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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: Wiedrich, Kasey; Griffin, Kate; Chilton, Mariana; Lehman, Gretchen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    ...

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    Kate Griffin (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation describes data from a financial education program for TANF recipients that provides training in budgeting and credit management.  The pilot was started in July 2013 with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

    • Financial Management Strategies of TANF and SNAP Recipients: Lessons for Policy Makers and Administrators

    Mariana Chilton (Drexel University)

    The presentation describes a completed research project that looks at the impact of the AFCO financial counseling program for families leaving TANF and entering into a work-ready context.

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • Individual Author: Hastings, Sara; Tsoi-A-Fatt, Rhonda; Harris, Linda
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2010

    Many communities have shown tremendous commitment to youth employment. The return on investment and effort, however, can be greatly multiplied if federal youth funds, discretionary funding, resources from other youth serving systems, and community resources are brought together to build comprehensive youth employment system. Key elements of such a system include: a strong convening entity, an effective administrative agent, a well-trained case management arm, strong partnerships across systems that serve youth, and high quality work experience and career exposure. (author abstract)

    Many communities have shown tremendous commitment to youth employment. The return on investment and effort, however, can be greatly multiplied if federal youth funds, discretionary funding, resources from other youth serving systems, and community resources are brought together to build comprehensive youth employment system. Key elements of such a system include: a strong convening entity, an effective administrative agent, a well-trained case management arm, strong partnerships across systems that serve youth, and high quality work experience and career exposure. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ludwig, Jens; Duncan, Greg J.; Gennetian, Lisa A.; Katz, Lawrence F.; Kessler, Ronald C.; Kling, Jeffrey R.; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Nearly 9 million Americans live in extreme-poverty neighborhoods, places that also tend to be racially segregated and dangerous. Yet, the effects on the well-being of residents of moving out of such communities into less distressed areas remain uncertain. Using data from Moving to Opportunity, a unique randomized housing mobility experiment, we found that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being, despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency. A 1–standard deviation decline in neighborhood poverty (13 percentage points) increases subjective well-being by an amount equal to the gap in subjective well-being between people whose annual incomes differ by $13,000—a large amount given that the average control group income is $20,000. Subjective well-being is more strongly affected by changes in neighborhood economic disadvantage than racial segregation, which is important because racial segregation has been declining since 1970, but income segregation has been...

    Nearly 9 million Americans live in extreme-poverty neighborhoods, places that also tend to be racially segregated and dangerous. Yet, the effects on the well-being of residents of moving out of such communities into less distressed areas remain uncertain. Using data from Moving to Opportunity, a unique randomized housing mobility experiment, we found that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being, despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency. A 1–standard deviation decline in neighborhood poverty (13 percentage points) increases subjective well-being by an amount equal to the gap in subjective well-being between people whose annual incomes differ by $13,000—a large amount given that the average control group income is $20,000. Subjective well-being is more strongly affected by changes in neighborhood economic disadvantage than racial segregation, which is important because racial segregation has been declining since 1970, but income segregation has been increasing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rosenblatt, Peter; DeLuca, Stefanie
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Over 20 years of scholarship suggests that living in America's poorest and most dangerous communities diminishes the life course development of children and adults. In the 1990s, the dire conditions of some of these neighborhoods, especially those with large public housing developments, prompted significant policy responses. In addition to the demolition and redevelopment of some of the projects, the federal government launched an experiment to help families leave poor neighborhoods through an assisted housing voucher program called Moving to Opportunity (MTO). While families who moved through this program initially relocated to census tracts with poverty rates almost four times lower than their original projects, many returned to communities of moderate to high poverty. Why? We use mixed methods to explore the patterns and the decision-making processes behind moves among MTO families. Focusing on the Baltimore MTO site, we find that traditional theories for residential choice did not fully explain these outcomes. While limited access to public transportation, housing quality...

    Over 20 years of scholarship suggests that living in America's poorest and most dangerous communities diminishes the life course development of children and adults. In the 1990s, the dire conditions of some of these neighborhoods, especially those with large public housing developments, prompted significant policy responses. In addition to the demolition and redevelopment of some of the projects, the federal government launched an experiment to help families leave poor neighborhoods through an assisted housing voucher program called Moving to Opportunity (MTO). While families who moved through this program initially relocated to census tracts with poverty rates almost four times lower than their original projects, many returned to communities of moderate to high poverty. Why? We use mixed methods to explore the patterns and the decision-making processes behind moves among MTO families. Focusing on the Baltimore MTO site, we find that traditional theories for residential choice did not fully explain these outcomes. While limited access to public transportation, housing quality problems, and landlords made it hard for families to move to, or stay in, low-poverty neighborhoods, there were also more striking explanations for their residential trajectories. Many families valued the low-poverty neighborhoods they were originally able to access with their vouchers, but when faced with the need to move again, they often sacrificed neighborhood quality for dwelling quality in order to accommodate changing family needs. Having lived in high-poverty neighborhoods most of their lives, they developed a number of coping strategies and beliefs that made them confident they could handle such a consequential trade-off and protect themselves and their children from the dangers of poorer areas. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Avellar, Sarah A.; Clary, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of BSF programs, report on services received by the program group to which the intervention was offered, analyze characteristics of couples and programs that may affect participation, and describe the experiences of program group couples. A report on the effectiveness of BSF—its impacts on the lives of couples and their children—is expected in 2010. (author abstract)

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