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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: Wells, Christopher R. E.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2009

    Workforce development programs seek to positively impact the employment and earnings of individuals who may face significant barriers to labor market success. In this paper, I measure the outcomes of several workforce development programs operating in Franklin County, Ohio, against three poverty thresholds: the 2007 United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) individual poverty guidelines, the 2007 HHS family of four poverty guidelines, and .6 of the median household income for Franklin County in 2007. The United Way of Central Ohio provided data on approximately 4685 program participants. The dataset included demographic characteristics, information on barriers to employment, hourly earnings, hours worked per week, and occupational classification. While the data do not include pre-program earnings or measures of long-term stability of employment, I attempt some inference with respect to the ability of these programs to place participants in jobs with estimated yearly earnings above the three poverty thresholds. Logistic and least squares regression models are...

    Workforce development programs seek to positively impact the employment and earnings of individuals who may face significant barriers to labor market success. In this paper, I measure the outcomes of several workforce development programs operating in Franklin County, Ohio, against three poverty thresholds: the 2007 United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) individual poverty guidelines, the 2007 HHS family of four poverty guidelines, and .6 of the median household income for Franklin County in 2007. The United Way of Central Ohio provided data on approximately 4685 program participants. The dataset included demographic characteristics, information on barriers to employment, hourly earnings, hours worked per week, and occupational classification. While the data do not include pre-program earnings or measures of long-term stability of employment, I attempt some inference with respect to the ability of these programs to place participants in jobs with estimated yearly earnings above the three poverty thresholds. Logistic and least squares regression models are created to explore relationships. Demographic characteristics and barriers to employment are found to have significant relationships to earnings. Presence of a criminal record and presence of a disability are found to be particularly strong barriers to earnings above poverty thresholds. This suggests that programmatic efforts may need to be more intensive and may require meaningful partnerships with employers in order to improve the earnings for these participants. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pendleton, Kathy J.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2007

    Using Schlossberg’s transition theory as the conceptual framework, this case study explored and identified the coping strategies used by seven welfare recipients attending postsecondary institutions. Three participants were enrolled in the local community college, three in a local 4-year research intuition and one attended four-year private institution. The case study used semi-structured interviews and each participant were interviewed three times over a three-month period. The findings identified multiple personal and psychological barriers to persistence. The participants had histories of childhood sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence. Friends and community agencies, rather than family, provided the primary sources of emotional and financial support. To extend TANF benefits participants used school loans circumventing Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF) work requirement. Sources of stress included time management, problems with caseworkers and the recertification process and male relationships. The study found that prayer/ spirituality was the primary coping...

    Using Schlossberg’s transition theory as the conceptual framework, this case study explored and identified the coping strategies used by seven welfare recipients attending postsecondary institutions. Three participants were enrolled in the local community college, three in a local 4-year research intuition and one attended four-year private institution. The case study used semi-structured interviews and each participant were interviewed three times over a three-month period. The findings identified multiple personal and psychological barriers to persistence. The participants had histories of childhood sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence. Friends and community agencies, rather than family, provided the primary sources of emotional and financial support. To extend TANF benefits participants used school loans circumventing Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF) work requirement. Sources of stress included time management, problems with caseworkers and the recertification process and male relationships. The study found that prayer/ spirituality was the primary coping strategy used by all the participants. Other coping strategies included brainstorming/writing, avoidance, and wishful thinking. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wu, Yi-jung
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2009

    In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act changed public policy. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), affecting both educational policy and social welfare policy. Simultaneously, policy implementation responsibilities devolved to states.

    State-specific systems changes associated with this policy shift have not received sufficient scholarly attention. This case study focused on TANF's implementation in one state-administered, inter-agency program with special reference to the relationship between intended and implemented policies. A theoretical framework developed from the relevant literature pertaining to systems change, policy implementation, inter-agency and inter-professional partnerships, organizational learning, and human capital guided the empirical investigation. Twenty-five face-to-face, semi-structured, in depth interviews were conducted with thirty professionals in eight offices, across three counties. Member checks confirmed the appropriateness of data interpretation and...

    In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act changed public policy. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), affecting both educational policy and social welfare policy. Simultaneously, policy implementation responsibilities devolved to states.

    State-specific systems changes associated with this policy shift have not received sufficient scholarly attention. This case study focused on TANF's implementation in one state-administered, inter-agency program with special reference to the relationship between intended and implemented policies. A theoretical framework developed from the relevant literature pertaining to systems change, policy implementation, inter-agency and inter-professional partnerships, organizational learning, and human capital guided the empirical investigation. Twenty-five face-to-face, semi-structured, in depth interviews were conducted with thirty professionals in eight offices, across three counties. Member checks confirmed the appropriateness of data interpretation and articulation. Additionally, relevant documents were collected and reviewed to identify relevant changes and to triangulate the research findings.

    Findings revealed that TANF policy implementation triggered multiple systems changes. For example, study participants identified changes in organizational structure, organizational culture and climate, and organizational short-term goals. Along with the organizational changes, some (but not all) professionals became involved in interprofessional activities, which spanned agency boundaries.

