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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: Sheely, Amanda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic...

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic distress, county practices related to administrative exclusion are largely unresponsive to changes in unemployment, child poverty, and fiscal constraints. These findings call into question the responsiveness of the devolved social safety net for poor families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Barnow, Burt S.; Buck, Amy; O'Brien, Kirk; Pecora, Peter; Ellis, Mei Ling; Steiner, Eric
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Outcomes for youth from foster care have been found to be poor. The education and employment outcomes of youth and alumni of foster care served by transition programmes located in five major US cities were examined. Data were collected by case managers and reported to evaluators quarterly on 1058 youth from foster care for over 2 years. Job preparation, transportation, child care, education support services and life skills were the most common services provided to youth. During the 2-year study period, 35% of participants obtained employment, 23% obtained a General Education Development or diploma, and 17% enrolled in post-secondary education. It was found that the longer the youth were enrolled, the more education and employment outcomes they achieved. Further, job preparation and income support services were associated significantly with achieving any positive education or employment outcome. Results indicated that certain services provided over an extended period of time can improve outcomes for youth placed in foster care. For youth to achieve positive outcomes as they...

    Outcomes for youth from foster care have been found to be poor. The education and employment outcomes of youth and alumni of foster care served by transition programmes located in five major US cities were examined. Data were collected by case managers and reported to evaluators quarterly on 1058 youth from foster care for over 2 years. Job preparation, transportation, child care, education support services and life skills were the most common services provided to youth. During the 2-year study period, 35% of participants obtained employment, 23% obtained a General Education Development or diploma, and 17% enrolled in post-secondary education. It was found that the longer the youth were enrolled, the more education and employment outcomes they achieved. Further, job preparation and income support services were associated significantly with achieving any positive education or employment outcome. Results indicated that certain services provided over an extended period of time can improve outcomes for youth placed in foster care. For youth to achieve positive outcomes as they transition to adulthood, additional services are necessary. Other implications are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wimer, Christopher; Wright, Rachel; Fong, Kelley
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Nongovernmental free food assistance is available to many low-income Americans through food pantries, yet many do not avail themselves of this assistance. As the monetary value of such assistance can be over $2,000 per year, nonuse poses a puzzle from an economic standpoint. This study uses original data collected through in-depth interviews with 63 low-income San Franciscans who did not use free food assistance from food pantries. The data paint a nuanced picture of the reasons low-income people do not obtain assistance from local food pantries. The study explores respondents' need for, knowledge of, access to, and acceptance of assistance. We find that overall, sample members concluded that the benefit of free food assistance did not justify the perceived effort and psychological costs involved. These costs included moral objections to taking food from others, perceptions of low-quality food, hassles and "drama," racial tensions, and the emotional toll of accepting assistance. (author abstract)

    This resource was also published as working paper by the...

    Nongovernmental free food assistance is available to many low-income Americans through food pantries, yet many do not avail themselves of this assistance. As the monetary value of such assistance can be over $2,000 per year, nonuse poses a puzzle from an economic standpoint. This study uses original data collected through in-depth interviews with 63 low-income San Franciscans who did not use free food assistance from food pantries. The data paint a nuanced picture of the reasons low-income people do not obtain assistance from local food pantries. The study explores respondents' need for, knowledge of, access to, and acceptance of assistance. We find that overall, sample members concluded that the benefit of free food assistance did not justify the perceived effort and psychological costs involved. These costs included moral objections to taking food from others, perceptions of low-quality food, hassles and "drama," racial tensions, and the emotional toll of accepting assistance. (author abstract)

    This resource was also published as working paper by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

     

  • Individual Author: Speiglman, Richard; Brown, Hana; Bos, Johannes M.; Li, Yongmei; Ortiz, Lorena
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Since the United States implemented Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or ‘welfare reform,’ the number of assistance cases without an adult receiving aid has risen dramatically. In states like California, these child-only cases now constitute the majority of all TANF cases. Despite this increase, existing research sheds little light on the composition of child-only caseloads and the status of the adults and children in such cases. Drawing on county administrative data and interviews with 143 parents associated with child-only cases in five California counties, this paper identifies both the demographics of the child-only caseload in these sites and the major barriers to employment that parents in sanctioned and timed-out child-only cases face. These include human capital, health, and family issues, in addition to other obstacles. The data suggest that, despite functioning as one administrative entity, CalWORKs, California's TANF program, has transformed into two separate programs: a welfare-to-work program and a subsistence-level cash assistance program for some...

    Since the United States implemented Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or ‘welfare reform,’ the number of assistance cases without an adult receiving aid has risen dramatically. In states like California, these child-only cases now constitute the majority of all TANF cases. Despite this increase, existing research sheds little light on the composition of child-only caseloads and the status of the adults and children in such cases. Drawing on county administrative data and interviews with 143 parents associated with child-only cases in five California counties, this paper identifies both the demographics of the child-only caseload in these sites and the major barriers to employment that parents in sanctioned and timed-out child-only cases face. These include human capital, health, and family issues, in addition to other obstacles. The data suggest that, despite functioning as one administrative entity, CalWORKs, California's TANF program, has transformed into two separate programs: a welfare-to-work program and a subsistence-level cash assistance program for some members of child-only families. Given this transformation, the paper closes by suggesting a research agenda for future child-only scholarship and argues for policy innovations to meet the needs of the expanding child-only caseload. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lieberman, Charles J.; Lindler, Vanessa; O’Brien-Strain, Margaret
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Child-only cases represent about 40 percent of California’s TANF caseload. In counties that have experienced especially high caseload reductions, such as San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, child-only cases represent half or more of the total CalWORKs (California TANF program) caseload. The citizen children of undocumented parents make up as many as 40 percent of the child-only caseload. These families are very similar to aided adult families, in that there are needy parents in the household who are able to work but currently do not earn enough to support their families. Yet because the parents are barred from receiving assistance, these families rely on lower grants and are not able to access the services available to other families. This report explores the characteristics and well-being of such undocumented immigrant child-only cases in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Building on previous work on TANF leavers in these counties, The SPHERE Institute surveyed the parents of almost 800 citizen children who were currently and formerly aided on...

    Child-only cases represent about 40 percent of California’s TANF caseload. In counties that have experienced especially high caseload reductions, such as San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, child-only cases represent half or more of the total CalWORKs (California TANF program) caseload. The citizen children of undocumented parents make up as many as 40 percent of the child-only caseload. These families are very similar to aided adult families, in that there are needy parents in the household who are able to work but currently do not earn enough to support their families. Yet because the parents are barred from receiving assistance, these families rely on lower grants and are not able to access the services available to other families. This report explores the characteristics and well-being of such undocumented immigrant child-only cases in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Building on previous work on TANF leavers in these counties, The SPHERE Institute surveyed the parents of almost 800 citizen children who were currently and formerly aided on child-only CalWORKs cases. Comparing these findings to results from an earlier study of aided-adult leavers (citizens or legal immigrants), we review the demographic characteristics, the employment status, the economic circumstances and other measures of well-being for both the child-only and aided-adult cases. Finally, we assess which characteristics appear to be associated with exiting the child-only caseload for these families. (author abstract)

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