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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: Lavin, Ewa U.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    Outcome research has shown that upon aging out of the foster care system, many young adults struggle during their transition to independence. Youth who age out are less likely than their peers in the general population to achieve academic success, including high school graduation and post-secondary education. These youth are more likely to be unemployed or work at jobs that do not provide them with financial security. They are more likely than their peers to experience violence, victimization, homelessness or unstable housing, mental illness, and other poor health outcomes. They are also at an increased risk for incarceration, substance abuse, and early parenthood; and they are more likely to lose their children to the foster care system. The current study seeks to examine experiences foster care alumni identify as empowering and promoting resilience. By identifying elements that contributed to building self-sufficiency and positive outcomes, this research attempts to inform practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders as they attempt to move towards best practices of...

    Outcome research has shown that upon aging out of the foster care system, many young adults struggle during their transition to independence. Youth who age out are less likely than their peers in the general population to achieve academic success, including high school graduation and post-secondary education. These youth are more likely to be unemployed or work at jobs that do not provide them with financial security. They are more likely than their peers to experience violence, victimization, homelessness or unstable housing, mental illness, and other poor health outcomes. They are also at an increased risk for incarceration, substance abuse, and early parenthood; and they are more likely to lose their children to the foster care system. The current study seeks to examine experiences foster care alumni identify as empowering and promoting resilience. By identifying elements that contributed to building self-sufficiency and positive outcomes, this research attempts to inform practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders as they attempt to move towards best practices of effective service delivery. Data were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with four foster care alumni who were in care in New Jersey. Transcribed interview data was analyzed utilizing McCracken’s “grounded theory” as a guide. Data was reduced to smaller units for identification of common, interrelated themes. These themes and patterns were subjected to a process of analysis in an attempt to inform conclusions. Participants credit their positive outcomes, post transition, to several factors, which include the impact of relationships and mentoring, as well as other intrinsic and environmental factors. Study participants offered several recommendations for policy and program reform. The relationship of findings to literature, limitations and implications of the current study for practice and research are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, David E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article, Thesis
    Year: 2011

    The number of welfare recipients in the U.S. peaked at more than 14 million in 1994, adding pressure to reform the system. The welfare reforms of 1996 replaced an open-ended entitlement program with a system of two-and five-year time limits on cash assistance for adults and a fixed budget allocated to states. Since those reforms were enacted, the overall number of welfare recipients and cases in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has dropped dramatically, but the number of child-only cases and recipients has fallen much less. Using data from FY1997 through FY2007, I explore factors that help explain why child-only cases respond differently, and examine their state-by-state variability. I fail to reject two hypotheses:  that Net International Migration and a stricter state-by-state welfare policy (including sanctions and time limits) contribute to the increasing share of child-only caseloads; and that the number of unwed births has a disproportionate effect on the child-only caseload. (author abstract)

    The number of welfare recipients in the U.S. peaked at more than 14 million in 1994, adding pressure to reform the system. The welfare reforms of 1996 replaced an open-ended entitlement program with a system of two-and five-year time limits on cash assistance for adults and a fixed budget allocated to states. Since those reforms were enacted, the overall number of welfare recipients and cases in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has dropped dramatically, but the number of child-only cases and recipients has fallen much less. Using data from FY1997 through FY2007, I explore factors that help explain why child-only cases respond differently, and examine their state-by-state variability. I fail to reject two hypotheses:  that Net International Migration and a stricter state-by-state welfare policy (including sanctions and time limits) contribute to the increasing share of child-only caseloads; and that the number of unwed births has a disproportionate effect on the child-only caseload. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ratliff, Pamela P.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2012

    The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) non-custodial, low-income fathers' level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy, procedures, and rules; (b) their level of involvement in the family court system; and (c) the relationship between non-custodial, low-income fathers' knowledge of the procedures of the child support enforcement system and compliance with court child support orders. The investigation employed a descriptive-survey research design. The sample (n = 25) was randomly selected from a population of noncustodial, low-income fathers enrolled in a welfare-to-work training project in South Carolina. Data were collected from the sample using a valid and reliable survey titled Knowledge of Child Support Enforcement Policy and Procedures or KCSEPP. Data were analyzed to respond to seven quantitative research questions. The data showed that the level of knowledge fathers had about child support policies and procedures was generally low; and their level of involvement in the family court system, due to non-compliance with child support orders, revealed a high...

