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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: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Lopoo, Leonard M.; London, Andrew S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    We examine how changes in maternal work hours affect adolescent children’s school participation and performance outcomes using data from interviews in 1998 and 2001 with 1,700 women who in May 1995 were welfare-reliant, single mothers of adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods in four urban counties. We find unfavorable effects of maternal work hours on several aspects of adolescents’ schooling: Full-time maternal employment (31 hours or more per week) increases the likelihood of skipping school, decreases school performance, and increases the likelihood of parent contact by a school about behavior problems. Sons seem to be particularly sensitive to changes in mothers’ average hours of work, with notable increases in incidences of being late for school and declines in school performance when mothers work more hours. These findings hold up controlling for a rich array of mothers’ characteristics, including their psychological and physical health and experiences with domestic violence and substance abuse, as well as unobserved time-invariant characteristics of the ...

    We examine how changes in maternal work hours affect adolescent children’s school participation and performance outcomes using data from interviews in 1998 and 2001 with 1,700 women who in May 1995 were welfare-reliant, single mothers of adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods in four urban counties. We find unfavorable effects of maternal work hours on several aspects of adolescents’ schooling: Full-time maternal employment (31 hours or more per week) increases the likelihood of skipping school, decreases school performance, and increases the likelihood of parent contact by a school about behavior problems. Sons seem to be particularly sensitive to changes in mothers’ average hours of work, with notable increases in incidences of being late for school and declines in school performance when mothers work more hours. These findings hold up controlling for a rich array of mothers’ characteristics, including their psychological and physical health and experiences with domestic violence and substance abuse, as well as unobserved time-invariant characteristics of the adolescent. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper previously published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan

  • Individual Author: Kato, Linda Yuriko; Riccio, James A.; Dodge, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    To combat joblessness and poverty in low-income communities, multiple organizations must work together with local residents. But productive collaboration on such complex issues is notoriously difficult to create and sustain, partly because partners often have different priorities and agendas. Learning from real-world experiences is critical if this strategy is to work.

    This report provides a detailed look at a major current collaborative effort: the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (or Jobs-Plus). It shows how the seven cities in this national demonstration have attempted to build inclusive and productive partnerships to design, fund, and operate an ambitious, place-based employment initiative for residents of selected public housing developments. The lessons drawn have important practical implications for a wide range of community-building and other initiatives.

    Jobs-Plus seeks to boost employment among all working-age residents through employment and training services, financial work...

    To combat joblessness and poverty in low-income communities, multiple organizations must work together with local residents. But productive collaboration on such complex issues is notoriously difficult to create and sustain, partly because partners often have different priorities and agendas. Learning from real-world experiences is critical if this strategy is to work.

    This report provides a detailed look at a major current collaborative effort: the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (or Jobs-Plus). It shows how the seven cities in this national demonstration have attempted to build inclusive and productive partnerships to design, fund, and operate an ambitious, place-based employment initiative for residents of selected public housing developments. The lessons drawn have important practical implications for a wide range of community-building and other initiatives.

    Jobs-Plus seeks to boost employment among all working-age residents through employment and training services, financial work incentives (especially by limiting rent increases for employed residents), neighbor-to-neighbor outreach, and other efforts to promote and support work. In each of the participating cities, selected in 1997, the partners have included the public housing authority, the welfare department, local workforce development agencies, resident leaders, and other local organizations. The chosen cities were Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. Cleveland and Seattle are no longer in the demonstration, but Seattle is still operating its Jobs-Plus program.

    Among their key challenges and accomplishments to date are:

    Collaborative governance and management. The collaboratives' experiences point to the value of: vesting governing authority in a core group of active partners while keeping the larger group in the dialogue in other ways; establishing explicit lines of authority between the governing partners and program staff; devising better mechanisms for holding staff - and partners - accountable; and distinguishing funding and management of the collaborative from that of the program.

    Collaboration in service delivery. Some sites have made considerable progress in building an integrated network of services with close coordination among frontline staff. Such coordination is critical in order to serve and monitor residents effectively across a geographically dispersed network of providers. Toward this end, agencies have modified staff training procedures and expanded their interagency data-sharing efforts. Moreover, some sites have changed broader agency policies as a result of their participation in the collaboratives. Most welfare agencies, for instance, have allowed residents to meet their welfare-to-work obligations by participating in Jobs-Plus.

    Housing authority adaptations. Jobs-Plus challenged housing authorities' nearly exclusive focus on housing management and traditional isolation from the activities of welfare and workforce development agencies. Examples of important housing authority adaptations include efforts to: improve internal coordination (e.g., to implement the rent incentives or link employment assistance to efforts to head off evictions); "fast track" internal decisionmaking for Jobs-Plus; transfer Jobs-Plus funds to independent agencies to address procurement constraints; and permit other partners influence over key hiring decisions, even for staff on the housing authority's payroll.

    Residents' involvement. Residents have had a significant influence in shaping the Jobs-Plus programs, despite sometimes tense relationships between residents and housing authorities. Some sites have succeeded in reaching beyond traditional leaders in building the technical capacity of residents to assume specific leadership and staff roles in the program.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bloom, Susan Philipson; Blank, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The national Jobs-Plus demonstration represents an ambitious attempt to transform low-work, high-welfare public housing developments into high-work, low-welfare communities. Relying on three program components - employment-related activities and services, enhanced financial incentives to work, and community-based support for work - the program aims to create steady employment for a substantial majority of all working-age, nondisabled development residents. This report documents the nature and extent of program implementation in the seven cities initially included in the Jobs-Plus demonstration. It provides a "snapshot" of each site, detailing infrastructure (including staffing and facilities), program flow (including outreach, enrollment, orientation, assessment, job-related activities, and education-or-training-related initiatives), financial incentives for work, and community supports for work. It also raises three main questions for future implementation research: (1) How do sites implement and integrate financial incentives and community support for work? (2) How do residents...

