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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: Golden, Olivia; Loprest, Pamela J. ; Adams, Gina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this commentary collection, twelve authors - national, state, and county leaders along with research and policy experts -- offer perspectives on lessons from the first year of Work Support Strategies (WSS). WSS is a multi-state initiative to design and test cutting-edge improvements in policy, service delivery, and technology to help low-income working families get and keep the benefits for which they are eligible. Its lessons will interest local, state, and federal officials seeking to integrate health and human services programs (Medicaid, SNAP, and child care assistance); health reform experts; and others who care about programs for low-income families. (Author abstract)

    In this commentary collection, twelve authors - national, state, and county leaders along with research and policy experts -- offer perspectives on lessons from the first year of Work Support Strategies (WSS). WSS is a multi-state initiative to design and test cutting-edge improvements in policy, service delivery, and technology to help low-income working families get and keep the benefits for which they are eligible. Its lessons will interest local, state, and federal officials seeking to integrate health and human services programs (Medicaid, SNAP, and child care assistance); health reform experts; and others who care about programs for low-income families. (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: Loprest, Pamela J.; Giesen, Lindsay
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Work Support Strategies (WSS) is a multiyear, multi-state initiative to implement reforms that help eligible low-income families get and keep a full package of work support benefits, including Medicaid, nutrition assistance (SNAP), and child care assistance. This report describes North Carolina's accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative's first year. In this planning year, North Carolina broke down state program silos and instituted a review board to assure cross-program input to policy changes. The state engaged with counties around the implementation of a new benefits eligibility system and encouraging innovation in business processes and piloted alignment of program certification dates. (author abstract)

    Work Support Strategies (WSS) is a multiyear, multi-state initiative to implement reforms that help eligible low-income families get and keep a full package of work support benefits, including Medicaid, nutrition assistance (SNAP), and child care assistance. This report describes North Carolina's accomplishments and lessons learned during the initiative's first year. In this planning year, North Carolina broke down state program silos and instituted a review board to assure cross-program input to policy changes. The state engaged with counties around the implementation of a new benefits eligibility system and encouraging innovation in business processes and piloted alignment of program certification dates. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Golden, Olivia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In 2011, nine states—Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Rhode Island—received one-year planning grants under the Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative to help them improve their systems for connecting low-income families to work support benefits. These planning grants were the first phase of WSS, a multiyear initiative to help selected states test and implement more effective and integrated approaches to delivering key work supports, including health coverage, nutrition benefits, and child care subsidies.

    The idea behind the project was that more streamlined and modernized processes could help low-income working families get and keep the full package of work support benefits for which they are eligible. In turn, having the full package of benefits can stabilize families’ work lives and promote children’s health and well-being (Mills, Compton, and Golden 2011). Streamlining benefit delivery can also reduce the burden on state workers by further stretching states’ scarce administrative dollars and potentially...

    In 2011, nine states—Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Rhode Island—received one-year planning grants under the Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative to help them improve their systems for connecting low-income families to work support benefits. These planning grants were the first phase of WSS, a multiyear initiative to help selected states test and implement more effective and integrated approaches to delivering key work supports, including health coverage, nutrition benefits, and child care subsidies.

    The idea behind the project was that more streamlined and modernized processes could help low-income working families get and keep the full package of work support benefits for which they are eligible. In turn, having the full package of benefits can stabilize families’ work lives and promote children’s health and well-being (Mills, Compton, and Golden 2011). Streamlining benefit delivery can also reduce the burden on state workers by further stretching states’ scarce administrative dollars and potentially saving money.

    This report summarizes the lessons learned from the nine planning grant states, just one year into a four-year project. Future reports from the evaluation will follow the six states that continued into the three-year implementation phase (Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina). We will document their implementation experiences and track results for families and for state administrative efficiency. In a subset of the states, the evaluation team will also analyze the impact WSS had on those results. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Taylor, Tiffany
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    A great deal of research has explored welfare agency caseworkers, especially how they use discretion. Paperwork in county welfare bureaucracies, however, is often taken-for-granted by caseworkers and researchers studying welfare. In this case study of a county welfare program in rural North Carolina, I focus on how caseworkers use paperwork through document analysis, interviews, and observation data. My findings illustrate caseworkers spend far more time on paperwork than they actually spend assisting program participants find employment. Finally, I show how caseworkers use paperwork to feel effective in a job that offers little to help clients move from welfare to work.  (author abstract)

    A great deal of research has explored welfare agency caseworkers, especially how they use discretion. Paperwork in county welfare bureaucracies, however, is often taken-for-granted by caseworkers and researchers studying welfare. In this case study of a county welfare program in rural North Carolina, I focus on how caseworkers use paperwork through document analysis, interviews, and observation data. My findings illustrate caseworkers spend far more time on paperwork than they actually spend assisting program participants find employment. Finally, I show how caseworkers use paperwork to feel effective in a job that offers little to help clients move from welfare to work.  (author abstract)

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