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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: Paulsell, Diane; Max, Jeffrey; Derr, Michelle; Burwick, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The public workforce investment system aims to serve all job seekers, but many of those most in need of help do not use it. Language barriers, dislike or fear of government agencies, limited awareness of available services, and difficulties using self-directed services are some of the challenges that may limit the accessibility of the system. While not traditionally partners in the workforce investment system, small, grassroots faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) may be well positioned to serve people who do not currently use the public workforce system. Some job seekers may be more likely to access services from FBCOs because they typically have earned the trust of local community members and understand their needs. Moreover, FBCOs often provide personal, flexible, and comprehensive services that are well suited to people who face multiple barriers to employment.

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recognized that by filling a service gap and serving some of the neediest populations, FBCOs have the potential to be valuable partners in the workforce...

    The public workforce investment system aims to serve all job seekers, but many of those most in need of help do not use it. Language barriers, dislike or fear of government agencies, limited awareness of available services, and difficulties using self-directed services are some of the challenges that may limit the accessibility of the system. While not traditionally partners in the workforce investment system, small, grassroots faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) may be well positioned to serve people who do not currently use the public workforce system. Some job seekers may be more likely to access services from FBCOs because they typically have earned the trust of local community members and understand their needs. Moreover, FBCOs often provide personal, flexible, and comprehensive services that are well suited to people who face multiple barriers to employment.

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recognized that by filling a service gap and serving some of the neediest populations, FBCOs have the potential to be valuable partners in the workforce investment system. Collaborating with FBCOs may also allow the government to leverage its workforce investment funds by taking advantage of the volunteers, donated goods and services, and other resources FBCOs are often able to access. Moreover, an FBCO’s knowledge of its community and its needs may help workforce investment agencies plan and deliver services more effectively.

    Collaborations between government agencies and FBCOs may not, however, come easily. In many communities, workforce investment agencies and grassroots FBCOs have little experience working together. Government agencies may not know about the work of FBCOs, and FBCOs may be unaware of the ways that public agencies could help their clients. Each may perceive the other’s mission as different from its own. In addition, government agencies may be concerned about their customers’ rights and legal issues when services are provided by faith-based organizations (FBOs), and the limited administrative and service capacity of some FBCOs may also be a barrier to collaborative relationships.

    Cognizant of the potential barriers to these collaborations, DOL has since 2002 granted over $30 million to promote and sustain collaborations between FBCOs and the workforce investment system. These grants have been made to FBCOs, states, intermediaries, and Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). Intermediaries are larger nonprofit faith- or community-based agencies that can facilitate collaboration with smaller, grassroots organizations. WIBs are state or local entities that oversee the local workforce investment systems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Nightingale, Demetra Smith; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Barnow, Burt S.; Trutko, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The goal of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstrations, funded jointly by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and the Ford Foundation, was to make lasting changes in the way public agencies and community organizations work with young unmarried parents to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children and parents.  To assess progress towards meeting this goal, OCSE and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) conducted a five-year, national evaluation of the demonstration projects that operated in nine States.  Each project was a partnership of non-profit organizations and state and local agencies to develop comprehensive services for young, low-income, non-custodial fathers and their families and children.  The PFF demonstrations were designed to help fragile families (young unwed parents and their children) by helping fathers learn to share the legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities of parenthood with their child's mother.  The PFF projects tested new ways for state-run child support...

    The goal of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstrations, funded jointly by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) and the Ford Foundation, was to make lasting changes in the way public agencies and community organizations work with young unmarried parents to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for children and parents.  To assess progress towards meeting this goal, OCSE and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) conducted a five-year, national evaluation of the demonstration projects that operated in nine States.  Each project was a partnership of non-profit organizations and state and local agencies to develop comprehensive services for young, low-income, non-custodial fathers and their families and children.  The PFF demonstrations were designed to help fragile families (young unwed parents and their children) by helping fathers learn to share the legal, financial, and emotional responsibilities of parenthood with their child's mother.  The PFF projects tested new ways for state-run child support enforcement programs and community-based organizations to work together to help young fathers obtain employment, make child support payments, and learn parenting skills; as well as to help parents build stronger partnerships.

