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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: Blumenberg, Evelyn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Increasing international migration has prompted public officials to develop policies to better integrate foreign-born residents. While scholars have shown the positive relationship between access to transport and economic outcomes among low-income adults, very little is known about this relationship with respect to immigrants. This study examines transport and employment rates among low-income adults focusing specifically on Southeast Asian refugees. The findings show the importance of automobiles across all racial and ethnic groups. Southeast Asians, however, report the greatest difficulty with their travel largely because they face auto-related problems including the age and unreliability of their vehicles. These findings suggest the need for both universal and group-specific policies for addressing the transport needs of the poor. (Author abstract)

    Increasing international migration has prompted public officials to develop policies to better integrate foreign-born residents. While scholars have shown the positive relationship between access to transport and economic outcomes among low-income adults, very little is known about this relationship with respect to immigrants. This study examines transport and employment rates among low-income adults focusing specifically on Southeast Asian refugees. The findings show the importance of automobiles across all racial and ethnic groups. Southeast Asians, however, report the greatest difficulty with their travel largely because they face auto-related problems including the age and unreliability of their vehicles. These findings suggest the need for both universal and group-specific policies for addressing the transport needs of the poor. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cassetty, Judith H.; Hutson, Royce
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    The federal government has historically employed both incentives and threats to engage the states in partnership to advance public policy in directions that Congress, reflecting its perception of the public good, has deemed worthy. The means by which the federal government has pursued its aims have included incentives, often financial, and threats of sanctions, also frequently of an economic nature. Nowhere in the domain of social policy has the systematic application of these "carrots" and "sticks" been used to affect the dramatic changes that have been necessary to convert a heretofore private matter of family law, formerly falling indisputably within the purview of state authority, to a function whose wide-ranging parameters fall under the authority of the federal government. That this has occurred within the space of three decades stands as a remarkable achievement in the history of federal social policy making. The authors examine the effectiveness of two important incentive strategies employed under federal direction that may have served to bring the process of child...

    The federal government has historically employed both incentives and threats to engage the states in partnership to advance public policy in directions that Congress, reflecting its perception of the public good, has deemed worthy. The means by which the federal government has pursued its aims have included incentives, often financial, and threats of sanctions, also frequently of an economic nature. Nowhere in the domain of social policy has the systematic application of these "carrots" and "sticks" been used to affect the dramatic changes that have been necessary to convert a heretofore private matter of family law, formerly falling indisputably within the purview of state authority, to a function whose wide-ranging parameters fall under the authority of the federal government. That this has occurred within the space of three decades stands as a remarkable achievement in the history of federal social policy making. The authors examine the effectiveness of two important incentive strategies employed under federal direction that may have served to bring the process of child support enforcement largely under the authority of the federal government. Prior to the enactment of welfare reform legislation in 1996, federal law required that states' practices involving AFDC program benefit calculations exclude the first US $50 in parental support collected for any given recipient's household, in any given month. These "disregards" were designed to serve as incentives to AFDC recipients to cooperate with the identification and location of the fathers of their children. During much of the history of the federal Child Support Enforcement Program, provisions have also been in place that established federal financial incentive schedules designed to encourage states to operate increasingly more efficient and effective programs. These incentive payments to states were based on federal formulas that included measures of states' cost-effectiveness in securing support payments from non-resident parents for welfare-dependent children. In a state with large AFDC populations, these federal incentive payments could amount to several million dollars a year. This study employs federal administrative data derived from states' Child Support Enforcement programs to explore the effectiveness of these two kinds of incentives in shaping program outcomes. Controlling for other substantive administrative practices, and some key state features, the authors find that these two types of incentives do appear to have had significant effects upon program achievements and outcomes, outcomes that are consistent with theory and policy intent. (This is one of nine articles in this special issue on managed behavioral health care.) (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Okech, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fantuzzo, John; LeBoeuf, Whitney; Brumley, Benjamin; Perlman, Staci
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Child homelessness and educational well-being is an area of national research that requires more precise investigation to address mixed findings. The aim of this study was to extend the investigation of the relations between homelessness and educational well-being by determining if timing and frequency of homeless episodes are differentially associated with children's academic and classroom engagement outcomes. This investigation used a comprehensive research model to study the effects of these homeless episode characteristics within a large urban student cohort. Additionally, this study accounted for co-occurring early risk factors. Findings indicated that having a first homeless episode in early childhood was associated with non-proficiency in mathematics and academic engagement problems. Also more frequent homeless episodes were related to truancy in third grade. These results stress the importance of early intervention for homeless children and underscore the need to further understand the variation in young children's homeless experiences. (author abstract)

    Child homelessness and educational well-being is an area of national research that requires more precise investigation to address mixed findings. The aim of this study was to extend the investigation of the relations between homelessness and educational well-being by determining if timing and frequency of homeless episodes are differentially associated with children's academic and classroom engagement outcomes. This investigation used a comprehensive research model to study the effects of these homeless episode characteristics within a large urban student cohort. Additionally, this study accounted for co-occurring early risk factors. Findings indicated that having a first homeless episode in early childhood was associated with non-proficiency in mathematics and academic engagement problems. Also more frequent homeless episodes were related to truancy in third grade. These results stress the importance of early intervention for homeless children and underscore the need to further understand the variation in young children's homeless experiences. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sheran, Michelle; Swann, Christopher A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    Many children in private kinship care arrangements live in families that endure financial hardships. Even though these families are eligible for TANF child-only grants, only one in five receives cash assistance. The purpose of this study is to better understand the take-up of cash assistance for this group. Using national level data, we explore the relationships among child and caregiver characteristics and the receipt of cash assistance. We provide evidence that disadvantaged families are more likely to receive cash assistance than less disadvantaged families. For example, older caregivers and those with less education have higher take-up rates than their counterparts. Similarly, being poor and having received welfare in the past increase the likelihood that assistance is received. Nonetheless, it is important to note that take-up rates are low compared to other social programs. Our results suggest some possible reasons for this. For instance, our findings point to the possibility that many private kinship care families do not take-up cash assistance because they do not know...

    Many children in private kinship care arrangements live in families that endure financial hardships. Even though these families are eligible for TANF child-only grants, only one in five receives cash assistance. The purpose of this study is to better understand the take-up of cash assistance for this group. Using national level data, we explore the relationships among child and caregiver characteristics and the receipt of cash assistance. We provide evidence that disadvantaged families are more likely to receive cash assistance than less disadvantaged families. For example, older caregivers and those with less education have higher take-up rates than their counterparts. Similarly, being poor and having received welfare in the past increase the likelihood that assistance is received. Nonetheless, it is important to note that take-up rates are low compared to other social programs. Our results suggest some possible reasons for this. For instance, our findings point to the possibility that many private kinship care families do not take-up cash assistance because they do not know that they are eligible for it through the TANF program. This suggests that outreach may improve participation. It also raises the issue of whether the receipt of cash assistance could be improved if benefits were provided through a program other than TANF. (author abstract)

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