    TANF-induced systems change presented opportunities for organizational learning. This study identified a particular kind of organizational learning accompanying TANF's implementation. TANF's firm mandates ushered in a top-down organizational learning process associated with single-loop learning.

    With TANF's implementation, education-as-human capital development, a service strategy preferred by some study participants, was replaced by employment-first mandates. Study participants identified other changes in service delivery alternatives and strategies with TANF's implementation.

    The complexity of TANF's implementation in an inter-agency program necessitated multiple theories, which needed to be integrated. This theoretical integration stands as one contribution to future research. Lessons learned for future research and implications for policy implementation comprise other contributions deriving from this study.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Tucker, Jo B.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2005

    This case study investigated eight welfare recipients and their perceptions of the effectiveness of the job training programs in which they participated in an effort to understand the domains in which welfare-reliant individuals exhibit a commitment to work. Specific issues addressed by this qualitative study included the individuals’ perceptions of (1) the program effects on escaping poverty and becoming self-sufficient; (2) the impact of the program focus on the participants’ achievement and empowerment; (3) employment and the prospects of getting off welfare, both before and after program completion; and (4) recommendations for improvement in designing such programs. It is clear that all participants in the study found resolution to the tensions in their lives through the programs. Life skills training was critical in enhancing the self-esteem of the participants, providing them the tools necessary to overcome their fear of independence and allowing them to experience their own definition of success. Each participant in the study wished for more time in the program. Most...

    This case study investigated eight welfare recipients and their perceptions of the effectiveness of the job training programs in which they participated in an effort to understand the domains in which welfare-reliant individuals exhibit a commitment to work. Specific issues addressed by this qualitative study included the individuals’ perceptions of (1) the program effects on escaping poverty and becoming self-sufficient; (2) the impact of the program focus on the participants’ achievement and empowerment; (3) employment and the prospects of getting off welfare, both before and after program completion; and (4) recommendations for improvement in designing such programs. It is clear that all participants in the study found resolution to the tensions in their lives through the programs. Life skills training was critical in enhancing the self-esteem of the participants, providing them the tools necessary to overcome their fear of independence and allowing them to experience their own definition of success. Each participant in the study wished for more time in the program. Most participants felt the
    program was a gift and verbalized the value of supportive services on-site. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bittle-Patton, Sylvia
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2004

    For over a decade, the issues of welfare reform and unemployment have been high priorities at the national level. Surveys were administered to participants in three training agencies to examine individual pre-training attitudinal and behavioral variables, including self-efficacy, employment commitment, and unemployment negativity. The study then examined the relationship between these variables and post-training job-search behavior, employment status, and job-search intended effort of unemployed trainees. The behavioral plasticity hypothesis was also explored in conjunction with the variables of general and specific self-efficacy, employment commitment, and unemployment negativity. Hierarchical regression analyses of data from 121 participants revealed that pre-training specific self-efficacy and unemployment negativity were both significant predictors of post-training job-search behavior and frequency. Thus, trainees with higher levels of pre-training specific self-efficacy and unemployment negativity also reported more varied and frequent post-training job-search behavior....

    For over a decade, the issues of welfare reform and unemployment have been high priorities at the national level. Surveys were administered to participants in three training agencies to examine individual pre-training attitudinal and behavioral variables, including self-efficacy, employment commitment, and unemployment negativity. The study then examined the relationship between these variables and post-training job-search behavior, employment status, and job-search intended effort of unemployed trainees. The behavioral plasticity hypothesis was also explored in conjunction with the variables of general and specific self-efficacy, employment commitment, and unemployment negativity. Hierarchical regression analyses of data from 121 participants revealed that pre-training specific self-efficacy and unemployment negativity were both significant predictors of post-training job-search behavior and frequency. Thus, trainees with higher levels of pre-training specific self-efficacy and unemployment negativity also reported more varied and frequent post-training job-search behavior. Further, results of logistic regression analysis indicated that unemployment negativity was a significant predictor of post-training employment status. Specifically, trainees with high initial levels of unemployment negativity were twice as likely to find post-training employment. Although not hypothesized, the demographic variables of marital status, reasons for unemployment, and income also significantly predicted post-training employment status. More specifically, trainees who were single had a greater likelihood of post-training job placement in comparison to married trainees. Further, respondents who were unemployed because of a disability or other health-related issue were less likely to find employment after training than their counterparts. In addition, trainees with higher levels of income were more likely to find post-training employment than those with lower income levels. The behavioral plasticity effect, however, was not supported with either predictor variable when job-search behavior and frequency was used as the outcome variable. Post-hoc analysis revealed pre-training employment commitment as a significant predictor of post-training employment status. Specifically, participants with higher levels of pre-training employment commitment were almost three-times more likely to find employment after training than their counterparts. Post-hoc analyses also found that both specific self-efficacy and unemployment negativity mediate the relationship between employment commitment and post-training job-search behavior and frequency. Several implications of the study are discussed and areas for future research are explored. (author abstract)

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