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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: Hetling, Andrea; Tracy, Kirk; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    Critics of diversion grants, lump-sum payments designed to alleviate short-term emergencies and prevent the need for ongoing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, claim that recipients use monetary amounts similar to traditional welfare recipients. This paper examines the total cash grants for two cohorts of TANF applicants: those whose applications resulted in a TANF grant and those who received a diversion grant. Multivariate regression models show that diversion leads to a reduction of $1,841.44 in cash benefit receipt during the three-year tracking period (p < 0.001). Findings suggest that diversion payments are not TANF under another name. (author abstract)

    Critics of diversion grants, lump-sum payments designed to alleviate short-term emergencies and prevent the need for ongoing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, claim that recipients use monetary amounts similar to traditional welfare recipients. This paper examines the total cash grants for two cohorts of TANF applicants: those whose applications resulted in a TANF grant and those who received a diversion grant. Multivariate regression models show that diversion leads to a reduction of $1,841.44 in cash benefit receipt during the three-year tracking period (p < 0.001). Findings suggest that diversion payments are not TANF under another name. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lacey, Darren; Hetling-Wernyj, Andrea; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Despite the seemingly commonsensical basis for using diversion in certain situations, there have been few studies examining the characteristics of diverted families and the outcomes achieved through diversion. The study described in this report begins to fill that information gap for Maryland. It provides state officials with the same type of information about families who have experienced “life without welfare” as other of our studies have provided about families living “life after welfare” and “life on welfare”.1 The key study questions are:

    1. To what extent are two types of formal diversion, lump sum payments and rapid employment services, used and what are the characteristics of diverted families? 

    2. In terms of outcomes related to employment and wages, what happens to diverted families over time? 

    3. Does formal diversion prevent cash assistance receipt or just defer that receipt for some period of time? 

    4. What are the patterns of Food Stamp and Medical Assistance participation among diverted families? 

    To address these questions, the...

    Despite the seemingly commonsensical basis for using diversion in certain situations, there have been few studies examining the characteristics of diverted families and the outcomes achieved through diversion. The study described in this report begins to fill that information gap for Maryland. It provides state officials with the same type of information about families who have experienced “life without welfare” as other of our studies have provided about families living “life after welfare” and “life on welfare”.1 The key study questions are:

    1. To what extent are two types of formal diversion, lump sum payments and rapid employment services, used and what are the characteristics of diverted families? 

    2. In terms of outcomes related to employment and wages, what happens to diverted families over time? 

    3. Does formal diversion prevent cash assistance receipt or just defer that receipt for some period of time? 

    4. What are the patterns of Food Stamp and Medical Assistance participation among diverted families? 

    To address these questions, the study uses administrative data sources to examine the prevalence of diversion and the baseline characteristics of Maryland
    families (n=4,219) formally diverted from cash assistance during a two year period (April 1998 - March 2000), through lump sum awards, Welfare Avoidance Grants, (n=2,023) and “rapid employment” services (n=2,196). Separate attention is given to the two groups and twelve month post-diversion outcomes for each group are also presented. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Maloy, Kathleen A.; Pavetti, LaDonna A.; Shin, Peter; Darnell, Julie; Scarpulla-Nolan, Lea
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In an effort to better understand state efforts to divert families from welfare and the potential interactions with Medicaid eligibility, this research, funded by the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services, has three broad goals: 1) to describe the range of state diversion programs and how these programs are being implemented, 2) to determine whether and how states are ensuring that families diverted from cash assistance will nonetheless apply for Medicaid and 3) to determine how diversion-related changes might affect families, particularly with respect to their eligibility for Medicaid, and the community-based entities that serve them.

    This report presents the findings from the first phase of this research that involved the collection and analysis of descriptive data about diversion programs and activities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data collection was accomplished primarily through a review of state documents and structured conversations...

    In an effort to better understand state efforts to divert families from welfare and the potential interactions with Medicaid eligibility, this research, funded by the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services, has three broad goals: 1) to describe the range of state diversion programs and how these programs are being implemented, 2) to determine whether and how states are ensuring that families diverted from cash assistance will nonetheless apply for Medicaid and 3) to determine how diversion-related changes might affect families, particularly with respect to their eligibility for Medicaid, and the community-based entities that serve them.

    This report presents the findings from the first phase of this research that involved the collection and analysis of descriptive data about diversion programs and activities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data collection was accomplished primarily through a review of state documents and structured conversations with state officials.

