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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 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: Sheely, Amanda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic...

    With the passage of welfare reform in 1996, state and local governments gained substantial authority to design and implement their own welfare programs. Proponents of devolution asserted that, under devolution, local governments would be better able to tailor program administration to meet local economic needs. However, opponents contended devolution could lead to local governments seeking to control costs by limiting access to welfare. Meanwhile, existing research suggests that economics will not play an important role in determining welfare provision. This article investigates these competing claims by assessing the relationship between economic conditions and administrative exclusion, which is making programs so hard to access that potential and current recipients decide to forgo benefits, in a state that gives counties significant authority over welfare provision. To do so, I assess whether county application denial, sanctioning, and case closure rates are influenced by changes in local economic characteristics. I find that, even during periods of substantial economic distress, county practices related to administrative exclusion are largely unresponsive to changes in unemployment, child poverty, and fiscal constraints. These findings call into question the responsiveness of the devolved social safety net for poor families. (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: Speiglman, Richard; Brown, Hana; Bos, Johannes M.; Li, Yongmei; Ortiz, Lorena
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Since the United States implemented Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or ‘welfare reform,’ the number of assistance cases without an adult receiving aid has risen dramatically. In states like California, these child-only cases now constitute the majority of all TANF cases. Despite this increase, existing research sheds little light on the composition of child-only caseloads and the status of the adults and children in such cases. Drawing on county administrative data and interviews with 143 parents associated with child-only cases in five California counties, this paper identifies both the demographics of the child-only caseload in these sites and the major barriers to employment that parents in sanctioned and timed-out child-only cases face. These include human capital, health, and family issues, in addition to other obstacles. The data suggest that, despite functioning as one administrative entity, CalWORKs, California's TANF program, has transformed into two separate programs: a welfare-to-work program and a subsistence-level cash assistance program for some...

    Since the United States implemented Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or ‘welfare reform,’ the number of assistance cases without an adult receiving aid has risen dramatically. In states like California, these child-only cases now constitute the majority of all TANF cases. Despite this increase, existing research sheds little light on the composition of child-only caseloads and the status of the adults and children in such cases. Drawing on county administrative data and interviews with 143 parents associated with child-only cases in five California counties, this paper identifies both the demographics of the child-only caseload in these sites and the major barriers to employment that parents in sanctioned and timed-out child-only cases face. These include human capital, health, and family issues, in addition to other obstacles. The data suggest that, despite functioning as one administrative entity, CalWORKs, California's TANF program, has transformed into two separate programs: a welfare-to-work program and a subsistence-level cash assistance program for some members of child-only families. Given this transformation, the paper closes by suggesting a research agenda for future child-only scholarship and argues for policy innovations to meet the needs of the expanding child-only caseload. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Greenberg, Brian; Korb, Sophia; Cronon, Kristen; Anderson, Robert
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Purpose – Housing First has been upheld as an evidence-based best practice for transitioning homeless individuals into permanent housing in a maximally cost-effective and humane manner. However, there is much variance in the implementation and structure of Housing First programming in the USA. This paper aims to focus on a collaborative, interdisciplinary Housing First effort to house and provide case management and ancillary services to chronically homeless individuals in The City of San Mateo, California.

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a case study in which the philosophy, structure, and impact of San Mateo's outreach and housing team are discussed. To explore the project's impact, data concerning arrests and other criminal justice contacts, as well as health costs associated with these clients, both prior to and post housing and services, were collected and analyzed. These are corroborated with qualitative data on client outcomes.

    Findings – After participants received housing and wrap-around supportive services provided...

    Purpose – Housing First has been upheld as an evidence-based best practice for transitioning homeless individuals into permanent housing in a maximally cost-effective and humane manner. However, there is much variance in the implementation and structure of Housing First programming in the USA. This paper aims to focus on a collaborative, interdisciplinary Housing First effort to house and provide case management and ancillary services to chronically homeless individuals in The City of San Mateo, California.

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a case study in which the philosophy, structure, and impact of San Mateo's outreach and housing team are discussed. To explore the project's impact, data concerning arrests and other criminal justice contacts, as well as health costs associated with these clients, both prior to and post housing and services, were collected and analyzed. These are corroborated with qualitative data on client outcomes.

    Findings – After participants received housing and wrap-around supportive services provided through the collaboration of police, local stakeholders, and non-profits, the cost of medical care and criminal justice interventions were dramatically reduced. While challenges such as the availability of housing units remain, the findings of this study strongly support the interdisciplinary outreach team as a model for Housing First programming.

    Research limitations/implications – This is an in-depth study, derived from a particularly innovative project; and therefore the sample size is limited by the size of the project.

    Originality/value – The originality of this study lies in its analysis of a Housing First model which incorporates an interdisciplinary outreach team designed to provide highly individualized care for clients. The San Mateo permanent supportive housing pilot project is itself unique in that it incorporates a Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) comprised of the police, other government entities, local stakeholders, and other non-profits engaged with homelessness. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stoll, Michael A.; Bushway, Shawn D.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    The rapid rise in the nation’s incarceration rate over the past decade has raised questions about how to successfully reintegrate a growing number of ex-offenders. Employment has been shown to be an important factor in reintegration, especially for men over the age of 27 that characterize the majority of individuals released from prison. At the same time, there is substantial evidence that employers discriminate against ex-prisoners. One policy response that has received considerable attention is to deny employers access to criminal history record information, including movements to “ban the box” asking about criminal history information on job applications. The assumption underlying this movement is that knowledge of ex-offender status leads directly to a refusal to hire. An alternative view is that some employers care about the characteristics of the criminal history record, and use information about criminal history in a more nuanced, non-discrete way. This paper explores this question using unique establishment-level data collected in Los Angeles in 2001. On average, we...

    The rapid rise in the nation’s incarceration rate over the past decade has raised questions about how to successfully reintegrate a growing number of ex-offenders. Employment has been shown to be an important factor in reintegration, especially for men over the age of 27 that characterize the majority of individuals released from prison. At the same time, there is substantial evidence that employers discriminate against ex-prisoners. One policy response that has received considerable attention is to deny employers access to criminal history record information, including movements to “ban the box” asking about criminal history information on job applications. The assumption underlying this movement is that knowledge of ex-offender status leads directly to a refusal to hire. An alternative view is that some employers care about the characteristics of the criminal history record, and use information about criminal history in a more nuanced, non-discrete way. This paper explores this question using unique establishment-level data collected in Los Angeles in 2001. On average, we replicate the now common finding that employer initiated criminal background checks is negatively related to the hiring of ex-offenders. However, this negative effect is less than complete. The effect is strongly negative for those employers that are legally required to check. But some employers appear to check to gain additional information about ex-offenders (and thus hire more ex-offenders than other employers), while checking appears to have no affect on hiring ex-offenders for those employers not legally required to check. Therefore, initiatives aimed at restricting background checks for those firms not legally required to check may not have the desired consequences of increasing ex-offender employment. (author abstract)

    This article is based on working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

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