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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Rehnquist, Janet
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) of 1996 replaced the Federal entitlement program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program. The legislation imposes strict work requirements, limits Federal assistance to five years, and establishes minimum work participation rates. Within these limits, States have broad flexibility to design their own programs to promote work and self-sufficiency.

    Individuals on the welfare caseload may have significant barriers to employment and difficultly finding and sustaining work. These recipients are often referred to as hard-to-employ. Many of these individuals had been exempted from work participation under the former AFDC program but are now subject to work requirements under PRWORA. Further, they are the part of the caseload that may reach the five-year time limit and no longer qualify for Federal assistance.
    This inspection identifies State strategies for helping hard-to-employ recipients who have...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) of 1996 replaced the Federal entitlement program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program. The legislation imposes strict work requirements, limits Federal assistance to five years, and establishes minimum work participation rates. Within these limits, States have broad flexibility to design their own programs to promote work and self-sufficiency.

    Individuals on the welfare caseload may have significant barriers to employment and difficultly finding and sustaining work. These recipients are often referred to as hard-to-employ. Many of these individuals had been exempted from work participation under the former AFDC program but are now subject to work requirements under PRWORA. Further, they are the part of the caseload that may reach the five-year time limit and no longer qualify for Federal assistance.
    This inspection identifies State strategies for helping hard-to-employ recipients who have significant barriers to employment. Based on discussions with researchers and practitioners, we focused on the following eight barriers:

    • Substance abuse
    • Physical disabilities
    • Domestic violence
    • Learning disabilities
    • Mental health issues
    • Language barriers
    • Chronic health problems
    • Multiple barriers

    This inspection is based on a review of each State’s TANF plan and a telephone survey of TANF officials from each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Elkin, Sam
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    This report examines strategies Colorado counties were using to serve the hard-to-employ TANF population in 2005, highlighting promising approaches that counties might choose to adopt and providing  the state with useful information that can help guide future policy choices. While there are a wide range of issues that affect welfare recipients’ ability to succeed in the job market, this report focuses on seven barriers: 1) Physical disabilities; 2) Limited education and learning disabilities; 3) Mental health; 4) Substance abuse; 5) Domestic violence; 6) Limited English skills; and 7) Homelessness. (author abstract)

    This report examines strategies Colorado counties were using to serve the hard-to-employ TANF population in 2005, highlighting promising approaches that counties might choose to adopt and providing  the state with useful information that can help guide future policy choices. While there are a wide range of issues that affect welfare recipients’ ability to succeed in the job market, this report focuses on seven barriers: 1) Physical disabilities; 2) Limited education and learning disabilities; 3) Mental health; 4) Substance abuse; 5) Domestic violence; 6) Limited English skills; and 7) Homelessness. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Darche, Svetlana; Nayar, Nara; Downs, Paul
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This needs assessment documents important issues facing California’s adult education system. California, like the rest of the nation, is at a crossroads. Global economic conditions, an aging and increasingly diverse population, and critical challenges in the state's K-12 education system have created unprecedented pressures to focus on the education of adults as a means to strengthen the economy, build sustainable communities, and ensure that resources exist to serve those most in need. Inadequate attention to the education of adults will compromise the attainment of all of these goals.

    As documented in the report, California's K-12-based Adult Education system is positioned to reach a population group that is becoming increasingly important in the context of these intersecting challenges: adults with gaps in critical skills who are no longer school-age, and yet not ready for traditional postsecondary education and training or sustainable wage employment. Working-age Californians are the engine of the state’s economy, yet many lack the skills demanded by California’s...

    This needs assessment documents important issues facing California’s adult education system. California, like the rest of the nation, is at a crossroads. Global economic conditions, an aging and increasingly diverse population, and critical challenges in the state's K-12 education system have created unprecedented pressures to focus on the education of adults as a means to strengthen the economy, build sustainable communities, and ensure that resources exist to serve those most in need. Inadequate attention to the education of adults will compromise the attainment of all of these goals.

    As documented in the report, California's K-12-based Adult Education system is positioned to reach a population group that is becoming increasingly important in the context of these intersecting challenges: adults with gaps in critical skills who are no longer school-age, and yet not ready for traditional postsecondary education and training or sustainable wage employment. Working-age Californians are the engine of the state’s economy, yet many lack the skills demanded by California’s knowledge-based industries. Many in this group are also the parents of children in the K-12 system — the next generation — and the “backbones” of their communities, yet they often lack the knowledge and skills to help their children in school and provide models of success for youth, or to engage effectively in civic life. The California Adult Education system, administered by the California Department of Education (CDE), can significantly bridge these gaps, benefiting not only the economy in general and the workers themselves, but their children, their communities, and, through increased tax revenues, all who rely on California’s public services.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wrigley, Heide Spruck; Chen, Jing; White, Sheida; Soroui, Jaleh
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This chapter examines the characteristics and performance of adult immigrants and adult English language learners on the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. These factors are related to key social outcomes such as involvement in the labor force, income, and welfare participation, and the data reported can be used in making decisions about program planning, as well as in implementation of adult ESOL programs and services. (author abstract)

    This chapter examines the characteristics and performance of adult immigrants and adult English language learners on the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. These factors are related to key social outcomes such as involvement in the labor force, income, and welfare participation, and the data reported can be used in making decisions about program planning, as well as in implementation of adult ESOL programs and services. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lesaux, Nonie K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Although most young children seem to master reading skills in the early grades of elementary school, many struggle with texts as they move through middle school and high school. Why do children who seem to be proficient readers in third grade have trouble comprehending texts in later grades? To answer this question, Nonie Lesaux describes what is known about reading development and instruction, homing in on research conducted with children from low-income and non-English-speaking homes. Using key insights from this research base, she offers two explanations. The first is that reading is a dynamic and multifaceted process that requires continued development if students are to keep pace with the increasing demands of school texts and tasks. The second lies in the role of reading assessment and instruction in U.S. schools.

    Lesaux draws a distinction between the "skills-based competencies" that readers need to sound out and recognize words and the "knowledge-based competencies" that include the conceptual and vocabulary knowledge necessary to comprehend a text’s meaning....

    Although most young children seem to master reading skills in the early grades of elementary school, many struggle with texts as they move through middle school and high school. Why do children who seem to be proficient readers in third grade have trouble comprehending texts in later grades? To answer this question, Nonie Lesaux describes what is known about reading development and instruction, homing in on research conducted with children from low-income and non-English-speaking homes. Using key insights from this research base, she offers two explanations. The first is that reading is a dynamic and multifaceted process that requires continued development if students are to keep pace with the increasing demands of school texts and tasks. The second lies in the role of reading assessment and instruction in U.S. schools.

    Lesaux draws a distinction between the "skills-based competencies" that readers need to sound out and recognize words and the "knowledge-based competencies" that include the conceptual and vocabulary knowledge necessary to comprehend a text’s meaning. Although U.S. schools have made considerable progress in teaching skills-based reading competencies that are the focus of the early grades, most have made much less progress in teaching the knowledge-based competencies students need to support reading comprehension in middle and high school. These knowledge-based competencies are key sources of lasting individual differences in reading outcomes, particularly among children growing up in low-income and non-English-speaking households.

    Augmenting literacy rates, Lesaux explains, will require considerable shifts in the way reading is assessed and taught in elementary and secondary schools. First, schools must conduct comprehensive reading assessments that discern learners’ (potential) sources of reading difficulties—in both skills-based and knowledge-based competencies. Second, educators must implement instructional approaches that offer promise for teaching the conceptual and knowledge-based reading. (author abstract)

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