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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: Wauchope, Barbara; Jaffee, Elenor; Lyons, Kristen; Lutz, Aimee Delaney
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The information in this New Hampshire Kids Count Cities Data Book is primarily a story about children living in these large communities. However; to ensure we describe children from across the state, we include several smaller, more rural towns as well.

    The NH Kids Count Cities Data Book expands on the 2010/2011 New Hampshire Kids Count Data Book which reported state and county level data. This book focuses on fourteen cities and towns in our state reporting on 24 indicators of child well-being. Together these two New Hampshire publications provide a nuanced perspective of Granite State children and young adults, portraying areas of accomplishment as well as areas of need among the children and families of our state. (Author abstract)

    The information in this New Hampshire Kids Count Cities Data Book is primarily a story about children living in these large communities. However; to ensure we describe children from across the state, we include several smaller, more rural towns as well.

    The NH Kids Count Cities Data Book expands on the 2010/2011 New Hampshire Kids Count Data Book which reported state and county level data. This book focuses on fourteen cities and towns in our state reporting on 24 indicators of child well-being. Together these two New Hampshire publications provide a nuanced perspective of Granite State children and young adults, portraying areas of accomplishment as well as areas of need among the children and families of our state. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kenefick, Elizabeth; Lower-Basch, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In recent years many states have considered legislation to require applicants for cash assistance under TANF to pass a chemical drug test as a condition of eligibility. As discussed in a companion brief, CLASP strongly opposes suspicionless mandatory testing as a costly, stigmatizing, and ineffective means of identifying substance abuse and believes that these bills are often motivated by stereotype and inaccurate assumptions about poor families who receive welfare. However, we recognize that substance abuse and addiction can be barriers to employment and self-sufficiency and should be appropriately addressed within the TANF program when they affect recipients.

    Contrary to the perception created by the plethora of proposed legislation, states already have many options for dealing with substance abuse within TANF and are addressing with issue with approaches that are more targeted and cost-effective than suspicionless testing. These include screening for alcohol and drug abuse, incorporation of treatment into work activities, using TANF funds to pay for non-medical...

    In recent years many states have considered legislation to require applicants for cash assistance under TANF to pass a chemical drug test as a condition of eligibility. As discussed in a companion brief, CLASP strongly opposes suspicionless mandatory testing as a costly, stigmatizing, and ineffective means of identifying substance abuse and believes that these bills are often motivated by stereotype and inaccurate assumptions about poor families who receive welfare. However, we recognize that substance abuse and addiction can be barriers to employment and self-sufficiency and should be appropriately addressed within the TANF program when they affect recipients.

    Contrary to the perception created by the plethora of proposed legislation, states already have many options for dealing with substance abuse within TANF and are addressing with issue with approaches that are more targeted and cost-effective than suspicionless testing. These include screening for alcohol and drug abuse, incorporation of treatment into work activities, using TANF funds to pay for non-medical treatment and ancillary supports, and, where warranted, using testing to monitor compliance of specific populations, such as individuals previously convicted of drug-related crimes. Unfortunately there is a lack of systemic current information about the steps states are taking to tackle substance abuse problems. Prior research on the subject is largely made up of two separate surveys, from 1999 and 2002, as well as case studies that highlight innovative programs from the same period.

    This brief aims to provide updated information on the range of state policies and highlights some of the promising approaches that states are using to address substance abuse by TANF recipients. It is based primarily on a recent CLASP-commissioned survey conducted by students at George Washington's School of Public Policy, as well as interviews they conducted with state TANF program administrators. Due to time constraints and the political controversies around drug testing, not all states were willing to respond to the survey. While the findings are not generalizable to all states, they provide a useful overview of the range of approaches that states can take. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morgenstern, Jon; Hogue, Aaron; Dasaro, Christopher ; Kuerbis, Alexis
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    This study examined barriers to employability, motivation to abstain from substances and to work, and involvement in multiple service systems among male and female welfare applicants with alcohol- and drug-use problems. A representative sample (N = 1,431) of all persons applying for public assistance who screened positive for substance involvement over a 2-year period in a large urban county were recruited in welfare offices. Legal, education, general health, mental health, employment, housing, and child welfare barriers to employability were assessed, as were readiness to abstain from substance use and readiness to work. Only 1 in 20 participants reported no barrier other than substance use, whereas 70% reported at least two other barriers and 40% reported three or more. Moreover, 70% of participants experienced at least one additional barrier classified as "severe" and 30% experienced two or more. The number and type of barriers differed by gender. Latent class analysis revealed four main barriers-plus-readiness profiles among participants: (1) multiple barriers, (2) work...

