2) refugee employment outcomes and the effectiveness of different approaches to providing assistance; and (3) how ORR estimates program costs and how its estimates have affected the agency's unobligated balances. GAO met with federal and state officials, voluntary agency staff, and refugees; reviewed selected case files; analyzed ORR performance data for fiscal years 2007 through 2009; and reviewed and analyzed relevant federal laws, regulations, and budget documents. (author abstract)

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