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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: McCay, Jonathan; Derr, Michelle K. ; Person, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or, LI2) process is a way for human services leaders to intentionally launch and systematically guide program change and to incorporate evidence and research methods into such efforts. This practice brief provides an overview of the first phase of LI2—the Learn phase—which is intended to lay the foundation for successful and sustainable program changes. The Learn phase involves two primary steps: (1) clarifying the reason for seeking change and the problem to be addressed, and (2) assessing the program environment’s readiness for change. (Author abstract) 

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or, LI2) process is a way for human services leaders to intentionally launch and systematically guide program change and to incorporate evidence and research methods into such efforts. This practice brief provides an overview of the first phase of LI2—the Learn phase—which is intended to lay the foundation for successful and sustainable program changes. The Learn phase involves two primary steps: (1) clarifying the reason for seeking change and the problem to be addressed, and (2) assessing the program environment’s readiness for change. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Greenfield, Jennifer C.; Reichman, Nancy; Cole, Paula M.; Galgiani, Hannah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Colorado is poised this year to consider passing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave measure. Despite several unsuccessful attempts in recent years, changes in the state legislature and in voter sentiment point to building momentum in support of the policy. Passing it would make Colorado the seventh state in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, to pass a statewide initiative. Drawing from data about similar programs in other states, this report examines what a comprehensive paid family and medical leave initiative might look like in Colorado. Specifically, we estimate that approximately 5% of eligible workers per year are likely to access leave benefits under the new program, with an average weekly benefit of about $671. To fund the program, workers and private-sector employers will each need to contribute about .34% of wages each year. At this premium rate, the program will be able to fully fund a wage replacement scheme that matches or comes close to matching wages of the lowest earners, with a maximum weekly benefit cap of either $1000 or $1200/week. Overall, the...

    Colorado is poised this year to consider passing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave measure. Despite several unsuccessful attempts in recent years, changes in the state legislature and in voter sentiment point to building momentum in support of the policy. Passing it would make Colorado the seventh state in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, to pass a statewide initiative. Drawing from data about similar programs in other states, this report examines what a comprehensive paid family and medical leave initiative might look like in Colorado. Specifically, we estimate that approximately 5% of eligible workers per year are likely to access leave benefits under the new program, with an average weekly benefit of about $671. To fund the program, workers and private-sector employers will each need to contribute about .34% of wages each year. At this premium rate, the program will be able to fully fund a wage replacement scheme that matches or comes close to matching wages of the lowest earners, with a maximum weekly benefit cap of either $1000 or $1200/week. Overall, the program seems feasible and is likely to bring a number of important benefits to workers and employers across the state, in exchange for a modest investment in the form of premium contributions. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Kauff, Jacqueline F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

    New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Baumgartner, Scott; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an...

    The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools. Each STREAMS site functions as a separate study within the larger evaluation, with each addressing a distinct research question.

    This process study report presents findings on the development and implementation of MotherWise, an HMRE program designed to serve low-income pregnant women and new mothers in Denver, Colorado. MotherWise includes three primary components: (1) a six-session relationship skills workshop that uses the Within My Reach curriculum and program-developed information on infant care and parenting; (2) individual case management; and (3) an optional couples workshop.

    The STREAMS impact evaluation is evaluating the effectiveness of MotherWise. Key outcomes of interest include participants’ communication and conflict management skills, the quality of the co-parenting relationship with the baby’s father, the number of romantic and sexual partners, incidents of intimate partner violence, unplanned pregnancies, child development outcomes, and mental health and well-being. (Excerpt from introduction)

  • Individual Author: McCay, Jonathan; France, Marcia; Lujan, Loretta; Maestas, Vicki; Whittaker, Alix
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time. Called “Mobile Coaching,” their intervention took case management “on the road” by providing rides for TANF participants to and from service providers in the community, and using the time in transit to discuss the participant’s goals.

    The La Plata County team used research methods from the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) framework to generate formative insights about their creative new strategy. Through this collaborative process, staff gained new perspectives about working with their participants and were able to help some families take...

    Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time. Called “Mobile Coaching,” their intervention took case management “on the road” by providing rides for TANF participants to and from service providers in the community, and using the time in transit to discuss the participant’s goals.

    The La Plata County team used research methods from the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) framework to generate formative insights about their creative new strategy. Through this collaborative process, staff gained new perspectives about working with their participants and were able to help some families take considerable steps forward with their goals. (Edited author introduction)

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