    The study findings reveal that the three recognized formal diversion programs are widespread and implemented in a variety of ways. States know little about the effects of their diversion programs, however, both because most programs are so new, and because data collection efforts are lacking or in early stage of development. Important questions remain about the effectiveness of these diversion programs as well as the implications of their operation for Medicaid eligibility.

    Phase two of this study will involve 1) Case studies in five states to collect information on how the diversion programs work in practice and their effects on families from the point of view of administrators, field staff, participating families, and safety net providers, as well as assess the information available on informal diversion, and 2) Follow-up telephone conversations with Medicaid policymakers and program administrators in the 31 states with lump sum payment and/or mandatory applicant job search programs to obtain more information on how states have addressed issues of Medicaid eligibility in designing and implementing these diversion programs.

    This research, building on the findings of phase one, will address four major areas of inquiry: 1) describe and examine the actual implementation of diversion programs and identify potential consequences of diversion for low-income families, particularly with respect to entry into the job market and access to Medicaid; 2) describe state policies regarding Medicaid eligibility for applicants diverted through lump sum payments and mandatory applicant job search, 3) examine whether and how the potential changes in Medicaid enrollment rates associated with diversion efforts might affect traditional health care safety net providers, and 4) examine potential strategies for monitoring changes in Medicaid enrollment rates as well as the effects of these changes over time.

    Formal efforts to divert potential TANF recipients from receiving ongoing assistance represent one of many approaches states have implemented to shift to a more work-oriented, transitional system. These programs are clearly in their infancy but have the potential to affect large numbers of families. This research is creating a knowledge base that can provide a foundation for additional evaluation and monitoring of these program and activities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hetling, Andrea; Tracy, Kirk; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Diversion strategies emerged as part of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation and aim to assist needy families without having them enter the traditional monthly cash assistance rolls. One, if not the, major diversion strategy employed in most states is the use of lump-sum cash grants, called Welfare Avoidance Grants (WAG) in Maryland, to assist families with an immediate financial crisis in hopes that they will then be able to achieve or maintain self-sufficiency. This study examines a critical assumption about the nature of diversion programs. That is, are diversion programs, specifically lump-sum cash grants, a cost effective alternative to traditional monthly cash grant programs? Are diverted clients actually “diverted” from welfare, or are they just using equivalent funds in a different way, or, similarly, is their entrance into monthly welfare programs just delayed for a short time?

    Using Maryland State administrative data, this study compares the total receipt of monetary aid over a three-year period by two welfare applicant cohorts, those whose application...

    Diversion strategies emerged as part of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation and aim to assist needy families without having them enter the traditional monthly cash assistance rolls. One, if not the, major diversion strategy employed in most states is the use of lump-sum cash grants, called Welfare Avoidance Grants (WAG) in Maryland, to assist families with an immediate financial crisis in hopes that they will then be able to achieve or maintain self-sufficiency. This study examines a critical assumption about the nature of diversion programs. That is, are diversion programs, specifically lump-sum cash grants, a cost effective alternative to traditional monthly cash grant programs? Are diverted clients actually “diverted” from welfare, or are they just using equivalent funds in a different way, or, similarly, is their entrance into monthly welfare programs just delayed for a short time?

    Using Maryland State administrative data, this study compares the total receipt of monetary aid over a three-year period by two welfare applicant cohorts, those whose application resulted in a Welfare Avoidance Grant and those who became new Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) clients. The universe of individuals who received a WAG between October 1, 1999 and December 1, 1999 (n = 315) was matched on two criteria, region of residence and number of adults on the grant, to a sample of new TCA recipients of the same time period. By matching the samples on these variables, we can ensure that any statistically significant outcome differences cannot be attributed to either of these variables. In addition, an Ordinary Least Squares regression model was designed with other demographic and life experience control variables to determine whether or not WAG receipt resulted in a more, less or about the same total amount of cash assistance during the 36-month outcome period. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Dennis H.
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2009

    During the most recent economic downturn, and for that matter since calendar year 2000, the staff at the Dakota County (Minnesota) Public Assistance program, like those from other localities throughout the country, has seen dramatic increases in requests from individuals and families needing help. Since calendar year 2000, the unduplicated caseload has more than doubled. (author abstract)

    During the most recent economic downturn, and for that matter since calendar year 2000, the staff at the Dakota County (Minnesota) Public Assistance program, like those from other localities throughout the country, has seen dramatic increases in requests from individuals and families needing help. Since calendar year 2000, the unduplicated caseload has more than doubled. (author abstract)

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