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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 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: TANF Faith-Based and Community Organizations Initiative
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2011

    This cross-site analysis examines all 8 of the exemplary FBCO-TANF partnerships described in the project’s case studies, by drawing out important findings related to volunteer management, organizational infrastructure, inter-agency communication, and place-based strategies. Moreover, the 14-page report articulates some of the leading reasons a TANF agency would want to partner with an FBCO, and it describes how effective partnerships can emerge. (author abstract)

    This cross-site analysis examines all 8 of the exemplary FBCO-TANF partnerships described in the project’s case studies, by drawing out important findings related to volunteer management, organizational infrastructure, inter-agency communication, and place-based strategies. Moreover, the 14-page report articulates some of the leading reasons a TANF agency would want to partner with an FBCO, and it describes how effective partnerships can emerge. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Dan; Farrell, Mary; Fink, Barbara; Adams-Ciardullo, Diana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still...

    Few features of the 1990s welfare reforms have generated as much attention and controversy as time limits on benefit receipt. Time limits first emerged at the state level and subsequently became a central feature of federal welfare policy in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which imposed a 60-month time limit on federally funded assistance for most families.

    To inform discussions about the reauthorization of PRWORA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) to conduct a comprehensive review of what is known about time limits. The project included a survey of state welfare agencies (conducted for MDRC by The Lewin Group), site visits to examine the implementation of time limits, and a review of research on time limits.

    Though a simple idea, time limits raise a host of complex issues in practice. Many experts believe that time limits have played a key role in reshaping welfare, but the knowledge base about this key policy change is still thin. Few families have reached the federal time limit, and it is too early to draw conclusions about how states will respond as more families reach limits or how families will fare without benefits over the long-term, in varying economic conditions. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Lam, Ken; DeMarco, Donna; Rodger, Christopher; Kaul, Bulbul
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This study represents the impact study component of the AFI evaluation. It examines the effects of AFI participation on the three forms of asset building targeted by the AFI Program: homeownership, business ownership, and postsecondary education. The analysis also assesses the program’s impact on key components of net worth (financial assets, home equity, and consumer debt) and on employment status and income (whether employed, amount of monthly earnings, and receipt of means-tested benefits from cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid). The process study component of the evaluation explores how various AFI projects are planned, implemented, and operated.1 (author abstract) 

    This study represents the impact study component of the AFI evaluation. It examines the effects of AFI participation on the three forms of asset building targeted by the AFI Program: homeownership, business ownership, and postsecondary education. The analysis also assesses the program’s impact on key components of net worth (financial assets, home equity, and consumer debt) and on employment status and income (whether employed, amount of monthly earnings, and receipt of means-tested benefits from cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid). The process study component of the evaluation explores how various AFI projects are planned, implemented, and operated.1 (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Ciurea, Michelle; DeMarco, Donna
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This report provides key findings from case studies developed on 14 Assets for Independence (AFI)-funded individual development account (IDA) projects. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that encourage participants to save for specific types of assets by providing matching funds when the accountholder makes withdrawals for an allowable asset purchase. The rationale for IDAs lies in the proposition that income transfers have eased the hardship of the poor but have been less effective in enabling low-income families to become economically self-sufficient. An alternative view that emerged in the early 1990s was that to promote economic advancement and self-sufficiency—as well as to encourage socially positive behaviors—policies should focus on asset accumulation, in combination with income support. The AFI Act calls for an evaluation of AFI projects to be carried out by an independent research organization under contract to HHS. The evaluation is to analyze the effects of incentives and services on participant savings; the extent to which participant...

    This report provides key findings from case studies developed on 14 Assets for Independence (AFI)-funded individual development account (IDA) projects. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that encourage participants to save for specific types of assets by providing matching funds when the accountholder makes withdrawals for an allowable asset purchase. The rationale for IDAs lies in the proposition that income transfers have eased the hardship of the poor but have been less effective in enabling low-income families to become economically self-sufficient. An alternative view that emerged in the early 1990s was that to promote economic advancement and self-sufficiency—as well as to encourage socially positive behaviors—policies should focus on asset accumulation, in combination with income support. The AFI Act calls for an evaluation of AFI projects to be carried out by an independent research organization under contract to HHS. The evaluation is to analyze the effects of incentives and services on participant savings; the extent to which participant savings vary by demographic; the economic, civic, psychological and social effects of savings; the effects of project participation on savings rates, homeownership, postsecondary educational attainment, and self-employment; the potential financial returns from IDAs to the Federal government and other public and private sector investors over a 5-year and 10-year period of time; and the lessons learned from the demonstration project and whether an IDA program should become permanent. The Act specifies further that the evaluation is to utilize a control group to compare AFI project participants with nonparticipants, and to utilize both quantitative and qualitative data. A final evaluation is to be completed within one year following the conclusion of all AFI projects funded under the Act. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brocksen, Sally M.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2006

    This project employed a descriptive case study methodology guided by rational choice theory to examine the financial feasibility of marriage for low income women. By modeling the income and expenses of eight different low income family types in six states (Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin) this study illustrates the financial situation of various low income families. The family types under investigation include: a single parent family, a family receiving TANF, cohabiting couple with two wage earners, cohabiting couple with one wage earner, a married family with two wage earners, a married couple with one wage earner, a unmarried couple with an infant (unmarried fragile family), and a married couple with an infant (married fragile family). The income of each family type was calculated at two different wage levels (minimum and low wage for each state under investigation). Income included the welfare benefits and subsidies each of the family's is likely to receive (including child care subsidies and tax credits). The expenses of each family were...

    This project employed a descriptive case study methodology guided by rational choice theory to examine the financial feasibility of marriage for low income women. By modeling the income and expenses of eight different low income family types in six states (Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin) this study illustrates the financial situation of various low income families. The family types under investigation include: a single parent family, a family receiving TANF, cohabiting couple with two wage earners, cohabiting couple with one wage earner, a married family with two wage earners, a married couple with one wage earner, a unmarried couple with an infant (unmarried fragile family), and a married couple with an infant (married fragile family). The income of each family type was calculated at two different wage levels (minimum and low wage for each state under investigation). Income included the welfare benefits and subsidies each of the family's is likely to receive (including child care subsidies and tax credits). The expenses of each family were calculated based on the size of the family and the cost of expenses such as housing and food expenditures. This study found that of the models presented here married families are not always financially better off when compared to single parent and cohabiting families. These findings demonstrate that if policy makers wish to support marriage among low income families they should first make marriage financially feasible for unmarried couples (particularly cohabiting couples) and create greater economic stability for couples that are already married. By providing consistent work supports (e.g. child care and health insurance), expanding programs that help low income families (such as the Earned Income Tax Credit), creating poverty measures that accurately reflect the real situation of low income families, and increasing the wages of low income workers, policy makers will create an environment where it is financially feasible for low income couples to marry and remain married. (author abstract)

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