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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: 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: Okuyama, Kumiko ; Weber, Roberta B.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act  of 1996, commonly known as PRWORA, emphasizes employment. With its emphasis on time limit sand work requirements, PRWORA makes it imperative that low-income parents find both a job and child care. A study of employment patterns of low-income parents using child care subsidies in order to work provides a valuable opportunity to increase our knowledge of an important characteristic of low-income working parents.

    For any working parent, finding stable employment with enough flexibility to meet parental responsibilities is not an easy task, and the challenge is greater for those who lack financial resources, education, and work experience. Knowing employment patterns of low-income parents is a first step toward understanding conditions of the working poor with children. A systematic analysis of where parents receiving child care subsidies are employed enhances our understanding of what is happening to families moving out of welfare. In which occupations are they finding jobs? Which...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act  of 1996, commonly known as PRWORA, emphasizes employment. With its emphasis on time limit sand work requirements, PRWORA makes it imperative that low-income parents find both a job and child care. A study of employment patterns of low-income parents using child care subsidies in order to work provides a valuable opportunity to increase our knowledge of an important characteristic of low-income working parents.

    For any working parent, finding stable employment with enough flexibility to meet parental responsibilities is not an easy task, and the challenge is greater for those who lack financial resources, education, and work experience. Knowing employment patterns of low-income parents is a first step toward understanding conditions of the working poor with children. A systematic analysis of where parents receiving child care subsidies are employed enhances our understanding of what is happening to families moving out of welfare. In which occupations are they finding jobs? Which industries are they able to penetrate? Prior to the studies that form the basis of this paper, there appeared to be no systematic study of where parents receiving child care subsidies are employed.

    This paper is a product of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium, a collaborative group of researchers that carries out policy-relevant research through partnerships of researchers, state child care administrators, and child care resource and referral practitioners. Through this national collaboration of state partnerships, the Consortium is able to report cross-state findings and compare results from seven studies in four states and the District of Columbia with regard to the employment of parents receiving subsidies.

    The first Consortium study, “Parents receiving subsidized child care: Where do they work?” (Lee, Ohlandt, and Witte, 1996) has had significant impacts on both research and policies. The significance of their paper is four-fold. First, they recognized and responded to the importance of this topic and the lack of previous studies. Second, the authors provided a simple but elegant methodology to analyze employment patterns of the working poor with children. Third, their paper had an impact on state policy. Their findings led to the passage of the Florida Child Care Executive Partnership Act in 1996.

    Through the Child Care Executive Partnership, the state of Florida matches child care contributions of employers dollar for dollar and creates pools of funds to provide child care subsidies for subsidy-eligible workers. This increases the funds available for subsidies and builds support for child care subsidies in the business community. Finally, the study provided a model that is easily replicated at either county or state levels.

    This document is organized as follows. The next section presents background of the seven studies. In the third section, we summarize the common methodology used in the studies and describe variations among the studies. In the fourth section, we discuss findings and make recommendations for further studies. In the last section, we examine the study implications for employers, child care providers, businesses, and policy makers. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Mauldon, Jane; Speiglman, Richard; Sogar, Christina; Stagner, Matthew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Child-only cases were far from the center of attention when the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created in 1996, and even when it was reauthorized in 2005. However, with adult-aided cases at less than one-quarter of their pre-TANF levels, child-only cases have become a substantial presence in the nation’s TANF caseload, and interest in these cases is growing. In 2011 child-only cases represented about two in every five TANF cases.

    Child-only TANF aid reaches a diverse mix of children, including children living in the homes of relatives, children of parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and U.S-born children of parents whose immigration status renders the parents ineligible for TANF benefits. These groups have little or nothing in common with each other. They also have little in common with adult-aided TANF recipients. Most crucially, child-only cases are not subject to the federal and state program rules that have driven down TANF caseloads since TANF’s inception in 1996.

    This report is written to aid policy...

    Child-only cases were far from the center of attention when the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created in 1996, and even when it was reauthorized in 2005. However, with adult-aided cases at less than one-quarter of their pre-TANF levels, child-only cases have become a substantial presence in the nation’s TANF caseload, and interest in these cases is growing. In 2011 child-only cases represented about two in every five TANF cases.

    Child-only TANF aid reaches a diverse mix of children, including children living in the homes of relatives, children of parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and U.S-born children of parents whose immigration status renders the parents ineligible for TANF benefits. These groups have little or nothing in common with each other. They also have little in common with adult-aided TANF recipients. Most crucially, child-only cases are not subject to the federal and state program rules that have driven down TANF caseloads since TANF’s inception in 1996.

    This report is written to aid policy makers as they contemplate modifications to TANF. It has three goals: to describe child-only policies and explore how these policies create and shape the three distinct child-only caseloads; to provide information about the needs of the children and adults in the households that receive child-only aid; and to situate child-only TANF policy in the context of other relevant policies.

    Among the relevant trends are shifts in foster care policy (which can affect NPC child-only TANF caseloads), patterns of immigrant location within the United States (which influence IIP child-only caseloads), and the availability of SSI aid for low-income parents. This report emphasizes the fact that policy changes to TANF must address child-only cases, paying explicit attention to each of the four TANF caseloads separately – the three child-only caseloads referenced above plus adult-aided cases. The authors of this report provide recommendations for policymakers to improve TANF aid to child-only cases. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Perez-Johnson, Irma; Moore, Quinn; Santillano, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and...

    Following passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), local workforce investment areas have been required to use individual training accounts (ITAs) to fund most occupational training activities. With some restrictions, customers of the One-Stop system can use ITAs to select training from a wide array of state-approved programs and providers. States and local offices have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to structure ITAs. At one extreme, local counselors can play a pivotal role in directing customers to particular training programs and closely tailoring ITA award amounts to each customer’s needs. At the other extreme, local staff can play a minor role, providing all customers with the same fixed ITA amounts, allowing customers to choose their training programs independently, and providing counseling only on request.

    This report presents long-term results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different models for delivering ITA services, with impacts measured six to eight years after program enrollment. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor designed the ITA experiment to provide federal, state, and local policymakers, administrators, and program managers with information on the tradeoffs inherent in different ITA service delivery models.

    As a part of the experiment, nearly 8,000 customers of One-Stop Centers in eight different sites were randomly assigned to one of the three ITA service delivery models tested in the ITA Experiment. These models varied along three policy-relevant dimensions (Table ES.1): (1) the ITA award structure (that is, whether the award amount was fixed for all customers or tailored to the customer’s needs); (2) required counseling (that is, whether ITA counseling was mandatory or optional, and its intensity); and (3) program approval (that is, whether counselors could reject customers’ training choices and deny an ITA, or had to approve them if the customer had completed his or her ITA requirements). (author abstract)

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