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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: Vogel, Cheri A.; Xue, Yange; Moiduddin, Emily M.; Carlson, Barbara L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    Early Head Start is a two-generation program for low-income pregnant women, and families with infants or toddlers that is designed to enhance children’s development and health and to strengthen family and community partnerships. A rigorous evaluation, the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, was initiated the same time the program was authorized, following 3,001 children and families in 17 of the first programs funded. The children were randomly assigned either to the program group, or to the control group who were precluded from enrolling in Early Head Start, although they could receive other services in the community. The initial phase of the evaluation included an implementation study to document program services as well as an impact study, which followed children and their families until they were 3 years old with an ambitious measurement plan to assess the wide range of child and family outcomes that Early Head Start programs may influence. Two follow-up assessments have been conducted. Families were contacted in the prekindergarten year (when children were...

    Early Head Start is a two-generation program for low-income pregnant women, and families with infants or toddlers that is designed to enhance children’s development and health and to strengthen family and community partnerships. A rigorous evaluation, the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, was initiated the same time the program was authorized, following 3,001 children and families in 17 of the first programs funded. The children were randomly assigned either to the program group, or to the control group who were precluded from enrolling in Early Head Start, although they could receive other services in the community. The initial phase of the evaluation included an implementation study to document program services as well as an impact study, which followed children and their families until they were 3 years old with an ambitious measurement plan to assess the wide range of child and family outcomes that Early Head Start programs may influence. Two follow-up assessments have been conducted. Families were contacted in the prekindergarten year (when children were about 5 years old), and this latest wave of follow-up occurred when children were in fifth grade, about 10 years of age. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Castells, Nina; Morris, Pamela A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    We review existing research and policy evidence about income as a vehicle for meeting children's basic needs—that is, income represented as the purest monetary transfer for increasing the purchasing power of low-income families. Social scientists have made great methodological strides in establishing whether income has independent effects on the cognitive development of low-income children. Our review of that research suggests that a $1000 increase in income has positive, but small, effects on children, rarely exceeding 1/10th of a standard deviation change in outcomes for children. We argue that researchers are well-positioned for more rigorous investigations about how and why income affects children, but only first with thoughtful and creative regard for conceptual clarity, and for understanding income's potentially inter-related influences on socio-emotional development, mental, and physical health. We also argue for more focus on the effects of income transfers, including when conditional on employment, as compared to more targeted direct investments in children. We end with...

    We review existing research and policy evidence about income as a vehicle for meeting children's basic needs—that is, income represented as the purest monetary transfer for increasing the purchasing power of low-income families. Social scientists have made great methodological strides in establishing whether income has independent effects on the cognitive development of low-income children. Our review of that research suggests that a $1000 increase in income has positive, but small, effects on children, rarely exceeding 1/10th of a standard deviation change in outcomes for children. We argue that researchers are well-positioned for more rigorous investigations about how and why income affects children, but only first with thoughtful and creative regard for conceptual clarity, and for understanding income's potentially inter-related influences on socio-emotional development, mental, and physical health. We also argue for more focus on the effects of income transfers, including when conditional on employment, as compared to more targeted direct investments in children. We end with a description of two-generation and cafeteria-style programs as the frontiers of the next generation in income-enhancement policies, a call for more focus on policies than can address income volatility. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Berlin, Gordon
    Year: 2007

    I will make four points:

    - After declining by half between 1959 and 1972, the poverty rate in the United States has remained stuck between 11 and 15 percent ever since. Why? The prime explanations are rising rates of single parenthood and falling real wages, particularly among men with low levels of education. Of the two, the decline in wages is the more instrumental — that is, falling earnings is a problem we can redress and we have good evidence about what works.

    - A compelling body of evidence points to effective solutions — both short term and long term — for alleviating poverty related to low earnings today and the intergenerational transfer of poverty tomorrow. In the short term, enhancing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), especially for single individuals, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation could be an effective strategy for boosting employment and earnings and reducing poverty. In the long term, investments in educational reform — from pre-kindergarten classes to community colleges — should equip the next generation with the skills they need to...

    I will make four points:

    - After declining by half between 1959 and 1972, the poverty rate in the United States has remained stuck between 11 and 15 percent ever since. Why? The prime explanations are rising rates of single parenthood and falling real wages, particularly among men with low levels of education. Of the two, the decline in wages is the more instrumental — that is, falling earnings is a problem we can redress and we have good evidence about what works.

