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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Muennig, Peter; Rosen, Zohn; Wilde, Ty
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schulman, Karen ; Matthews, Hannah ; Blank, Helen ; Ewen, Danielle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the...

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the extent to which they provide financial and other supports to help programs improve. In most states, child care programs participate on a voluntary basis, although a few states require all regulated programs to participate. Despite these variations in their QRIS, states share a common objective of encouraging better child care options so that more families have access to high-quality child care that will support their children’s learning and development.

    Given that QRIS are used in a growing number of states and communities, it is helpful to examine the range of approaches these states and communities are taking in designing and implementing QRIS. It is also important to examine the opportunities and barriers for QRIS in achieving the goals of improving the quality of child care and increasing access to high-quality child care for families, particularly for the most vulnerable families. QRIS can be a tool for improving the quality of care accessed by low-income families who cannot afford high-quality care on their own. To gain more insight into different strategies for shaping and implementing QRIS, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) interviewed 48 child care center directors from nine states about their experiences with QRIS. The directors offered valuable perspectives on what is working in their QRIS and how the systems could be improved. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hulsey, Lara; Conway, Kevin; Gothro, Andrew; Kleinman, Rebecca; Reilly, Megan; Cody, Scott; Sama-Miller, Emily
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical source of support for many low-income families. Because eligibility for program benefits is linked to income, participation in the program tends to be higher in hard economic times. This has proven particularly true in recent years. From 2000 to 2011, average monthly participation in SNAP rose from 17.2 million to 44.7 million people, an increase of almost 160 percent.

    Although difficult economic times lead to increased caseloads, they also lead to smaller state budgets. Under federal law, states are required to pay 50 percent of the costs for administering SNAP. Thus, in recent years states have incurred higher administrative costs while facing increasingly constrained budgets.

    In response to these trends, states have sought to reduce administrative costs while maintaining or increasing access to SNAP and other programs, among those eligible. The changes states have made are commonly referred to as modernization. Although modernization means different things in different states, it typically refers...

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical source of support for many low-income families. Because eligibility for program benefits is linked to income, participation in the program tends to be higher in hard economic times. This has proven particularly true in recent years. From 2000 to 2011, average monthly participation in SNAP rose from 17.2 million to 44.7 million people, an increase of almost 160 percent.

    Although difficult economic times lead to increased caseloads, they also lead to smaller state budgets. Under federal law, states are required to pay 50 percent of the costs for administering SNAP. Thus, in recent years states have incurred higher administrative costs while facing increasingly constrained budgets.

    In response to these trends, states have sought to reduce administrative costs while maintaining or increasing access to SNAP and other programs, among those eligible. The changes states have made are commonly referred to as modernization. Although modernization means different things in different states, it typically refers to steps that state SNAP agencies take to streamline intake and eligibility determination. Modernization can include changes to how clients apply for benefits, are interviewed, and report changes to their circumstances over time. It can also include changes to less visible operations, such as allocation of work across agency staff, income verification methods, and supporting documentation storage practices.

    In 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) commissioned Mathematica Policy Research to conduct in-depth case studies examining selected states’ SNAP-related modernization efforts. The goals of this study include developing a detailed understanding of the changes made and investigating whether state measures of program efficiency, access, and integrity have changed since states implemented their modernization initiatives.

    This report presents a comprehensive picture of each state’s experiences with modernization, assesses the potential impacts, and identifies key lessons learned. The data collected span from July 2000 to February 2012. Changes occurring after that time period are not presented. The findings can help policymakers and program administrators at the national and state levels understand the implications of modernization changes and identify effective strategies and practices when replicating these efforts, while avoiding implementation pitfalls. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cody, Scott; Reed, Debbie; Basson, Danna; Pedraza, Jordan; Martin, Emily Sama; Santos, Betsy; Smith, Elisha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    California is planning major changes in its enrollment process for public health and social service programs. This report seeks to inform the California Health and Human Services Agency and stakeholders about the experiences other states have had with similar initiatives to simplify and streamline the enrollment and eligibility process. The report examines initiatives in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, and focuses on staffing functions, policy simplification, technology, community partners, and measures of program performance.

    The purpose of this report is to use the experience of these four states to raise issues and approaches for consideration in California. The report draws primarily on interviews with state officials, local staff, and advocates. We report on their perceptions about the purpose and success of changes to the enrollment and eligibility processes. We make no recommendations for specific approaches and processes, but rather raise issues and approaches for consideration based on the experiences reported by interviewees. (author abstract)

    California is planning major changes in its enrollment process for public health and social service programs. This report seeks to inform the California Health and Human Services Agency and stakeholders about the experiences other states have had with similar initiatives to simplify and streamline the enrollment and eligibility process. The report examines initiatives in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, and focuses on staffing functions, policy simplification, technology, community partners, and measures of program performance.

    The purpose of this report is to use the experience of these four states to raise issues and approaches for consideration in California. The report draws primarily on interviews with state officials, local staff, and advocates. We report on their perceptions about the purpose and success of changes to the enrollment and eligibility processes. We make no recommendations for specific approaches and processes, but rather raise issues and approaches for consideration based on the experiences reported by interviewees. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; Moore, Quinn; Clarkwest, Andrew; Killewald, Alexandra; Monahan, Shannon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation assessed the impacts of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy marriage and relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child.  While many unmarried parents live together when their children are born, their relationships are often tenuous and most end within a few years of the child’s birth. Research suggests that children do better when raised by both of their parents in healthy environments.  The BSF program model included curricula-based group workshops on relationship skills; individual support from family coordinators; and assessment and referral to other needed services. The key question addressed through the BSF evaluation is whether the interventions improved the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships, increased the likelihood that they remained together, and improved the well-being of children. This report presents final impact results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.  A separate technical supplement...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation assessed the impacts of eight programs offering a similar model of healthy marriage and relationship skills and support services to interested low-income unmarried parents around the time of the birth of a child.  While many unmarried parents live together when their children are born, their relationships are often tenuous and most end within a few years of the child’s birth. Research suggests that children do better when raised by both of their parents in healthy environments.  The BSF program model included curricula-based group workshops on relationship skills; individual support from family coordinators; and assessment and referral to other needed services. The key question addressed through the BSF evaluation is whether the interventions improved the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships, increased the likelihood that they remained together, and improved the well-being of children. This report presents final impact results from data collected 36 months after couples enrolled in the study.  A separate technical supplement details the analytic approaches and includes additional analyses. (author abstract)

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