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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: 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: Podus, Deborah; Lu, Ake Tzu-Hui; Anglin, M. Douglas
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    This report examines the prevalence of drug use among California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) participants and the interplay between receipt of CalWORKs benefits and access to and utilization of medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services among CalWORKs participants with substance abuse problems.

    Findings are based on a study of CalWORKs participants in Los Angeles County. The study had three components: (a) a baseline/prevalence interview of a sample of 511 English- and Spanish-speaking CalWORKs participants (287 applicants who were probably eligible for CalWORKs [referred to as “probably eligible applicants” hereafter] and 224 recipients undergoing an annual re-determination review); (b) a 9-month follow-up interview with 155 respondents who were applicants at the time of the baseline interview; and (c) an analysis of Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) administrative data on receipt of CalWORKs cash aid and specialized supportive services for 347 respondents who consented to the release of their...

    This report examines the prevalence of drug use among California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) participants and the interplay between receipt of CalWORKs benefits and access to and utilization of medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services among CalWORKs participants with substance abuse problems.

    Findings are based on a study of CalWORKs participants in Los Angeles County. The study had three components: (a) a baseline/prevalence interview of a sample of 511 English- and Spanish-speaking CalWORKs participants (287 applicants who were probably eligible for CalWORKs [referred to as “probably eligible applicants” hereafter] and 224 recipients undergoing an annual re-determination review); (b) a 9-month follow-up interview with 155 respondents who were applicants at the time of the baseline interview; and (c) an analysis of Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) administrative data on receipt of CalWORKs cash aid and specialized supportive services for 347 respondents who consented to the release of their records data. In addition to the above data, approximately 78% of respondents provided a voluntary urine sample for drug testing at the time of the baseline interview. Respondents were drawn from all 24 CalWORKs district offices and were ethnically representative of the English- and Spanish-speaking CalWORKs population in the county. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jayakody, Rukmalie; Danziger, Sheldon; Pollack, Harold
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    Welfare reform transformed the traditional entitlement to cash welfare under Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) into a transitional program known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Because of the work requirements and the time-limited nature of assistance, policy makers are increasingly confronted with what to do when welfare recipients do not effectively make the transition from welfare-to-work, and are increasingly using the language of public health to determine who is 'employable' and who is not. Thus, renewed attention is being focused on the individual characteristics of participants themselves, particularly specific diagnoses that might reduce employability. This paper focuses on substance abuse and mental health problems among single mothers and examines their relationship to welfare receipt. We analyze data from the 1994 and 1995 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse (NHSDA), and find that 19 percent of welfare recipients meet the criteria for a DSM-III-R psychiatric diagnosis. About the same percentage have used illicit drugs...

    Welfare reform transformed the traditional entitlement to cash welfare under Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) into a transitional program known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Because of the work requirements and the time-limited nature of assistance, policy makers are increasingly confronted with what to do when welfare recipients do not effectively make the transition from welfare-to-work, and are increasingly using the language of public health to determine who is 'employable' and who is not. Thus, renewed attention is being focused on the individual characteristics of participants themselves, particularly specific diagnoses that might reduce employability. This paper focuses on substance abuse and mental health problems among single mothers and examines their relationship to welfare receipt. We analyze data from the 1994 and 1995 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse (NHSDA), and find that 19 percent of welfare recipients meet the criteria for a DSM-III-R psychiatric diagnosis. About the same percentage have used illicit drugs during the previous year. Logistic regression results indicate that mental and behavioral health problems are significant barriers to self-sufficiency that are increasingly important in this era of time-limited benefits. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: James Bell Associates
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    The evaluation of AFF, required by ARS 8-881, focuses on the implementation of the AFF community substance abuse prevention and treatment programs at all nine sites, the factors that contribute to their success, and the extent to which the legislature’s outcome goals of increases in timeliness, availability and accessibility of services; recovery from alcohol and drug problems; child safety; permanency for children through reunification; and the achievement of self-sufficiency through employment can be obtained. The focus during the first year of the evaluation was on establishing a cross-agency, client-level data base system, documenting the implementation of AFF through quarterly data collection at each of the AFF sites, and analyzing data on clients’ utilization of services. During the second year of the evaluation, the focus was on continuing to document program implementation through the analysis and reporting of client-level service utilization data and qualitative data gathered from program directors, RBHA representatives, and clients. Analyses also were conducted using...

    The evaluation of AFF, required by ARS 8-881, focuses on the implementation of the AFF community substance abuse prevention and treatment programs at all nine sites, the factors that contribute to their success, and the extent to which the legislature’s outcome goals of increases in timeliness, availability and accessibility of services; recovery from alcohol and drug problems; child safety; permanency for children through reunification; and the achievement of self-sufficiency through employment can be obtained. The focus during the first year of the evaluation was on establishing a cross-agency, client-level data base system, documenting the implementation of AFF through quarterly data collection at each of the AFF sites, and analyzing data on clients’ utilization of services. During the second year of the evaluation, the focus was on continuing to document program implementation through the analysis and reporting of client-level service utilization data and qualitative data gathered from program directors, RBHA representatives, and clients. Analyses also were conducted using the data available to determine early findings with respect to child welfare and employment outcomes as of March 31, 2003. (author abstract)

     

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

    Many of the families remaining on welfare caseloads face significant barriers to employability. Among the most significant of these is substance abuse. States are struggling to develop innovative strategies to effectively address substance abuse in the context of welfare reform. Some states have attempted to integrate substance abuse treatment into their welfare employment programs, but there are almost no data to guide states about what program features are most effective. One central problem any system will need to address is the difficulties most substance abusers have in entering and remaining in treatment. Studies have consistently demonstrated that those receiving substance abuse treatment have better employment outcomes (Nakashian & Moore, 2000), but it is necessary for clients to remain in treatment in order to achieve these effects (Wickizer et al, in press). 
    
    The purpose of this report is to present preliminary findings of a study conducted in New Jersey comparing the rates of entry and retention in substance abuse treatment for...

    Many of the families remaining on welfare caseloads face significant barriers to employability. Among the most significant of these is substance abuse. States are struggling to develop innovative strategies to effectively address substance abuse in the context of welfare reform. Some states have attempted to integrate substance abuse treatment into their welfare employment programs, but there are almost no data to guide states about what program features are most effective. One central problem any system will need to address is the difficulties most substance abusers have in entering and remaining in treatment. Studies have consistently demonstrated that those receiving substance abuse treatment have better employment outcomes (Nakashian & Moore, 2000), but it is necessary for clients to remain in treatment in order to achieve these effects (Wickizer et al, in press). 
    
    The purpose of this report is to present preliminary findings of a study conducted in New Jersey comparing the rates of entry and retention in substance abuse treatment for two contrasting intervention approaches: Care Coordination and Intensive Case Management. Preliminary findings clearly indicate the benefits of providing intensive case management services over a more limited triage and referral system. Clients referred to substance abuse treatment programs using the Intensive Case Management approach were much more likely to enter substance abuse treatment and were especially more likely to continue attending outpatient treatment sessions. (author abstract)

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