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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: Edin, Kathryn; Nelson, Timothy J.; Butler, Rachel; Francis, Robert
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

  • 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: 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)

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