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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: Muennig, Peter; Rosen, Zohn; Wilde, Ty
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

    During the 1990s reforms to the US welfare system introduced new time limits on people’s eligibility to receive public assistance. These limits were developed to encourage welfare recipients to seek employment. Little is known about how such social policy programs may have affected participants’ health. We explored whether the Florida Family Transition Program randomized trial, a welfare reform experiment, led to long-term changes in mortality among participants. The Florida program included a 24–36-month time limit for welfare participation, intensive job training, and placement assistance. We linked 3,224 participants from the experiment to 17–18 years of prospective mortality follow-up data and found that participants in the program experienced a 16 percent higher mortality rate than recipients of traditional welfare. If our results are generalizable to national welfare reform efforts, they raise questions about whether the cost savings associated with welfare reform justify the additional loss of life. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ovwigho, Pamela Caudill; Leavitt, Katharine L.; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    Recent research has documented that those leaving TANF in the later years of reform face more challenges to leaving welfare for work and may not be faring as well as earlier exiters. The present study utilizes data from a large-scale, longitudinal study of TANF leavers to examine risk factors for child maltreatment, particularly focusing on the question of higher risk for later leavers. The sample, from Maryland’s Life After Welfare study, includes 17,441 children from 8,900 families who exited TANF between October 1996 and March 2001. Of these children, 7.3% (n = 1,269) experienced a child protective services investigation during the first year after exit, in which abuse or neglect was substantiated or indicated. Discrete time event history analysis revealed several significant predictors of child abuse and neglect, with child welfare history emerging as the strongest predictor. Moreover, we find that risk of a substantiated CPS report is higher for later leaving families, even after controlling for family characteristics and post-exit experiences. These results suggest that...

    Recent research has documented that those leaving TANF in the later years of reform face more challenges to leaving welfare for work and may not be faring as well as earlier exiters. The present study utilizes data from a large-scale, longitudinal study of TANF leavers to examine risk factors for child maltreatment, particularly focusing on the question of higher risk for later leavers. The sample, from Maryland’s Life After Welfare study, includes 17,441 children from 8,900 families who exited TANF between October 1996 and March 2001. Of these children, 7.3% (n = 1,269) experienced a child protective services investigation during the first year after exit, in which abuse or neglect was substantiated or indicated. Discrete time event history analysis revealed several significant predictors of child abuse and neglect, with child welfare history emerging as the strongest predictor. Moreover, we find that risk of a substantiated CPS report is higher for later leaving families, even after controlling for family characteristics and post-exit experiences. These results suggest that policy makers and program managers may need to consider providing extra support to families with a child welfare history who are exiting the rolls in the later years of reform. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a report published by the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

  • Individual Author: Cheng, Lee-Joy; Wong, Seng-Lee
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This study treats the administrative effect factor as a moderator in LISREL analyses to build an explanatory model that best explains Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program caseload changes. The analysis reveals that the administrative effect factor, followed by fiscal expenditure, social needs, and political factors, directly contribute to changes in TANF caseloads in the United States. (author abstract)

    This study treats the administrative effect factor as a moderator in LISREL analyses to build an explanatory model that best explains Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program caseload changes. The analysis reveals that the administrative effect factor, followed by fiscal expenditure, social needs, and political factors, directly contribute to changes in TANF caseloads in the United States. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ovwigho, Pamela C.; Kolupanowich, Nicholas J.; Hetling, Andrea; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    An increasing number of people no longer enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) experience periods of “disconnection” after exiting the welfare program. The present research, based on data from a large longitudinal state welfare leaver study, explores the circumstances and characteristics of welfare leavers who receive no formal employment earnings but do not return to cash assistance for at least 1 year after exiting welfare. Using a variety of administrative program data and welfare caseworker notes, the size of the various subgroups within the disconnected population and their possible needs were examined. Cluster analysis revealed 6 important subgroups with differing needs and barriers. The findings focus on policy implications, particularly in relation to the Congressional reauthorization of TANF. (author abstract)

    An increasing number of people no longer enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) experience periods of “disconnection” after exiting the welfare program. The present research, based on data from a large longitudinal state welfare leaver study, explores the circumstances and characteristics of welfare leavers who receive no formal employment earnings but do not return to cash assistance for at least 1 year after exiting welfare. Using a variety of administrative program data and welfare caseworker notes, the size of the various subgroups within the disconnected population and their possible needs were examined. Cluster analysis revealed 6 important subgroups with differing needs and barriers. The findings focus on policy implications, particularly in relation to the Congressional reauthorization of TANF. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mallon, Anthony J.; Stevens, Guy V. G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Policy makers often tout the finding that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families caseloads have shrunk by 50% or more since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act). Less well publicized is the economic fate of these “welfare leavers.” Extensive evidence shows that, despite the fact that as many as 60% exit with a full-time job, within a year or two approximately one half of all welfare leavers—and their children—fall into poverty. These findings predate the current severe recession; the economic status of current and past welfare leavers is undoubtedly much worse today. The proximate cause of this high rate of poverty is that welfare leavers end up working, on average, too few hours over the course of a year. Behind these low hours are the more fundamental causes of the measurable “barriers to work” limiting many leavers, and the limited supply of appropriate private-sector jobs, even during the so-called full-employment years of the late 1990s. In a search for solutions to this problem, this article examines...

    Policy makers often tout the finding that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families caseloads have shrunk by 50% or more since the passage of the 1996 welfare reform act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act). Less well publicized is the economic fate of these “welfare leavers.” Extensive evidence shows that, despite the fact that as many as 60% exit with a full-time job, within a year or two approximately one half of all welfare leavers—and their children—fall into poverty. These findings predate the current severe recession; the economic status of current and past welfare leavers is undoubtedly much worse today. The proximate cause of this high rate of poverty is that welfare leavers end up working, on average, too few hours over the course of a year. Behind these low hours are the more fundamental causes of the measurable “barriers to work” limiting many leavers, and the limited supply of appropriate private-sector jobs, even during the so-called full-employment years of the late 1990s. In a search for solutions to this problem, this article examines the design, costs, and effects of a large number of job creation/welfare-to-work programs. Using these results, we propose a program of jobs of last resort called Promise of a Job (POJ). The authors outline the structure of POJ, provide costs estimates per participant and for its national implementation, and simulate its impact on poverty rates. Depending on assumptions such as the eligibility requirements and the rate at which participants are placed in full-time jobs, some simulations show dramatic reductions in the rates of adult and, especially, children's poverty. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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