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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: 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: Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate. (author abstract)

    Students forced to complete a long sequence of remedial or English language classes before they can begin their postsecondary program rarely earn college certificates or degrees. This brief highlights six promising programs that show how career pathway bridges help lower-skilled students move farther and faster along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, they can also transform the way colleges operate. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Finkelstein, Amy; Taubman, Sarah; Wright, Bill; Bernstein, Mira; Gruber, Jonathan; Newhouse, Joseph P.; Allen, Heidi; Baicker, Katherine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery to be given the chance to apply for Medicaid. This lottery provides an opportunity to gauge the effects of expanding access to public health insurance on the health care use, financial strain, and health of low-income adults using a randomized controlled design. In the year after random assignment, the treatment group selected by the lottery was about 25 percentage points more likely to have insurance than the control group that was not selected. We find that in this first year, the treatment group had substantively and statistically significantly higher health care utilization (including primary and preventive care as well as hospitalizations), lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and medical debt (including fewer bills sent to collection), and better self-reported physical and mental health than the control group. (author abstract)

    In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery to be given the chance to apply for Medicaid. This lottery provides an opportunity to gauge the effects of expanding access to public health insurance on the health care use, financial strain, and health of low-income adults using a randomized controlled design. In the year after random assignment, the treatment group selected by the lottery was about 25 percentage points more likely to have insurance than the control group that was not selected. We find that in this first year, the treatment group had substantively and statistically significantly higher health care utilization (including primary and preventive care as well as hospitalizations), lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and medical debt (including fewer bills sent to collection), and better self-reported physical and mental health than the control group. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scott, Ellen; Leymon, Ann Shirley; Abelson, Miriam
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    A recent study documents that Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC) supports employment and enables parents to meet the needs of their children. Five major findings emerged from interviews with ERDC participants:

    • Without a child-care subsidy, parents could not afford to work, as most of their wages would be required to cover child-care expenses.

    • Subsidies allow parents to contend with the unstable work conditions typical of the low-wage labor market and thereby sustain employment.

    • Subsidies allow parents to pursue better, more stable child-care arrangements.

    • Despite the generosity of Oregon’s childcare subsidy policy, parents struggle with the fluctuating and difficult cost burden associated with child care.

    • Child-care providers attest that the changes to Oregon’s policy in 2007 made enormous and positive differences to their businesses.

    In the following pages we elaborate on the findings above. These findings are based on the stories reported in forty-four in-depth interviews,...

    A recent study documents that Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC) supports employment and enables parents to meet the needs of their children. Five major findings emerged from interviews with ERDC participants:

    • Without a child-care subsidy, parents could not afford to work, as most of their wages would be required to cover child-care expenses.

    • Subsidies allow parents to contend with the unstable work conditions typical of the low-wage labor market and thereby sustain employment.

    • Subsidies allow parents to pursue better, more stable child-care arrangements.

    • Despite the generosity of Oregon’s childcare subsidy policy, parents struggle with the fluctuating and difficult cost burden associated with child care.

    • Child-care providers attest that the changes to Oregon’s policy in 2007 made enormous and positive differences to their businesses.

    In the following pages we elaborate on the findings above. These findings are based on the stories reported in forty-four in-depth interviews, conducted between February and December 2009, with recipients of child-care subsidies in rural and urban parts of western Oregon, and fifteen brief interviews with some of their childcare providers. Note that the accounts we include here scarcely do justice to the complexity of the stories told in our interviews with parents, nor do they convey adequately the challenges faced by low-wage working families, the hardship they experience, and the innovative strategies they employ to make the best life possible for their children. We applaud their courage and their determination, and we thank them (all named with pseudonyms here) for taking the time to speak with us about their private lives. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Davis, Elizabeth E. ; Grobe, Deana ; Weber, Roberta B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Local economic disparities, particularly lower average wages, higher overall unemployment rates and higher poverty rates may lead to rural–urban differences in the use of public programs designed to support working low-income families. This study analyzes the dynamics of program participation and employment stability for rural and urban families in the Oregon childcare subsidy program. While families' demographic characteristics, employment stability, and participation in work support programs were similar, families in rural noncore counties tended to make less use of public assistance, including childcare subsidies, food stamps and welfare, than did families in metropolitan and micropolitan counties. (author abstract)

    Local economic disparities, particularly lower average wages, higher overall unemployment rates and higher poverty rates may lead to rural–urban differences in the use of public programs designed to support working low-income families. This study analyzes the dynamics of program participation and employment stability for rural and urban families in the Oregon childcare subsidy program. While families' demographic characteristics, employment stability, and participation in work support programs were similar, families in rural noncore counties tended to make less use of public assistance, including childcare subsidies, food stamps and welfare, than did families in metropolitan and micropolitan counties. (author abstract)

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