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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: Wiedrich, Kasey; Griffin, Kate; Chilton, Mariana; Lehman, Gretchen
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    ...

    Studies show that low-income families are more likely to be unbanked and “underbanked” than families with higher earnings. Lacking a bank account or depending on alternative financial services leads to significant financial barriers for low-income families that hinder economic growth and social mobility. This session will evaluate strategies that local and state human services agencies are testing to equip TANF recipients with the financial knowledge and resources they need to overcome barriers to financial security, including ACF’s Asset Initiative Partnership. Gretchen Lehman (Administration for Children and Families) will moderate this session.

    • Financial Counseling and Financial Access for the Financially Vulnerable

    Kasey Wiedrich (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation examines financial management strategies among low-income families.  Two research studies are described: Children's HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger.

    • Building Economic Self-Sufficiency of TANF Clients Through Financial Education and Matched Savings

    Kate Griffin (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

    The presentation describes data from a financial education program for TANF recipients that provides training in budgeting and credit management.  The pilot was started in July 2013 with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

    • Financial Management Strategies of TANF and SNAP Recipients: Lessons for Policy Makers and Administrators

    Mariana Chilton (Drexel University)

    The presentation describes a completed research project that looks at the impact of the AFCO financial counseling program for families leaving TANF and entering into a work-ready context.

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • Individual Author: Hetling, Andrea
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    The Family Violence Option (FVO) protects welfare recipients who are domestic violence victims or survivors by providing service referrals and waivers from certain requirements. Implementation of the FVO has been difficult for welfare agencies and disclosures and service uptake have been low. Using administrative data and caseworker notes, this study compares demographic and case characteristics and abuse experiences among four analytic groups. Although differences in demographics are most pronounced between victims and nonvictims, experiences with abuse and services differed between victims who received waivers versus those who did not. Findings indicate that caseworkers may base service decisions on abuse experiences. (author abstract)

    The Family Violence Option (FVO) protects welfare recipients who are domestic violence victims or survivors by providing service referrals and waivers from certain requirements. Implementation of the FVO has been difficult for welfare agencies and disclosures and service uptake have been low. Using administrative data and caseworker notes, this study compares demographic and case characteristics and abuse experiences among four analytic groups. Although differences in demographics are most pronounced between victims and nonvictims, experiences with abuse and services differed between victims who received waivers versus those who did not. Findings indicate that caseworkers may base service decisions on abuse experiences. (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: Pearson, Jessica; Thoennes, Nancy; Kaunelis, Rasa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their...

    This Office of Child Support Enforcement Special Improvement Project was undertaken to examine the features of effective debt compromise programs and to generate empirical information on the outcomes they produce. To identify best practices, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) convened a two-day conference in June 2009 with representatives of eight states that have experience initiating and operating debt compromise programs. In the course of discussing the strengths and limitations of their programs, representatives identified a variety of program features and approaches that they believed would be beneficial for jurisdictions interested in debt compromise. This included recommendations on appropriate program goals, the populations that states should target, effective rules and requirements to realize various types of write-offs, treatment of debt owed to custodial parents, and methods of tracking debt compromise cases.

    To generate empirical information on the populations served in actual debt compromise programs, the treatments they receive and the outcomes of their participation as measured by their debt levels and payment behaviors, CPR collected and analyzed information on 688 individuals enrolled in debt compromise programs in four states — California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota — and in Washington, D.C. Programs in all five settings accept obligors with current support obligations as well as those who only have arrears-only cases. For arrears-only cases, programs have the capacity to accept lump-sum payments as well as to develop payment plans that involve making monthly arrears payments over a 6 to 36-month period of time. Through a coordinated, cross-site data collection effort, comparable information was obtained on samples of cases that enrolled in the programs. The following are key findings from the analysis of this data.

