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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: Edelman, Peter B.; Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author...

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author abstract)

    Also published as IRP Discussion Paper 1412-13.

  • Individual Author: Dion, Robin; Bradley, M.C.; Gothro, Andrew; Bardos, Maura; Lansing, Jiffy; Stagner, Matthew; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    How can programs advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk youth? This report attempts to answer this important question by presenting a research-based framework for efforts to help at-risk youth enter a career workforce trajectory and prepare to become well-functioning, self-sufficient adults. The framework presented is particularly relevant for youth who are or could be served by ACF programs—especially homeless youth, youth in the foster care system, and teen parents—but it may also apply to other programs. The framework suggests the possibility of using evidence-informed interventions to address two primary areas: youths’ resilience and human capital development. It suggests finding tailored solutions grounded in a trusting relationship between youth and program staff to help move youth toward both healthy functioning and economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. This report was written as part of the Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

    How can programs advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk youth? This report attempts to answer this important question by presenting a research-based framework for efforts to help at-risk youth enter a career workforce trajectory and prepare to become well-functioning, self-sufficient adults. The framework presented is particularly relevant for youth who are or could be served by ACF programs—especially homeless youth, youth in the foster care system, and teen parents—but it may also apply to other programs. The framework suggests the possibility of using evidence-informed interventions to address two primary areas: youths’ resilience and human capital development. It suggests finding tailored solutions grounded in a trusting relationship between youth and program staff to help move youth toward both healthy functioning and economic self-sufficiency as they transition to adulthood. This report was written as part of the Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bradley, M. C.; Lansing, Jiffy; Stagner, Matthew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Promising occupations for at-risk youth provide sufficient compensation and could put them on a path to becoming independent adults. To identify promising occupations, this brief examined four key features: 1) median earnings level, 2) education and training pre-requisites, 3) projected growth in labor-market demand, and 4) potential for individual advancement. Based on these criteria, opportunities in two fields are highlighted – health care and construction.  A number of work-based learning and career pathway programs are also discussed, including ACF’s Health Profession Opportunity Grants program. This brief was written as part of ACF’s Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and the Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

    Promising occupations for at-risk youth provide sufficient compensation and could put them on a path to becoming independent adults. To identify promising occupations, this brief examined four key features: 1) median earnings level, 2) education and training pre-requisites, 3) projected growth in labor-market demand, and 4) potential for individual advancement. Based on these criteria, opportunities in two fields are highlighted – health care and construction.  A number of work-based learning and career pathway programs are also discussed, including ACF’s Health Profession Opportunity Grants program. This brief was written as part of ACF’s Youth Demonstration Development project being conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and the Chapin Hall Center for Children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dworsky, Amy; Dillman, Keri-Nicole; Dion, Robin M.; Coffee-Borden, Brandon; Rosenau, Miriam
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Most young people in the United States are experiencing an increasingly prolonged transition to adulthood. It is no longer assumed that they will automatically become self-sufficient adults on their 18th or even 21st birthdays (Arnett 2000; Wight, Xhau, Aratani, Schwarz, and Thampi 2010; Setterstein and Ray 2010). Rather, young people are gradually taking on the roles and responsibilities traditionally associated with adulthood while they acquire the education and work experience needed to become economically independent (Berlin, Furstenberg, and Waters 2010).

    In this document, we summarize what is known about the housing needs and outcomes common to young people who age out of foster care. We explore the current landscape of programs and resources available to assist such young adults with housing. In the first section, we review the literature on the characteristics of the young people, their risk of homelessness, and the barriers they face in securing stable housing, along with relevant federal and, to a lesser extent, state policies. In the second section, we describe...

    Most young people in the United States are experiencing an increasingly prolonged transition to adulthood. It is no longer assumed that they will automatically become self-sufficient adults on their 18th or even 21st birthdays (Arnett 2000; Wight, Xhau, Aratani, Schwarz, and Thampi 2010; Setterstein and Ray 2010). Rather, young people are gradually taking on the roles and responsibilities traditionally associated with adulthood while they acquire the education and work experience needed to become economically independent (Berlin, Furstenberg, and Waters 2010).

    In this document, we summarize what is known about the housing needs and outcomes common to young people who age out of foster care. We explore the current landscape of programs and resources available to assist such young adults with housing. In the first section, we review the literature on the characteristics of the young people, their risk of homelessness, and the barriers they face in securing stable housing, along with relevant federal and, to a lesser extent, state policies. In the second section, we describe a wide range of housing programs for young people aging out of foster care, present a program typology, and conclude with the identification of a small group of innovative housing programs that may warrant closer exploration. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
    Year: 2012

    The majority of young people in the United States grow up healthy and safe in their communities. Most of those of school age live with parents who provide for their well-being, and they attend schools that prepare them for advanced education or vocational training and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. Many youth also receive assistance from their families during the transition to adulthood. During this period, young adults cycle between attending school, living independently, and staying with their families. Approximately 60% of parents today provide financial support to their adult children who are no longer in school. This support comes in the form of housing (50% of parents provide this support to their adult children), living expenses (48%), cost of transportation (41%), health insurance (35%), spending money (29%), and medical bills (28%). Even with this assistance, the current move from adolescence to adulthood has become longer and increasingly complex.

    For vulnerable (or “at-risk”) youth populations, the transition to adulthood is further complicated by a number of...

    The majority of young people in the United States grow up healthy and safe in their communities. Most of those of school age live with parents who provide for their well-being, and they attend schools that prepare them for advanced education or vocational training and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. Many youth also receive assistance from their families during the transition to adulthood. During this period, young adults cycle between attending school, living independently, and staying with their families. Approximately 60% of parents today provide financial support to their adult children who are no longer in school. This support comes in the form of housing (50% of parents provide this support to their adult children), living expenses (48%), cost of transportation (41%), health insurance (35%), spending money (29%), and medical bills (28%). Even with this assistance, the current move from adolescence to adulthood has become longer and increasingly complex.

    For vulnerable (or “at-risk”) youth populations, the transition to adulthood is further complicated by a number of challenges, including family conflict or abandonment and obstacles to securing employment that provides adequate wages and health insurance. These youth may be prone to outcomes that have negative consequences for their future development as responsible, self-sufficient adults. Risk outcomes include teenage parenthood; homelessness; drug abuse; delinquency; physical and sexual abuse; and school dropout. Detachment from the labor market and school—or disconnectedness—may be the single strongest indicator that the transition to adulthood has not been made successfully. (author abstract)

    The CRS occasionally updates this resource. Information is based on the 2012 version.

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