    This report focuses on the characteristics of PFF participants and participants' employment, earnings, and child support patterns prior and subsequent to their enrollment in the program.  Quarterly wage data from state unemployment compensation records were used to assess employment outcomes.  State child support data on child support awards and payments were used to assess changes in participants' child support behaviors. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinson, Karin; Trutko, John; Nightingale, Demetra Smith; Holcomb, Pamela A.; Barnow, Burt S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This report describes the design and implementation of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. Operating in 13 sites across the country, PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers in becoming financial and emotional resources to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The report examines the programs’ structure and institutional partnerships; participant characteristics; recruitment and enrollment efforts; the nature of employment, peer support, parenting, and child support-related services provided through the initiatives; and implementation challenges and lessons. (author abstract)

    This report describes the design and implementation of the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. Operating in 13 sites across the country, PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers in becoming financial and emotional resources to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The report examines the programs’ structure and institutional partnerships; participant characteristics; recruitment and enrollment efforts; the nature of employment, peer support, parenting, and child support-related services provided through the initiatives; and implementation challenges and lessons. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meléndez, Edwin; Falcón, Luis M.; de Montrichard, Alexandra
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    ...

    Community colleges have become key institutions delivering employment training services to the population targeted by welfare-to-work grants (Carnavale and Desrochers, 1997; Meléndez and Suárez, 2001). Many community colleges have developed new programs and structures to meet a stringent set of program requirements and to provide support services for welfare recipients (Katsinas, Banachowski, Bliss, and Short, 1999). Most new programs specifically designed to serve welfare recipients have a significant component of continuing education or noncredit courses such as GED preparation and ESL to develop participants’ basic skills. These short-term vocational training programs create links between certificate and degree programs and act as mechanisms to close the gap between training and education (Bailey, 1998; Grubb, 1996). Providing the opportunity for academic and career advancement is perhaps the greatest theoretical advantage community colleges have over other employment training institutions, such as community-based job-training organizations and employer-based training.

    Community college success in serving low-income and disadvantaged populations has led to proposals that two-year institutions assume a more central role in regional workforce development systems (Carnavale and Desrocher, 1997; Jenkins and Fitzgerald, 1998). In this study, we examine the ways community colleges have transformed their operations in response to the challenges inherent in educating a disadvantaged welfare recipient population with multiple academic and social needs. This chapter examines the following questions: To what extent have community colleges adapted for the welfare recipients entering their institutions? Have the changes in policy induced different responses among mainstream versus predominantly minority-serving colleges? How are curriculum, instruction, student services, and educational programs changing to meet the needs of welfare recipients and other disadvantaged students? What are the institutional factors affecting colleges’ participation in workforce development programs? Lessons from case studies and best practices in programs targeting welfare recipients presented in this chapter are particularly relevant to mainstream community colleges targeting nontraditional and minority students. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Annie E. Casey Foundation
    Reference Type: Dataset
    Year: 2010

    Description: Making Connections is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-term, multi-site effort to demonstrate that poor results for children and families in tough neighborhoods can be changed for the better.

    Population: Sites in Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, and Seattle. Aimed at improving outcomes of children and families in tough/isolated neighborhoods and communities, as well as outcomes for the communities as a whole.

    Periodicity: Started in 1999, 10 year initiative. Data collected periodically throughout each year.

    Researchers can apply for access to three waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Denver, Des Moines, Louisville, Indianapolis, Providence, San Antonio, and White Center (Seattle) and two waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Milwaukee, Oakland, and Hartford through NORC's data enclave. Learn more about the data and get information on...

    Description: Making Connections is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-term, multi-site effort to demonstrate that poor results for children and families in tough neighborhoods can be changed for the better.

    Population: Sites in Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, and Seattle. Aimed at improving outcomes of children and families in tough/isolated neighborhoods and communities, as well as outcomes for the communities as a whole.

    Periodicity: Started in 1999, 10 year initiative. Data collected periodically throughout each year.

    Researchers can apply for access to three waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Denver, Des Moines, Louisville, Indianapolis, Providence, San Antonio, and White Center (Seattle) and two waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Milwaukee, Oakland, and Hartford through NORC's data enclave. Learn more about the data and get information on accessing the data here.

    (Information adapted from the publisher)

    For more information, please see the Compendium of Family-Self Sufficiency Databases.

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