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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: Redcross, Cindy; Barden, Bret; Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents interim impact and implementation findings of seven transitional jobs programs from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Two of the sites in that study — in Atlanta and San Francisco — are also a part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration. The two studies closely coordinated beyond the shared sites, including shared reports, common data collection instruments, and other ongoing collaboration.

    The report shares early results in the areas of implementation, employment outcomes, recidivism, and child support payment.

    Early results include:

    • The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration programs were relatively well implemented.
    • All but one of the programs generated large increases in employment in the early months of follow-up; however, these increases were mostly or entirely the result of the transitional jobs and faded as participants left those jobs.
    • Two of the three programs targeting people recently released from prison appear to have reduced recidivism....

    This report presents interim impact and implementation findings of seven transitional jobs programs from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration. Two of the sites in that study — in Atlanta and San Francisco — are also a part of ACF’s Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration. The two studies closely coordinated beyond the shared sites, including shared reports, common data collection instruments, and other ongoing collaboration.

    The report shares early results in the areas of implementation, employment outcomes, recidivism, and child support payment.

    Early results include:

    • The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration programs were relatively well implemented.
    • All but one of the programs generated large increases in employment in the early months of follow-up; however, these increases were mostly or entirely the result of the transitional jobs and faded as participants left those jobs.
    • Two of the three programs targeting people recently released from prison appear to have reduced recidivism.
    • Most programs increased payment of child support. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Boggess, Jacquelyn; Price, Anne; Rodriguez, Nino
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Our nation’s families are undergoing a sea change. Over the last 30 years, as wages have stagnated and declined, more unmarried couples are living together and having children. Fewer than half of adults with lower incomes and less education are now married, and marriage has increasingly become the norm only among couples with higher incomes and college educations. The economic challenges facing low-income families are especially acute for black parents and their children: 73% are born to unmarried parents. The risk of economic hardship for children is even greater in mother-headed households. Child support enforcement—typically transferring money from the father to the mother—is often thought of as one way to reduce poverty among children and families. However, this only works if the father has enough income or assets to be able to pay. According to the US Census Bureau, the large majority—70 percent—of custodial parents with children living in poverty receive no child support whatsoever. For black custodial parents, this figure rises to 75 percent. (author introduction)

    Our nation’s families are undergoing a sea change. Over the last 30 years, as wages have stagnated and declined, more unmarried couples are living together and having children. Fewer than half of adults with lower incomes and less education are now married, and marriage has increasingly become the norm only among couples with higher incomes and college educations. The economic challenges facing low-income families are especially acute for black parents and their children: 73% are born to unmarried parents. The risk of economic hardship for children is even greater in mother-headed households. Child support enforcement—typically transferring money from the father to the mother—is often thought of as one way to reduce poverty among children and families. However, this only works if the father has enough income or assets to be able to pay. According to the US Census Bureau, the large majority—70 percent—of custodial parents with children living in poverty receive no child support whatsoever. For black custodial parents, this figure rises to 75 percent. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Griffen, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Two principal characteristics distinguish intermediary and sector projects from the generation of workforce projects that preceded them. First, the new approach recognizes that short-term training programs do not address the complicated set of factors inhibiting low-skilled adults from earning family-sustaining wages. Second, workforce development practitioners increasingly recognize that focusing solely on the trainee ignores the essential role of the employer. The comprehensive, long-term, “dual customer” approach that the workforce intermediaries have adopted strives to bridge the gap between what business needs to remain competitive (demand) and where potential or existing workers are in terms of skills and abilities (supply).

    As the sector and intermediary field matures, and as the seed funding that launched many projects expires, a key question emerges: how can these projects be sustained so that they can fulfill the promise of meeting both worker and employer needs? This question embodies three principal types of sustainability challenge: financing, infrastructure,...

    Two principal characteristics distinguish intermediary and sector projects from the generation of workforce projects that preceded them. First, the new approach recognizes that short-term training programs do not address the complicated set of factors inhibiting low-skilled adults from earning family-sustaining wages. Second, workforce development practitioners increasingly recognize that focusing solely on the trainee ignores the essential role of the employer. The comprehensive, long-term, “dual customer” approach that the workforce intermediaries have adopted strives to bridge the gap between what business needs to remain competitive (demand) and where potential or existing workers are in terms of skills and abilities (supply).

    As the sector and intermediary field matures, and as the seed funding that launched many projects expires, a key question emerges: how can these projects be sustained so that they can fulfill the promise of meeting both worker and employer needs? This question embodies three principal types of sustainability challenge: financing, infrastructure, and operations.

    Unless these issues are considered and the lessons applied to practice, policy, and funding streams, intermediary and sector projects may be short-lived. In a field whose effectiveness is already questioned, the loss of successful high-profile projects will only weaken its impact and public support. Conversely, a key opportunity awaits. If we can learn from the practice on the ground, and build policy and funding based on those experiences, the workforce development field will be able to demonstrate the kinds of results that can lead to a stronger and more competitive national economy.

