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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: Berkman, Michael; Honaker, James; Ojeda, Christopher; Plutzer, Eric
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we offer measures of state TANF policies that reflect the multi-dimensionality of state policy, and account for the intergovernmental complexity that underlies TANF. Our approach recognizes each state’s motivation to transition its poor population from public assistance to employment by focusing on the conditions recipients must meet to remain on assistance and to avoid being sanctioned for violating the conditions of assistance. We also offer some validity tests of these new measures and compare them with other widely used measures of state TANF policy. Our measures are not comprehensive—we do not in this paper, for example, offer measures of generosity or eligibility—but they do capture the state rules that guide local policymakers’ sanctioning decisions. [author introduction]

     

    In this paper we offer measures of state TANF policies that reflect the multi-dimensionality of state policy, and account for the intergovernmental complexity that underlies TANF. Our approach recognizes each state’s motivation to transition its poor population from public assistance to employment by focusing on the conditions recipients must meet to remain on assistance and to avoid being sanctioned for violating the conditions of assistance. We also offer some validity tests of these new measures and compare them with other widely used measures of state TANF policy. Our measures are not comprehensive—we do not in this paper, for example, offer measures of generosity or eligibility—but they do capture the state rules that guide local policymakers’ sanctioning decisions. [author introduction]

     

  • Individual Author: Elliott, Diana; Thomas, Hannah; Wilson, Denise; Sattelmeyer, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

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

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

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

  • Individual Author: Forster, Hilary; Rolston, Howard; Gueron, Judith; Haskins, Ron; Winstead, Don; Greenberg, Mark; Maynard, Rebecca
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Welfare is often touted as the area where rigorous social science research has been most sustained and has had the clearest impact on policy. Roundtable panelists will reflect on the history of this research, discussing questions including: Why were randomized experiments sustained over 40 years? What questions did this research answer well? How did the research inform and influence legislation, policy, and practice at the national and state levels? To what extent are lessons relevant to social policy research today and to other fields? What can be done to promote such rigorous research? Rebecca Maynard (University of Pennsylvania) will moderate this session, and Mark Greenberg (Administration for Children and Families) will serve as a discussant. Panelists are:

    • Howard Rolston (Abt Associates)

    • Judith Gueron (Independent Scholar)

    • Ron Haskins (The Brookings Institution)

    • Don Winstead (Don Winstead Consulting, LLC) (conference program description)

    This presentation was given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

    Welfare is often touted as the area where rigorous social science research has been most sustained and has had the clearest impact on policy. Roundtable panelists will reflect on the history of this research, discussing questions including: Why were randomized experiments sustained over 40 years? What questions did this research answer well? How did the research inform and influence legislation, policy, and practice at the national and state levels? To what extent are lessons relevant to social policy research today and to other fields? What can be done to promote such rigorous research? Rebecca Maynard (University of Pennsylvania) will moderate this session, and Mark Greenberg (Administration for Children and Families) will serve as a discussant. Panelists are:

    • Howard Rolston (Abt Associates)

    • Judith Gueron (Independent Scholar)

    • Ron Haskins (The Brookings Institution)

    • Don Winstead (Don Winstead Consulting, LLC) (conference program description)

    This presentation was given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • 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: Johnson, Clifford M.; Rynell, Amy; Young, Melissa
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2010

    The need for direct public job creation efforts is greater today than at any time during the past seven decades. With a national unemployment rate that recently exceeded 10 percent and severe economic distress in hard-hit communities and population groups, a new federal initiative that puts jobless individuals immediately to work must be a central element of any strategy for restoring economic growth and responding to pressing human needs in 2010 and beyond. Public service employment (PSE) and transitional jobs (TJ) programs that use time-limited, paid work as the centerpiece of efforts to assist the unemployed offer tested and urgently needed models for combating the current recession and advancing longer-term workforce development goals.

    The absence of recent experience and a corresponding program infrastructure to support the large-scale creation of publicly funded jobs presents daunting challenges, particularly in light of the rapid implementation necessary to improve employment conditions over the next year. Nonetheless, the history of federal job creation programs...

    The need for direct public job creation efforts is greater today than at any time during the past seven decades. With a national unemployment rate that recently exceeded 10 percent and severe economic distress in hard-hit communities and population groups, a new federal initiative that puts jobless individuals immediately to work must be a central element of any strategy for restoring economic growth and responding to pressing human needs in 2010 and beyond. Public service employment (PSE) and transitional jobs (TJ) programs that use time-limited, paid work as the centerpiece of efforts to assist the unemployed offer tested and urgently needed models for combating the current recession and advancing longer-term workforce development goals.

    The absence of recent experience and a corresponding program infrastructure to support the large-scale creation of publicly funded jobs presents daunting challenges, particularly in light of the rapid implementation necessary to improve employment conditions over the next year. Nonetheless, the history of federal job creation programs since the 1930s suggests that these challenges are not insurmountable. In many respects, the reluctance of key policymakers to launch a new PSE program this past year was rooted in a fundamental misreading of past research. Past experience provides ample evidence that public job creation can be undertaken quickly and effectively, with acceptable costs, manageable levels of substitution or displacement, and clear benefits to participants and their communities (Briggs 1981).

    This paper makes the case for a multiphase approach to public job creation, beginning in early 2010 with “fast-track” efforts to support specific PSE projects launched by local governments and developing in 2011 and succeeding years into a more sophisticated strategy for combining publicly funded jobs with education or training for individuals facing major barriers to labor market entry. Innovative TJ programs now operating throughout the nation can provide key building blocks for, and guide the development of, a permanent public job creation program, one that can respond to changing economic circumstances while addressing the serious employment problems that persist throughout the business cycle. (author abstract)

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