    This study examined barriers to employability, motivation to abstain from substances and to work, and involvement in multiple service systems among male and female welfare applicants with alcohol- and drug-use problems. A representative sample (N = 1,431) of all persons applying for public assistance who screened positive for substance involvement over a 2-year period in a large urban county were recruited in welfare offices. Legal, education, general health, mental health, employment, housing, and child welfare barriers to employability were assessed, as were readiness to abstain from substance use and readiness to work. Only 1 in 20 participants reported no barrier other than substance use, whereas 70% reported at least two other barriers and 40% reported three or more. Moreover, 70% of participants experienced at least one additional barrier classified as "severe" and 30% experienced two or more. The number and type of barriers differed by gender. Latent class analysis revealed four main barriers-plus-readiness profiles among participants: (1) multiple barriers, (2) work experienced, (3) criminal justice, and (4) unstable housing. Findings suggest that comprehensive coordination among social service systems is needed to address the complex problems of low-income Americans with substance-use disorders. Classifying applicants based on barriers and readiness is a promising approach to developing innovative welfare programs to serve the diverse needs of men and women with substance-related problems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morgenstern, Jon; McCrady, Barbara S.; Blanchard, Kimberly A.; McVeigh, Katharine H.; Riordan, Annette; Irwin, Thomas W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    This study examined barriers to employability among women meeting criteria for a substance dependence disorder who were identified by routine screening conducted in welfare offices. The characteristics of these women were compared to other women on welfare who did not have a substance use disorder. A sample of 214 substance dependent women on federal welfare were recruited to participate in a substance use disorders welfare demonstration project. An additional 69 non-substance-affected women on welfare served as a comparison sample. All participants were assessed in welfare settings through a standardized battery of measures. Substance dependent women reported moderate to severe substance use problems. They also reported significantly higher rates than the women with no substance use disorder of other barriers such as domestic violence, mental health problems, legal problems, child welfare investigations and fewer job skills. Findings raise questions about the likely effectiveness of existing welfare reform services in addressing the needs of substance dependent women. (author...

    This study examined barriers to employability among women meeting criteria for a substance dependence disorder who were identified by routine screening conducted in welfare offices. The characteristics of these women were compared to other women on welfare who did not have a substance use disorder. A sample of 214 substance dependent women on federal welfare were recruited to participate in a substance use disorders welfare demonstration project. An additional 69 non-substance-affected women on welfare served as a comparison sample. All participants were assessed in welfare settings through a standardized battery of measures. Substance dependent women reported moderate to severe substance use problems. They also reported significantly higher rates than the women with no substance use disorder of other barriers such as domestic violence, mental health problems, legal problems, child welfare investigations and fewer job skills. Findings raise questions about the likely effectiveness of existing welfare reform services in addressing the needs of substance dependent women. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Morgenstern, Jon; Riordan, Annette; Dephilippis, Dominick; Irwin, Thomas W.; Blanchard, Kimberly A.; McCrady, Barbara S.; McVeigh, Katharine H.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    As welfare caseloads decline, states increasingly are faced with the challenge of addressing the needs of hard-to-serve families who experience a variety of barriers to employability. Substance abuse is one of the major problems affecting hard-to-serve families. Since welfare reform was adopted, estimates suggest that 15% to 35% of welfare recipients have a substance abuse problem. Although substance abuse among welfare recipients is thought to be a prevalent and serious problem, it is widely recognized that individuals with substance use disorders often fail to acknowledge that they have a problem or seek treatment. Therefore, developing effective screening, identification, and referral strategies are necessary components of any state plan to address substance abuse among welfare recipients. 
    
    The purpose of this report is to describe results of two approaches to screening for substance abuse among TANF recipients in New Jersey (NJ). Results of this report suggest that a generic approach to screening in welfare settings — one that relies primarily...

    As welfare caseloads decline, states increasingly are faced with the challenge of addressing the needs of hard-to-serve families who experience a variety of barriers to employability. Substance abuse is one of the major problems affecting hard-to-serve families. Since welfare reform was adopted, estimates suggest that 15% to 35% of welfare recipients have a substance abuse problem. Although substance abuse among welfare recipients is thought to be a prevalent and serious problem, it is widely recognized that individuals with substance use disorders often fail to acknowledge that they have a problem or seek treatment. Therefore, developing effective screening, identification, and referral strategies are necessary components of any state plan to address substance abuse among welfare recipients. 
    
    The purpose of this report is to describe results of two approaches to screening for substance abuse among TANF recipients in New Jersey (NJ). Results of this report suggest that a generic approach to screening in welfare settings — one that relies primarily on caseworkers administering paper and pencil measures as part of benefit eligibility determination — is useful, but that specialized screening programs can substantially increase case identification rates. This study employed a program evaluation rather than an experimental design. Specifically, the first approach was implemented and outcomes were monitored. Based on an evaluation of these findings, a second approach was designed and implemented in an attempt to boost case identification rates. The first approach was implemented statewide in NJ beginning in 1998. In this approach, welfare caseworkers administered a brief paper and pencil measure to screen for alcohol and other drug use problems to all individuals being interviewed for initial or redetermination of TANF benefits. Those screening positive were then referred to a specially trained addiction counselor for further assessment. This approach is similar to that used by most states (e.g., California, Kansas, New York) attempting to implement innovative programs to address substance abuse among welfare recipients. The key features of this typical approach are: front-line caseworkers conduct the screening, screening occurs for all recipients at the point of benefit determination, and there is a reliance on paper and pencil screening measures. We label this approach "generic screening." (author abstract)

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