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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: Dearden, Lorraine; Emmerson, Carl; Frayne, Christine; Meghir, Costas
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This paper evaluates a United Kingdom pilot study designed to test whether a means-tested conditional cash transfer paid to 16- to 18-year-olds for staying in full-time education is an effective way of reducing the proportion of school dropouts. The transfer’s impact is substantial: In the first year, full-time education participation rates increase by around 4.5 percentage points while the proportion receiving two years of education increases by around 6.7 percentage points. Those receiving the full payment have the largest initial increase in participation and some evidence is found suggesting that part of the effect can be explained by liquidity constraints. (author abstract)

    This paper evaluates a United Kingdom pilot study designed to test whether a means-tested conditional cash transfer paid to 16- to 18-year-olds for staying in full-time education is an effective way of reducing the proportion of school dropouts. The transfer’s impact is substantial: In the first year, full-time education participation rates increase by around 4.5 percentage points while the proportion receiving two years of education increases by around 6.7 percentage points. Those receiving the full payment have the largest initial increase in participation and some evidence is found suggesting that part of the effect can be explained by liquidity constraints. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cook, Kay
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Following the United States’ lead, the emergence of neoliberal welfare policy across the western world has resulted in employment programmes for single parents, who are predominantly single mothers. While some governments claim that employment will improve single parents’ incomes and well-being, researchers dispute that single parents can unproblematically move into the workforce, with net positive effects. While researchers have quantified the socio-economic effect of these programmes, in particular on participant health, no study has yet synthesized participants’ experiences of welfare-to-work. Here, I present a meta-synthesis of eight qualitative health-related studies of single parents’ (and exclusively single mothers’) welfare-to-work transition. I report that single mothers faced a combination of health and economic issues which made their transition from welfare to work difficult, including degrees of poor physical and mental health. For participants in the United States, these health issues were often compounded by a loss of health benefits on moving into low-wage...

    Following the United States’ lead, the emergence of neoliberal welfare policy across the western world has resulted in employment programmes for single parents, who are predominantly single mothers. While some governments claim that employment will improve single parents’ incomes and well-being, researchers dispute that single parents can unproblematically move into the workforce, with net positive effects. While researchers have quantified the socio-economic effect of these programmes, in particular on participant health, no study has yet synthesized participants’ experiences of welfare-to-work. Here, I present a meta-synthesis of eight qualitative health-related studies of single parents’ (and exclusively single mothers’) welfare-to-work transition. I report that single mothers faced a combination of health and economic issues which made their transition from welfare to work difficult, including degrees of poor physical and mental health. For participants in the United States, these health issues were often compounded by a loss of health benefits on moving into low-wage employment. In countries where a return to employment was required before children reached school age, a lack of affordable and appropriate child care, especially for children with health problems, exacerbated these difficulties. As a result of scarce resources, single mothers in receipt of welfare benefits often relied on food banks or went without food. A return to the workforce did not alleviate this problem as additional child care and reduced government subsidies depleted the funds available for food. I conclude that welfare-to-work policies are underpinned by the neoliberal assumption that the market more efficiently distributes resources than the State. However, for the women in the studies examined here, labour market participation often depleted access to essential resources. Interventions to address the ‘problem’ of welfare dependency must recognize the complex interplay between work incentives and disincentives and the care-work of single mothers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cooke, Jo; Owen, Jenny
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    Since 2003, government policy has required local authorities to provide support when they house lone teenage parents seeking accommodation. This qualitative study addresses young mothers’ routes into housing need and their experiences of housing access and support, drawing on interview and focus group data collected in 2003. The findings emphasise mothers’ preferences for forms of support which facilitate moves towards increased choice and independence. Reinforcing messages from other research, these findings also show a gap between concepts of ‘support’ embodied in government policy and those which inform practice, within agencies and among young people. (author abstract)

    Since 2003, government policy has required local authorities to provide support when they house lone teenage parents seeking accommodation. This qualitative study addresses young mothers’ routes into housing need and their experiences of housing access and support, drawing on interview and focus group data collected in 2003. The findings emphasise mothers’ preferences for forms of support which facilitate moves towards increased choice and independence. Reinforcing messages from other research, these findings also show a gap between concepts of ‘support’ embodied in government policy and those which inform practice, within agencies and among young people. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Christopher, Karen
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    U.S. women have higher poverty rates than women in other affluent nations. In this paper I attempt to explain this disparity by examining the effect of single motherhood, employment, and social assistance on women's poverty. With cross-national comparisons of quantitative data, I find that the relatively high rate of single motherhood among U.S. women is not a main cause of their high poverty rates. Compared to their counterparts in other Western nations, U.S. women, mothers and single mothers are among the most likely to earn poverty wages. In addition, U.S. social assistance programs are the least effective in reducing poverty. I conclude with the policy implications of my findings, focusing on strategies to ameliorate the high poverty rates of U.S. women and mothers. (author abstract)

    U.S. women have higher poverty rates than women in other affluent nations. In this paper I attempt to explain this disparity by examining the effect of single motherhood, employment, and social assistance on women's poverty. With cross-national comparisons of quantitative data, I find that the relatively high rate of single motherhood among U.S. women is not a main cause of their high poverty rates. Compared to their counterparts in other Western nations, U.S. women, mothers and single mothers are among the most likely to earn poverty wages. In addition, U.S. social assistance programs are the least effective in reducing poverty. I conclude with the policy implications of my findings, focusing on strategies to ameliorate the high poverty rates of U.S. women and mothers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Robertson, Peter J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    The potential for career guidance to impact on well-being has received insufficient attention in the UK. There are both conceptual and empirical reasons to expect that the impacts may be positive, but a lack of evidence directly testing this proposition. Career guidance has commonalities with therapeutic counselling suggesting analogous effects, and it promotes positive engagement in work and learning, which may be associated with health benefits. There are implications for services in reconciling health and employment objectives. However, the promotion of well-being need not imply quasi-clinical ways of working. A call is made for more research and debate in the career guidance community as to the extent and implications of the potentially important relationship between career guidance and well-being. (Author abstract)

    The potential for career guidance to impact on well-being has received insufficient attention in the UK. There are both conceptual and empirical reasons to expect that the impacts may be positive, but a lack of evidence directly testing this proposition. Career guidance has commonalities with therapeutic counselling suggesting analogous effects, and it promotes positive engagement in work and learning, which may be associated with health benefits. There are implications for services in reconciling health and employment objectives. However, the promotion of well-being need not imply quasi-clinical ways of working. A call is made for more research and debate in the career guidance community as to the extent and implications of the potentially important relationship between career guidance and well-being. (Author abstract)

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