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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: Wu, Chi-Fang; Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.; Wallace, Geoffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, families are subject to greater work requirements, and the severity of sanction for noncompliance has increased. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, the authors performed event history analysis to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning and the patterns of benefits following a sanction. They found that very high rates of sanctioning (especially partial sanctions) and multiple sanctions were fairly common but sanction spells were quite short. The most common transition from a sanction was back to full benefit receipt. The authors also examined the factors associated with being sanctioned and the severity of sanctions by comparing a traditional model with an event history model. They found that it is important to estimate a model that takes into account the period of risk. Results confirm that those who may be least able to succeed in the labor market are most likely to be sanctioned. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    Under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, families are subject to greater work requirements, and the severity of sanction for noncompliance has increased. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, the authors performed event history analysis to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning and the patterns of benefits following a sanction. They found that very high rates of sanctioning (especially partial sanctions) and multiple sanctions were fairly common but sanction spells were quite short. The most common transition from a sanction was back to full benefit receipt. The authors also examined the factors associated with being sanctioned and the severity of sanctions by comparing a traditional model with an event history model. They found that it is important to estimate a model that takes into account the period of risk. Results confirm that those who may be least able to succeed in the labor market are most likely to be sanctioned. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper that was previously published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

  • Individual Author: Wu, Chi-Fang; Cancian, Maria ; Meyer, Daniel ; Joo Lee, Bong; Slack, Kristen; Lewis, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Existing research concerning sanctions, mostly based upon cross-sectional studies of those leaving welfare, suggests that sanctioned families resemble long-time welfare recipients in a number of respects. They are more disadvantaged than even the average welfare recipient— younger, less educated, less likely to live with a partner and more likely to have been in an abusive relationship in the past year. They are more likely to have grown up in a welfare-receiving family or to have health problems or children with health problems. As a group, they are more likely to have immediate practical disadvantages also— higher levels of financial strain, as evidenced by utility cutoffs, no car, or no telephone service.

    The two projects summarized here broke new ground in the study of sanctions. Both made use of longitudinal data. Chi-Fang Wu, Maria Cancian, and Daniel R. Meyer used administrative data from Wisconsin to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning (their severity, timing, and duration), the factors associated with being sanctioned, and the relationship between...

    Existing research concerning sanctions, mostly based upon cross-sectional studies of those leaving welfare, suggests that sanctioned families resemble long-time welfare recipients in a number of respects. They are more disadvantaged than even the average welfare recipient— younger, less educated, less likely to live with a partner and more likely to have been in an abusive relationship in the past year. They are more likely to have grown up in a welfare-receiving family or to have health problems or children with health problems. As a group, they are more likely to have immediate practical disadvantages also— higher levels of financial strain, as evidenced by utility cutoffs, no car, or no telephone service.

    The two projects summarized here broke new ground in the study of sanctions. Both made use of longitudinal data. Chi-Fang Wu, Maria Cancian, and Daniel R. Meyer used administrative data from Wisconsin to examine the dynamic patterns of sanctioning (their severity, timing, and duration), the factors associated with being sanctioned, and the relationship between sanctions and subsequent welfare outcomes for sanctioned women. Bong Joo Lee, Kristen Shook Slack, and Dan A. Lewis used survey and administrative data from the Illinois Families Study (IFS) to examine whether and how welfare sanctions are associated with work activity, levels of earnings, welfare receipt, and material hardships among TANF recipients. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Mulligan-Hansel, Kathleen; Fendt, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include...

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include whether to allow a family to enroll in W-2, what placement the family will receive, what kinds of education and supervised work activity to assign, and whether a family loses benefits because of absences from assigned work activity. In order to determine if service levels are affected by ethnicity or race, this report examines data from the Department of Workforce Development on the use of sanctions against W-2 participants to see if there is a differential in the rate of sanctions against Hispanic, African-American and white clients. If disparities do, in fact, exist, it would suggest that similar discrepancies in other services are occurring which would negatively impact participants ability to secure skills and support needed to leave the program and function independently.

  • Individual Author: Wu, Chi-Fang
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Welfare sanctions have taken on greater significance under TANF because of their increased incidence and severity. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, this study applied event history analysis to the relationship between welfare sanctions and the economic well-being of TANF families with children. Specifically, it investigated whether this relationship varies by severity, timing, and duration of sanctions. The results indicate that families with children who are currently being sanctioned are at significantly increased risk of leaving welfare without a job. However, the different levels of and duration of current sanctions affect welfare exit and employment outcomes differently. That is, those families receiving a small sanction are significantly less likely to leave welfare regardless of post-welfare employment status, while the risk of leaving welfare without a job or with a lower earnings job increases with the severity and duration of the sanctions. Moreover, previous sanction experience appears to be significantly associated with an increased probability of...

    Welfare sanctions have taken on greater significance under TANF because of their increased incidence and severity. Using Wisconsin longitudinal administrative data, this study applied event history analysis to the relationship between welfare sanctions and the economic well-being of TANF families with children. Specifically, it investigated whether this relationship varies by severity, timing, and duration of sanctions. The results indicate that families with children who are currently being sanctioned are at significantly increased risk of leaving welfare without a job. However, the different levels of and duration of current sanctions affect welfare exit and employment outcomes differently. That is, those families receiving a small sanction are significantly less likely to leave welfare regardless of post-welfare employment status, while the risk of leaving welfare without a job or with a lower earnings job increases with the severity and duration of the sanctions. Moreover, previous sanction experience appears to be significantly associated with an increased probability of leaving welfare without a job or with a low-earnings job, suggesting that sanctions have lagged effects on employment outcomes. These findings have important implications for social work practice and policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wu, Chi-Fang; Cancian, Maria ; Wallace, Geoffrey
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Using longitudinal administrative data for Wisconsin, this article accounts for the length of time on welfare and the length of sanctioning to better understand the effect of work-related financial sanctions on cash welfare (TANF) participants' program exits and subsequent employment. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) remains an important, if less generous, part of the safety net for families with children. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the time on welfare, duration of sanctions, and post-welfare employment and earnings outcomes. The results indicate that being sanctioned increases the likelihood of transition off TANF cash assistance and this effect increases with the duration of the sanction. In addition to measuring the effects of welfare sanctions on individual participants, the article also estimates the effects of agency sanction policies, using measures of the risk of sanctions at the agency level. Agency policy effects were of interest both because they addressed the potential effects of changes in the threat of sanctions - even on...

    Using longitudinal administrative data for Wisconsin, this article accounts for the length of time on welfare and the length of sanctioning to better understand the effect of work-related financial sanctions on cash welfare (TANF) participants' program exits and subsequent employment. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) remains an important, if less generous, part of the safety net for families with children. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the time on welfare, duration of sanctions, and post-welfare employment and earnings outcomes. The results indicate that being sanctioned increases the likelihood of transition off TANF cash assistance and this effect increases with the duration of the sanction. In addition to measuring the effects of welfare sanctions on individual participants, the article also estimates the effects of agency sanction policies, using measures of the risk of sanctions at the agency level. Agency policy effects were of interest both because they addressed the potential effects of changes in the threat of sanctions - even on those not directly subject to them - and because the agency effects were not subject to the same concerns about unobserved individual heterogeneity between sanctioned and non-sanctioned participants. We found that an increase in an agency's use of sanctions resulted in increased exits to no job, to jobs paying less than cash benefits, and to jobs paying more than available cash benefits. Our results have important implications for understanding the consequences of financial sanctions for public program participants. (author abstract)