    The national Jobs-Plus demonstration represents an ambitious attempt to transform low-work, high-welfare public housing developments into high-work, low-welfare communities. Relying on three program components - employment-related activities and services, enhanced financial incentives to work, and community-based support for work - the program aims to create steady employment for a substantial majority of all working-age, nondisabled development residents. This report documents the nature and extent of program implementation in the seven cities initially included in the Jobs-Plus demonstration. It provides a "snapshot" of each site, detailing infrastructure (including staffing and facilities), program flow (including outreach, enrollment, orientation, assessment, job-related activities, and education-or-training-related initiatives), financial incentives for work, and community supports for work. It also raises three main questions for future implementation research: (1) How do sites implement and integrate financial incentives and community support for work? (2) How do residents respond to what Jobs-Plus offers? (3) What are the most feasible implementation strategies and the best practices? (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Martinez, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Public housing residents are commonly thought to be harder to employ than other low-income working-age populations, but detailed evidence on their actual employment experiences and difficulties is scarce. The dearth of information can hinder efforts by policymakers and administrators to reduce the high rates of poverty, joblessness, and related social problems found in many public housing developments across the country.

    This report helps to address the information gap by analyzing data from a special survey of residents in eight public housing developments (in seven cities) with customarily high rates of joblessness and reliance on welfare. These developments have been part of the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment and quality-of-life outcomes. The survey, undertaken to collect baseline data about the communities and their residents just prior to the start of the Jobs-Plus program, sheds important light on how closely...

    Public housing residents are commonly thought to be harder to employ than other low-income working-age populations, but detailed evidence on their actual employment experiences and difficulties is scarce. The dearth of information can hinder efforts by policymakers and administrators to reduce the high rates of poverty, joblessness, and related social problems found in many public housing developments across the country.

    This report helps to address the information gap by analyzing data from a special survey of residents in eight public housing developments (in seven cities) with customarily high rates of joblessness and reliance on welfare. These developments have been part of the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment and quality-of-life outcomes. The survey, undertaken to collect baseline data about the communities and their residents just prior to the start of the Jobs-Plus program, sheds important light on how closely residents were already connected to the labor market, what kinds of jobs they obtained, and why some residents worked or looked for work less than other residents.

    Key Findings

    • The survey of residents revealed a more extensive and varied connection to the labor market than had been expected, given the very low rates of employment that characterized the public housing developments in the years prior to their selection for Jobs-Plus in the mid-1990s. Slightly more than 90 percent had worked at some point in their lives, and a majority were either currently employed or searching for work at the time of the survey.
    • Many residents who worked did so only part time, and the majority were employed in low-wage jobs paying less than $7.75 per hour and offering no fringe benefits.
    • Health status was the factor most clearly associated with residents’ engagement in the labor market. Survey respondents who described themselves as having health problems were less likely than others to have had recent work experience or to engage in job search activities.
    • Even with extensive data, it is difficult to create statistical profiles that accurately differentiate survey respondents who can be characterized as easier to employ from those who are harder to employ. Across a wide range of measures — including demographic characteristics, incidence of domestic violence, and residents’ social networks — no consistent patterns emerged to distinguish which residents were most actively and least actively involved in the labor market.

    Building on these new insights into public housing residents’ relationship to the labor market, future studies will explore how financial incentives, employment services, and the reinforcement of community supports for work can increase residents’ success in the labor market. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morris, Pamela; Jones, Stephanie; Smith, Jared
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This paper begins to fill the information gap by capitalizing on the unique opportunity provided by the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment status. Using data on nearly 1,500 children of public housing residents collected before the implementation of Jobs-Plus, the paper examines the well-being of children living in public housing developments and explores whether characteristics of their parents and the communities are associated with differences in the children’s outcomes.

    Key Findings

    On some, but not all, measures of school and behavioral outcomes, a substantial proportion of children living in public housing exhibited negative outcomes. As expected, older children and boys were at greater risk than younger children and girls.

    When compared with data on other children receiving welfare in selected states, children in the Jobs-Plus developments were shown to be at...

    This paper begins to fill the information gap by capitalizing on the unique opportunity provided by the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment status. Using data on nearly 1,500 children of public housing residents collected before the implementation of Jobs-Plus, the paper examines the well-being of children living in public housing developments and explores whether characteristics of their parents and the communities are associated with differences in the children’s outcomes.

    Key Findings

    On some, but not all, measures of school and behavioral outcomes, a substantial proportion of children living in public housing exhibited negative outcomes. As expected, older children and boys were at greater risk than younger children and girls.

    When compared with data on other children receiving welfare in selected states, children in the Jobs-Plus developments were shown to be at only slightly greater risk of experiencing negative school and behavioral outcomes.

    Few associations were found between measures of the Jobs-Plus children’s well-being and their parents’ employment or welfare status.

    Parents’ mental health and experience with domestic abuse were associated with negative aspects of children’s schooling and behavior. However, contextual factors of the housing developments, such as the proportion of parents who had jobs, were not related to children’s outcomes.

    The data reported here provide a first look at the children in the Jobs-Plus demonstration communities. Further examination of the effects of the Jobs-Plus demonstration on child and adolescent development is planned as part of the evaluation project. This work will provide crucial information to our understanding of how neighborhood change, in combination with changes occurring within individual families, may affect the well-being of children in public housing. (author abstract)

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