    The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) non-custodial, low-income fathers' level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy, procedures, and rules; (b) their level of involvement in the family court system; and (c) the relationship between non-custodial, low-income fathers' knowledge of the procedures of the child support enforcement system and compliance with court child support orders. The investigation employed a descriptive-survey research design. The sample (n = 25) was randomly selected from a population of noncustodial, low-income fathers enrolled in a welfare-to-work training project in South Carolina. Data were collected from the sample using a valid and reliable survey titled Knowledge of Child Support Enforcement Policy and Procedures or KCSEPP. Data were analyzed to respond to seven quantitative research questions. The data showed that the level of knowledge fathers had about child support policies and procedures was generally low; and their level of involvement in the family court system, due to non-compliance with child support orders, revealed a high degree of negative involvement. Results also revealed that there was no difference in the level of knowledge of child support enforcement policy and procedures for fathers who were in compliance with child support orders and those who were not in compliance. Ultimately, the study confirmed that educating fathers about child support policy and procedures is a strategy that should be explored further for its usefulness in informing non-custodial, low-income fathers' decision making regarding legal and financial obligations to their children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kidd, Andrew
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    This paper analyzes the effects of changes in the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit on labor force participation and hours worked among mothers. I focus on three periods: the late 1990s when the policy was first introduced, the early 2000s when the Child Tax Credit per dependent expanded, and the late 2000s when the earned income threshold level to receive the tax credit was lowered to allow more tax-filers with children to qualify for the credit. The predicted loss in tax revenue to the government by this tax credit in 2010 alone was $52 billion. I examine the effect of the total tax credit on labor force participation and hours worked among women using difference-in-difference regressions with women with no children as the control group since they do not qualify for the Child Tax Credit and women with children as the treatment group. I find an increase in labor force participation and hours worked, conditional on working, among single mothers relative to single women with no children following the introduction of the Child Tax Credit, but no significant change in...

    This paper analyzes the effects of changes in the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit on labor force participation and hours worked among mothers. I focus on three periods: the late 1990s when the policy was first introduced, the early 2000s when the Child Tax Credit per dependent expanded, and the late 2000s when the earned income threshold level to receive the tax credit was lowered to allow more tax-filers with children to qualify for the credit. The predicted loss in tax revenue to the government by this tax credit in 2010 alone was $52 billion. I examine the effect of the total tax credit on labor force participation and hours worked among women using difference-in-difference regressions with women with no children as the control group since they do not qualify for the Child Tax Credit and women with children as the treatment group. I find an increase in labor force participation and hours worked, conditional on working, among single mothers relative to single women with no children following the introduction of the Child Tax Credit, but no significant change in the subsequent years surrounding the expansions of the tax credit. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pinsoneault, Laura
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2006

    Housing is an overlooked dimension of self-sufficiency in academic scholarship and  policymaking. In the absence of strong housing supports from the government, low-income families craft a variety of housing arrangements to meet their needs.  One strategy is to establish shared housing with other adults and families. For low-income people, shared housing is thought to be a form of dependency that is evidence of not being self-sufficient. This study explores the shared housing experience from the perspective of those who live it.  Using the grounded theory method, secondary data analysis of 69 transcribed narratives with low-income persons living in shared housing revealed a social-relational typology of shared housing based on three salient dimensions: duration, reciprocal exchange, and affinity. These findings reveal a new definition of shared housing beyond structural arrangements and kinship ties that included seven types:  collaborative households, surrogate homesteads, tacit dependency arrangements, goal-oriented arrangements, companion or roommate arrangements, host family...

    Housing is an overlooked dimension of self-sufficiency in academic scholarship and  policymaking. In the absence of strong housing supports from the government, low-income families craft a variety of housing arrangements to meet their needs.  One strategy is to establish shared housing with other adults and families. For low-income people, shared housing is thought to be a form of dependency that is evidence of not being self-sufficient. This study explores the shared housing experience from the perspective of those who live it.  Using the grounded theory method, secondary data analysis of 69 transcribed narratives with low-income persons living in shared housing revealed a social-relational typology of shared housing based on three salient dimensions: duration, reciprocal exchange, and affinity. These findings reveal a new definition of shared housing beyond structural arrangements and kinship ties that included seven types:  collaborative households, surrogate homesteads, tacit dependency arrangements, goal-oriented arrangements, companion or roommate arrangements, host family households, and serial shared housing arrangements.  This analysis also identified practices that reflect self-sufficiency through the use of shared housing arrangements: Caring for Others, Creative Pooling of Financial Resources, In-Kind Resource Exchange, Interpersonal Assets and Exchanges, Enhancing Quality of Life, and Maintenance of Family Identity. It reveals how interdependency in shared housing is used to achieve self-sufficiency. These findings provide empirical evidence to rethink various self-sufficiency models. (author abstract)

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