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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: Okech, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

    This study examines the independent effects of socio-demographic variables and program social services on the degree of economic strain among lower income parents who had an opportunity to open child savings in a subsidized savings accounts program known as Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED). SEED is a policy, practice and research initiative designed to test the efficacy of and inform policy for a national system of asset-building accounts for children and youth. Findings suggest that overall, the degree of economic strain was not significantly different at baseline and at the second wave between parents who opened accounts and those who did not open accounts for their children. However, household income, having a household savings account, and receipt of means-tested welfare programs affected the degrees of economic strain. Implications are directed toward helping lower income families effectively participate in child savings programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Barnow, Burt S.; Buck, Amy; O'Brien, Kirk; Pecora, Peter; Ellis, Mei Ling; Steiner, Eric
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Outcomes for youth from foster care have been found to be poor. The education and employment outcomes of youth and alumni of foster care served by transition programmes located in five major US cities were examined. Data were collected by case managers and reported to evaluators quarterly on 1058 youth from foster care for over 2 years. Job preparation, transportation, child care, education support services and life skills were the most common services provided to youth. During the 2-year study period, 35% of participants obtained employment, 23% obtained a General Education Development or diploma, and 17% enrolled in post-secondary education. It was found that the longer the youth were enrolled, the more education and employment outcomes they achieved. Further, job preparation and income support services were associated significantly with achieving any positive education or employment outcome. Results indicated that certain services provided over an extended period of time can improve outcomes for youth placed in foster care. For youth to achieve positive outcomes as they...

    Outcomes for youth from foster care have been found to be poor. The education and employment outcomes of youth and alumni of foster care served by transition programmes located in five major US cities were examined. Data were collected by case managers and reported to evaluators quarterly on 1058 youth from foster care for over 2 years. Job preparation, transportation, child care, education support services and life skills were the most common services provided to youth. During the 2-year study period, 35% of participants obtained employment, 23% obtained a General Education Development or diploma, and 17% enrolled in post-secondary education. It was found that the longer the youth were enrolled, the more education and employment outcomes they achieved. Further, job preparation and income support services were associated significantly with achieving any positive education or employment outcome. Results indicated that certain services provided over an extended period of time can improve outcomes for youth placed in foster care. For youth to achieve positive outcomes as they transition to adulthood, additional services are necessary. Other implications are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mead, Lawrence M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roberts, Brandon; Price, Derek
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In 2007, the Joyce Foundation launched Shifting Gears, a state policy initiative designed to promote regional economic growth by improving the education and skills training of the workforce in six Midwestern states. These states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—were tasked to create more seamless pathways to postsecondary credentials and good jobs for lower-skilled adults. The initiative was developed in the wake of a particularly marked transition in the Midwest from largely industrial economies structured around manufacturing to more diversified economies that promised new growth and new jobs. CLASP played a key role in Shifting Gears as the managing intermediary of the overall initiative and the primary provider of technical assistance.

    A recently released evaluation report covering the first five years of the initiative discusses the progress these states have made to-date and outlines the activities that contributed most to their success. The report finds that four core activities were critical to the success of the Shifting Gears states:...

    In 2007, the Joyce Foundation launched Shifting Gears, a state policy initiative designed to promote regional economic growth by improving the education and skills training of the workforce in six Midwestern states. These states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—were tasked to create more seamless pathways to postsecondary credentials and good jobs for lower-skilled adults. The initiative was developed in the wake of a particularly marked transition in the Midwest from largely industrial economies structured around manufacturing to more diversified economies that promised new growth and new jobs. CLASP played a key role in Shifting Gears as the managing intermediary of the overall initiative and the primary provider of technical assistance.

    A recently released evaluation report covering the first five years of the initiative discusses the progress these states have made to-date and outlines the activities that contributed most to their success. The report finds that four core activities were critical to the success of the Shifting Gears states:

    Strengthening alignment and collaboration across the adult education, workforce, and community and technical college systems;

    Achieving buy-in and commitment of senior state leadership to advance the chosen state strategy;

    Enacting changes to specific state policies and regulations affecting local programs and delivery, which provided an impetus for local champions to pursue the specified innovative strategy; and

    Engaging the field of local practitioners and administrators intentionally and repeatedly to create local champions.

     The report emphasized that the first five years of Shifting Gears were always intended to be foundational—setting the groundwork for longer-term success and scale. To that point, the core activities found critical to their success reflect a state focus on relationship building and policy change in these initial years, rather than taking new approaches to scale. Still, the evaluators found that four states achieved significant progress toward systemic change and together—due to the states’ efforts--reached about 4,000 low-skilled students, who may have otherwise been unable to access marketable postsecondary credentials.

    States are expected to continue on this positive trajectory. In fact, several are continuing to build upon their Shifting Gears efforts.

    Illinois is expanding its use of bridge programs developed under Shifting Gears through the Accelerating Opportunity initiative and is building bridge programs into manufacturing career pathways through a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Minnesota has received funding from the Joyce Foundation to continue its work under the Shifting Gears initiative into 2013-14 and has recently been selected to participate in an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to integrate existing career-technical education pathways into broader state system reforms initiated under Shifting Gears.

    Wisconsin has also received funding from the Joyce Foundation for continued Shifting Gears work until 2013-14 and received a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct activities that expand upon the foundation built through Shifting Gears.

    Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are participating in a CLASP-led project, the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, which is bringing together the expertise from leading career pathways states to identify criteria for high-quality career pathways systems and a set of shared performance metrics for measuring and managing their success. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ananat, Elizabeth O.; Phinney, Robin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Child care arrangements have become increasingly important for low-income women since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.  For most welfare recipients, PRWORA effectively eliminated the choice of whether or not to work by making welfare receipt conditional on work or participation in employment-related activities.  Stricter work requirements have meant that more women are entering the workforce.  As a result, greater numbers of children now require care.

    Changes in the demand for child care as well as the resources available to subsidize child care have the potential to influence a woman’s transition into work.  This paper highlights research efforts by the Women’s Employment Study to measure and analyze the relationship between child care and work transitions.  The first section of the paper describes changes to federal child care resources since the passage of PRWORA.  The next section introduces the measures used to create a “child care barrier” in the Women’s Employment Study (WES).  The final section...

    Child care arrangements have become increasingly important for low-income women since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.  For most welfare recipients, PRWORA effectively eliminated the choice of whether or not to work by making welfare receipt conditional on work or participation in employment-related activities.  Stricter work requirements have meant that more women are entering the workforce.  As a result, greater numbers of children now require care.

    Changes in the demand for child care as well as the resources available to subsidize child care have the potential to influence a woman’s transition into work.  This paper highlights research efforts by the Women’s Employment Study to measure and analyze the relationship between child care and work transitions.  The first section of the paper describes changes to federal child care resources since the passage of PRWORA.  The next section introduces the measures used to create a “child care barrier” in the Women’s Employment Study (WES).  The final section presents descriptive data on the extent to which WES recipients experience a child care barrier, and analyses of the impact of receipt of a child care subsidy on work outcomes using the WES data. (author abstract)

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