    To delve into the three sustainability questions, Sustaining the Promise draws extensively on the experiences of leading sector projects and practitioners around the country, as well as the experience of the author, a sector project founder. Based on research and discussions conducted in 2007, a new picture of sustainability emerges. Rather than just a question of how to pay for intermediary and sector projects, sustainability lies in the ability of these projects to manage complex relationships and funding streams, meet multiple needs simultaneously, and stay ahead of the curve in their areas of expertise. Projects must develop highly sophisticated infrastructures, identify and maintain diverse funding (including but not exclusively from employers), and continually streamline and improve their operations.

    This finding signifies key implications for policymakers, funders, and practitioners in how to support and expand sector projects in the long run. And it leads to a number of policy recommendations that many of the practitioners interviewed are confident will enable them to sustain the promise of sector projects for poor and working adults, and for the industries in which they work. These focus on financing intermediary activities, measuring and evaluating performance, and engaging employers. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Snyder, Kathleen ; Bernstein, Sara ; Koralek, Robin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Child care subsidies are an important support service for families moving from welfare to work. The connections between child care and work, and the work oriented focus within the welfare system since welfare reform, have increased the need for links between the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems to ensure families receiving TANF and moving off TANF are connected to child care subsidies. This paper summarizes findings from the third phase of the study. It is based on focus groups conducted in four locations in 2003 with current TANF participants and parents who had left TANF within the past year and were receiving child care subsidies. The report examines how these parents accessed and retained child care subsidies as they moved through and off welfare. However, it is important to note that this study did not examine the experiences of families that were not using subsidies. As a consequence, this study provides important information to help us better understand how these systems and polices work for families in the system, but it does not represent the perspectives...

    Child care subsidies are an important support service for families moving from welfare to work. The connections between child care and work, and the work oriented focus within the welfare system since welfare reform, have increased the need for links between the welfare-to-work and child care subsidy systems to ensure families receiving TANF and moving off TANF are connected to child care subsidies. This paper summarizes findings from the third phase of the study. It is based on focus groups conducted in four locations in 2003 with current TANF participants and parents who had left TANF within the past year and were receiving child care subsidies. The report examines how these parents accessed and retained child care subsidies as they moved through and off welfare. However, it is important to note that this study did not examine the experiences of families that were not using subsidies. As a consequence, this study provides important information to help us better understand how these systems and polices work for families in the system, but it does not represent the perspectives of families that were unsuccessful in navigating these systems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Adams, Gina; Holcomb, Pamela. A.; Snyder, Kathleen; Koralek, Robin; Capizzano, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Over recent decades, policymakers have recognized that helping parents on welfare pay for child care is essential to help them move from welfare to work. As such, child care has consistently been an integral part of federal and state welfare reform efforts. It was a major focus of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), and of the cash assistance and welfare-to-work program it established—the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

    Although the connection between child care as a work support and the TANF program's mandate to help welfare recipients obtain employment is conceptually simple, the actual processes and policies used by states and localities to ensure child care assistance is made available to TANF families moving from welfare to work is far more complicated. The complexity arises in part because the child care subsidy and TANF welfare-to-work programs represent two devolved systems that differ in their goals, target populations, administrative structures, and policy...

    Over recent decades, policymakers have recognized that helping parents on welfare pay for child care is essential to help them move from welfare to work. As such, child care has consistently been an integral part of federal and state welfare reform efforts. It was a major focus of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), and of the cash assistance and welfare-to-work program it established—the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

    Although the connection between child care as a work support and the TANF program's mandate to help welfare recipients obtain employment is conceptually simple, the actual processes and policies used by states and localities to ensure child care assistance is made available to TANF families moving from welfare to work is far more complicated. The complexity arises in part because the child care subsidy and TANF welfare-to-work programs represent two devolved systems that differ in their goals, target populations, administrative structures, and policy frameworks.

    Despite the critical role child care subsidies play for welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the existing information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families. This is the first report of a three-part study that explores different aspects of the intersection of the child care and welfare systems. This report focuses on the systems and policies that affect families' child care subsidies while they are receiving cash assistance through TANF and participating in work activities. Through discussions with child care and TANF workers and administrators in 11 sites in winter 2001/2002, this study examined the following four questions:

    • What administrative structures have states and localities designed to connect TANF and child care subsidy functions?
    • What has to happen—at both the administrative and client levels—for TANF parents to obtain and keep child care assistance—that is, as they move through applying for TANF cash assistance, participating in required work activities, and finding employment?
    • What coordination issues have states and localities faced in bringing these two systems together, and what strategies have they developed?
    • What are the implications of the answers to these questions for parents as well as for policymakers and administrators interested in improving welfare-to-work and child care services? (author abstract)

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