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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: 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: Snyder, Kathleen ; Bernstein, Sara ; Koralek, Robin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Child care subsidies are an important support service for families moving from welfare to work. The connections between child care and work, and the work oriented focus within the welfare system since welfare reform, have increased the need for links between the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems to ensure families receiving TANF and moving off TANF are connected to child care subsidies. This paper summarizes findings from the third phase of the study. It is based on focus groups conducted in four locations in 2003 with current TANF participants and parents who had left TANF within the past year and were receiving child care subsidies. The report examines how these parents accessed and retained child care subsidies as they moved through and off welfare. However, it is important to note that this study did not examine the experiences of families that were not using subsidies. As a consequence, this study provides important information to help us better understand how these systems and polices work for families in the system, but it does not represent the perspectives...

    Child care subsidies are an important support service for families moving from welfare to work. The connections between child care and work, and the work oriented focus within the welfare system since welfare reform, have increased the need for links between the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems to ensure families receiving TANF and moving off TANF are connected to child care subsidies. This paper summarizes findings from the third phase of the study. It is based on focus groups conducted in four locations in 2003 with current TANF participants and parents who had left TANF within the past year and were receiving child care subsidies. The report examines how these parents accessed and retained child care subsidies as they moved through and off welfare. However, it is important to note that this study did not examine the experiences of families that were not using subsidies. As a consequence, this study provides important information to help us better understand how these systems and polices work for families in the system, but it does not represent the perspectives of families that were unsuccessful in navigating these systems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holcomb, Pamela A.; Adams, Gina; Snyder, Kathleen; Koralek, Robin; Martinson, Karin; Bernstein, Sara; Capizzano, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play in welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families (box 2). This study occurred in three phases.

    The first phase, conducted in 2001, examined these issues from the perspective of welfare-to-work and child care administrators and staff in 11 local sites, and documented how these systems were set up and connected, the factors that aided or impeded coordination between the systems, and the processes TANF clients needed to complete as they moved through the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems while on welfare. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Pamela Holcomb, Kathleen Snyder, Robin Koralek, and Jeffrey Capizzano, Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)...

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play in welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families (box 2). This study occurred in three phases.

    The first phase, conducted in 2001, examined these issues from the perspective of welfare-to-work and child care administrators and staff in 11 local sites, and documented how these systems were set up and connected, the factors that aided or impeded coordination between the systems, and the processes TANF clients needed to complete as they moved through the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems while on welfare. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Pamela Holcomb, Kathleen Snyder, Robin Koralek, and Jeffrey Capizzano, Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    The second phase of the study examined a range of issues around subsidy use among parents who leave TANF. It included data from these 11 sites, as well as an examination of research on welfare leavers and subsidy patterns, a review of state policies regarding child care subsidies for welfare leavers for a range of states, and interviews with national experts to discuss the retention of child care subsidies as parents transition off cash assistance. (The findings from this phase are reported in Gina Adams, Robin Koralek, and Karin Martinson, Child Care Subsidies and Leaving Welfare: Policy Issues and Strategies [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    The third phase used focus groups in four of the 11 sites to explore the connections between the welfare-to-work and child care systems from the perspective of parents. These focus groups were made up of parents currently receiving TANF and child care subsidies, as well as parents who had left TANF within the previous year and were still receiving child care subsidies. (The findings from this phase are reported in Kathleen Snyder, Sara Bernstein, and Robin Koralek, Parents' Perspectives on Child Care Subsidies and Moving from Welfare to Work [Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006].)

    This document highlights overarching issues and themes that emerged from all three phases of this study, including those facing administrators and agencies working to provide these services to parents, and the implications of these issues for TANF clients and their children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Adams, Gina; Holcomb, Pamela. A.; Snyder, Kathleen; Koralek, Robin; Capizzano, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Over recent decades, policymakers have recognized that helping parents on welfare pay for child care is essential to help them move from welfare to work. As such, child care has consistently been an integral part of federal and state welfare reform efforts. It was a major focus of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), and of the cash assistance and welfare-to-work program it established—the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

    Although the connection between child care as a work support and the TANF program's mandate to help welfare recipients obtain employment is conceptually simple, the actual processes and policies used by states and localities to ensure child care assistance is made available to TANF families moving from welfare to work is far more complicated. The complexity arises in part because the child care subsidy and TANF welfare-to-work programs represent two devolved systems that differ in their goals, target populations, administrative structures, and policy...

    Over recent decades, policymakers have recognized that helping parents on welfare pay for child care is essential to help them move from welfare to work. As such, child care has consistently been an integral part of federal and state welfare reform efforts. It was a major focus of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), and of the cash assistance and welfare-to-work program it established—the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

    Although the connection between child care as a work support and the TANF program's mandate to help welfare recipients obtain employment is conceptually simple, the actual processes and policies used by states and localities to ensure child care assistance is made available to TANF families moving from welfare to work is far more complicated. The complexity arises in part because the child care subsidy and TANF welfare-to-work programs represent two devolved systems that differ in their goals, target populations, administrative structures, and policy frameworks.

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play for welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the existing information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families. This is the first report of a three-part study that explores different aspects of the intersection of the child care and welfare systems. This report focuses on the systems and policies that affect families' child care subsidies while they are receiving cash assistance through TANF and participating in work activities. Through discussions with child care and TANF workers and administrators in 11 sites in winter 2001/2002, this study examined the following four questions:

    • What administrative structures have states and localities designed to connect TANF and child care subsidy functions?
    • What has to happen—at both the administrative and client levels—for TANF parents to obtain and keep child care assistance—that is, as they move through applying for TANF cash assistance, participating in required work activities, and finding employment?
    • What coordination issues have states and localities faced in bringing these two systems together, and what strategies have they developed?
    • What are the implications of the answers to these questions for parents as well as for policymakers and administrators interested in improving welfare-to-work and child care services? (author abstract)

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