    - A compelling body of evidence points to effective solutions — both short term and long term — for alleviating poverty related to low earnings today and the intergenerational transfer of poverty tomorrow. In the short term, enhancing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), especially for single individuals, and indexing the minimum wage to inflation could be an effective strategy for boosting employment and earnings and reducing poverty. In the long term, investments in educational reform — from pre-kindergarten classes to community colleges — should equip the next generation with the skills they need to obtain high-paying jobs.

    - These short- and long-term two-generation strategies are interdependent: Providing enhanced work supports to adults to move families out of poverty today has positive effects on young children’s school performance — and provides a strong foundation for long-term efforts to prevent poverty tomorrow through improved educational opportunities for poor children.

    - An aggressive strategy to address falling wages would redesign and expand the EITC benefit for individuals, regardless of their parenting or marital status, conditioned on working 30 hours a week and determined on the basis of individual income rather than joint income. Retaining the current EITC for families with children while creating a new EITC for single individuals (including noncustodial parents and second earners in two-parent households) could have wide-ranging positive effects on employment, earnings, income, and poverty — as well as on family well-being. But because the costs of such an initiative would be high, a prudent first step would be a demonstration project with a rigorous research design in three or four cities to determine if the plan’s benefits outweigh its costs.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lombardi, Joan; Mosle, Anne; Patel, Nisha; Schumacher, Rachel; Stedron, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Americans have always relied on a set of core beliefs that fall under the umbrella of "The American Dream." Hard work. Equal opportunity. Optimism. However, many feel these values are in jeopardy; many parents have a growing unease about the future-- their own futures and they children's futures. Major shifts in family demographics and structure, as well as in the skills and education required by the economy, mandate a change in how we help families succeed Two-generation approaches, which focus on creating opportunities for and meeting the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together, move the whole family toward educational success and economic security. Ascend is the national hub for two-generation approaches. In Gateways to Two Generations, Ascend considers the question: Will two-generation approaches applied to the early childhood development arena produce better outcomes for both children and parents? (author abstract)

    Americans have always relied on a set of core beliefs that fall under the umbrella of "The American Dream." Hard work. Equal opportunity. Optimism. However, many feel these values are in jeopardy; many parents have a growing unease about the future-- their own futures and they children's futures. Major shifts in family demographics and structure, as well as in the skills and education required by the economy, mandate a change in how we help families succeed Two-generation approaches, which focus on creating opportunities for and meeting the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together, move the whole family toward educational success and economic security. Ascend is the national hub for two-generation approaches. In Gateways to Two Generations, Ascend considers the question: Will two-generation approaches applied to the early childhood development arena produce better outcomes for both children and parents? (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Katz, Irv; Key, Karen; James, Tara; French, Molly; Heit, Alexander
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Until communities offer multiple pathways to connect with ladders of opportunity, many young families headed by OSOW youth will be unable to achieve financial independence. To break the cycle of poverty, many human service organizations use two-generation approaches with “young families” (that is, families with children in which the parent is an OSOW young person ages 15–24 years). One hallmark of these two-generation approaches is the use of strategies that address the developmental needs of the young parents, their children, and the families as a whole. The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), an association of America’s leading nonprofit human service providers, conducted an exploratory study of two-generation programs already in place within its member organizations. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) supported this effort, which sought to document quality two-generation programs and identify program elements that strengthen young families. The study eventually engaged 32 NHSA members and affiliates in sharing their knowledge about two-generation approaches and...

    Until communities offer multiple pathways to connect with ladders of opportunity, many young families headed by OSOW youth will be unable to achieve financial independence. To break the cycle of poverty, many human service organizations use two-generation approaches with “young families” (that is, families with children in which the parent is an OSOW young person ages 15–24 years). One hallmark of these two-generation approaches is the use of strategies that address the developmental needs of the young parents, their children, and the families as a whole. The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), an association of America’s leading nonprofit human service providers, conducted an exploratory study of two-generation programs already in place within its member organizations. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) supported this effort, which sought to document quality two-generation programs and identify program elements that strengthen young families. The study eventually engaged 32 NHSA members and affiliates in sharing their knowledge about two-generation approaches and providing connections to programs that re-engage young parents in education and/or work, nurture parent-child bonds, improve children’s wellbeing, and connect families with economic, social, and other supports. This report features case studies of two-generation programs, describes elements associated with successful outcomes, and recommends future work. (author abstract)

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