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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: Bellotti, Jeanne; Sattar, Samina; Gould-Werth, Alix; Berk, Jillian; Gutierrez, Ivette; Stein, Jillian; Betesh, Hannah; Ochoa, Lindsay; Wiegand, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs...

    To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs. A complex array of factors including jail and local community characteristics influenced the development and operations of jail-based AJCs as well as the experiences and outcomes of participants (Figure ES.1). The overarching goals were to increase participants’ work readiness at the time of release, increase employment after release, and reduce recidivism; additional goals for the pilot initiative included demonstrating that corrections and workforce agencies could effectively collaborate to provide pre-release services, generate lessons learned around promising strategies and common challenges that could inform future efforts; and identify ways for grantees to sustain the jail-based AJCs when the DOL-funded grant ended. The grants covered 9 months of planning and 15 months of service delivery, with many grantees receiving up to a one-year no-cost extension to finish spending down remaining grant resources. Grantees were geographically diverse, located in 13 states across 5 DOL regions, and involved a total of 22 county jails.

    Workforce development, corrections, and other partners, as well as participants, identified many successes along with significant challenges and promising strategies to address them. The qualitative evidence collected through this implementation evaluation suggests that introducing new services, partnerships, and ways of thinking about reentry hold promise for lasting effects on the workforce and corrections systems in some sites. The experiences of the LEAP grantees highlight important lessons learned and some areas for continued refinement or potential replication in similar or different contexts. Although this implementation evaluation cannot make causal claims, the evidence suggests that it is possible to use jail-based AJCs to link participants to post-release services and that this may be a promising approach to support returning individuals in successful reentry. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Schneider, Daniel ; Harknett, Kristen; McLanahan, Sara
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    In the United States, the Great Recession was marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and mothers’ experiences of abusive behavior between 2001 and 2010. Unemployment and economic hardship at the household level were positively related to abusive behavior. Further, rapid increases in the unemployment rate increased men’s controlling behavior toward romantic partners even after we adjust for unemployment and economic distress at the household level. We interpret these findings as demonstrating that the uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety that go along with sudden macroeconomic downturns have negative effects on relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of job loss and material hardship. (Author abstract)

    In the United States, the Great Recession was marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and mothers’ experiences of abusive behavior between 2001 and 2010. Unemployment and economic hardship at the household level were positively related to abusive behavior. Further, rapid increases in the unemployment rate increased men’s controlling behavior toward romantic partners even after we adjust for unemployment and economic distress at the household level. We interpret these findings as demonstrating that the uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety that go along with sudden macroeconomic downturns have negative effects on relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of job loss and material hardship. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hulsey, Lara; Leftin, Joshua; Gordon, Anne; Wulsin, Claire Smither; Redel, Nicholas; Schirm, Allen; Beyler, Nicholas; Heviside, Shella; Estes, Brian; Trippe, Carole
    Year: 2016

    The Direct Certification with Medicaid (DC-M) demonstration added Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. The evaluation compared districts randomly assigned to either conduct DC-M or use normal certification procedures to examine whether DC-M leads to changes in the percentage of students certified, the number of meals served, Federal reimbursements, and certification costs incurred by districts. It also assessed State-level administrative costs and identified the challenges that states and districts faced when implementing DC-M. This report presents findings from the second year of the demonstration, school year 2013-2014.

    The impact findings for this study are internally valid estimates of the impact of DC-M for the participating evaluation districts in the participating states. However, this study was not intended to be nationally representative; study states and districts differ in important ways from states and districts nationally. Therefore, the findings cannot be generalized more broadly and interpreted as the...

    The Direct Certification with Medicaid (DC-M) demonstration added Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. The evaluation compared districts randomly assigned to either conduct DC-M or use normal certification procedures to examine whether DC-M leads to changes in the percentage of students certified, the number of meals served, Federal reimbursements, and certification costs incurred by districts. It also assessed State-level administrative costs and identified the challenges that states and districts faced when implementing DC-M. This report presents findings from the second year of the demonstration, school year 2013-2014.

    The impact findings for this study are internally valid estimates of the impact of DC-M for the participating evaluation districts in the participating states. However, this study was not intended to be nationally representative; study states and districts differ in important ways from states and districts nationally. Therefore, the findings cannot be generalized more broadly and interpreted as the effects that would be anticipated from an expansion of DC-M to a broader (or otherwise different) set of states and districts.

    •  

    Key Findings:

    • In some demonstration states, DC-M positively affected certification outcomes and the percentage of meals served for free, but not the overall participation rate. In other words, for some states in the study sample, DC-M successfully reduced reliance on school meal applications and increased the proportion of students receiving free meals, although it did not affect the number of meals served overall. These increases resulted in additional Federal reimbursements in some states. However, there was no impact on district costs for certifying students. State DC-M administrative costs varied widely, but the per-student costs were low even in the highest cost states, and a large majority of the costs were start-up costs rather than ongoing costs. (author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Adams, Gina; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Child care can be an insurmountable barrier for low-income parents seeking education and training so they can get better jobs to support their families. Helping families with child care can also be challenging for programs trying to help these parents get ahead. Despite funding and policy barriers, there are programs that have taken on this challenge. This brief summarizes a longer study and lays out six steps that local and state programs can take to address the child care needs of parents in education and training. This is part of the Urban Institute’s series of reports from the Bridging the Gap project, which focuses on what we know about the child care needs of parents needing education and training. (Author abstract)

    Child care can be an insurmountable barrier for low-income parents seeking education and training so they can get better jobs to support their families. Helping families with child care can also be challenging for programs trying to help these parents get ahead. Despite funding and policy barriers, there are programs that have taken on this challenge. This brief summarizes a longer study and lays out six steps that local and state programs can take to address the child care needs of parents in education and training. This is part of the Urban Institute’s series of reports from the Bridging the Gap project, which focuses on what we know about the child care needs of parents needing education and training. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Kleinman, Rebecca; Kauff, Jackie; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing...

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing voucher. FUP vouchers offer up to 18 months of rental subsidy and supportive services to help such youth gain skills for independent living.

    FUP functions as an interagency collaboration between local public housing agencies (PHAs) and public child welfare agencies (PCWAs). Participating communities decide whether to apply for FUP vouchers, and, if awarded vouchers, whether to serve families, youth, or both in their FUP programs. In communities using FUP for youth, PCWAs refer eligible youth to PHAs and offer supportive services to those who receive a FUP voucher. When PHAs receive youth referrals, they verify HCV eligibility and subsidize the rent of eligible youth who are able to find and secure housing.

    This report describes the extent to which—and how—communities are using FUP to support youth. The research draws on findings from a survey of PHAs administering FUP, a survey of PCWAs partnered with PHAs that serve youth, and site visits to four areas that use FUP to serve youth. The surveys were designed to identify the universe of communities providing FUP vouchers to youth and to gather basic information about how they administer the program. The site visits sought to provide a finer grained understanding of how communities are using FUP to serve this population and sought to identify promising practices and lessons learned. (author summary)

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