    • At four of the five sites, participants paid a higher percentage of their obligation following enrollment in the debt compromise program compared with the pre-enrollment period. This considered both lump sum and monthly payments. The pre and post differences at statically significant in two of the four sites.
    • Calculating the average due in current support and monthly arrears in the 24 months prior to enrollment and in the 24 months post-enrollment shows improvements at most sites. There was an average increase of 32 percentage points in Washington, D.C., 27 percent in Maryland, 23 percent in California, and 14 percent in Illinois.
    • Payments in Minnesota improved by 7 percentage points in the 24 months following a debt compromise treatment. Unlike the other sites, Minnesota granted debt compromise to cases identified by the automated system and/or child support workers as having high debt levels due to interest charges, birthing costs, incarceration, and other factors that impeded their ability to pay. These obligors were selected for debt adjustments that typically were invisible to them.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Verma, Nandita
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Resident mobility can potentially influence the success of place-based self-sufficiency initiatives. Yet, relatively little is known about these patterns, especially among residents of public housing. This dearth of information makes it difficult to implement and evaluate programs that seek to address the self-sufficiency barriers of residents of low-income communities. This paper begins to fill this knowledge gap by examining the intended and actual out-migration patterns of a cohort of residents of five public housing developments participating in the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families ("Jobs-Plus" for short), a multisite initiative to raise residents' employment outcomes.

    The baseline survey and public housing authority administrative records data gathered for the Jobs-Plus evaluation offer a unique opportunity for an unusually detailed analysis of public housing mobility. Jobs-Plus targeted residents living in public housing developments characterized by concentrated joblessness and welfare receipt, and the findings from this...

    Resident mobility can potentially influence the success of place-based self-sufficiency initiatives. Yet, relatively little is known about these patterns, especially among residents of public housing. This dearth of information makes it difficult to implement and evaluate programs that seek to address the self-sufficiency barriers of residents of low-income communities. This paper begins to fill this knowledge gap by examining the intended and actual out-migration patterns of a cohort of residents of five public housing developments participating in the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families ("Jobs-Plus" for short), a multisite initiative to raise residents' employment outcomes.

    The baseline survey and public housing authority administrative records data gathered for the Jobs-Plus evaluation offer a unique opportunity for an unusually detailed analysis of public housing mobility. Jobs-Plus targeted residents living in public housing developments characterized by concentrated joblessness and welfare receipt, and the findings from this paper should be viewed within this context. Drawing on a sample of 1,123 nondisabled, nonelderly household heads who completed a baseline survey before the implementation of Jobs-Plus, this paper attempts to draw insights about resident mobility in places frequently targeted by community initiatives by examining these key questions: Do public housing residents move a great deal? Do they want to move? And what factors differentiate the movers from the stayers?

    Key Findings

    A significant proportion of residents (29 percent) moved out of the Jobs-Plus developments within two years of completing the baseline interview in 1997. The tendency to move varied considerably across the five Jobs-Plus developments, ranging from a high of 44 percent in Day-ton's De Soto Bass Courts to a low of 16 percent in Los Angeles's William Mead Homes.

    Expectations of moving out ran very high among Jobs-Plus residents. Counter to the expectations, fewer than half of those intending to move were able to make that transition during the two-year follow-up period for this paper.

    On average, the typical "mover" had lived in a Jobs-Plus development for less than six years, and compared to residents who stayed, was less likely to report employment barriers, and was more likely to express dissatisfaction with the social and physical conditions in the development and the neighborhood at large. Movers were also more likely to report having experienced episodes of crime and violence.

    Economic self-sufficiency (that is, having access to savings and not receiving public assistance), concerns about keeping children engaged in constructive activities, and experiences of violence are key predictors of the probability of moving out.

    The above findings have broad relevance for community initiatives, which have become an increasingly popular approach for addressing spatially concentrated poverty and unemployment. Given the mobility dynamics of residents of poor neighborhoods and public housing developments, program staff and evaluators will need to pay special attention to both the levels of mobility experienced in potential target areas and the types of residents moving out and understand the implications of such mobility for generating program-related positive spillovers for the community. (author abstract)

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