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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: Blagg, Kristin; Chingos, Matthew; Corcoran, Sean P.; Cordes, Sarah A.; Cowen, Joshua; Denice, Patrick ; Gross, Betheny; Lincove, Jane Arnold ; Sattin-Bajaj, Carolyn; Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Valant, Jon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools....

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools.
    • Access to “high quality” high schools varies across cities, race and ethnicity, and on the quality measure used. However, ninth-grade students, on average, tend to live about a 10-minute drive from a “high quality” high school.
    • Access to a car can significantly increase the number of schools available to a family. Typical travel times to school by public transit are significantly greater than by car, especially in cities with less efficient transit networks.

    Just as there are inequalities and differences in students’ academic performance across these cities, we see parallel inequalities and differences in the distances that students travel and in the availability of nearby school options. Experiments in targeted policy interventions, such as implementing transportation vouchers for low-income parents of very young students, using yellow buses on circulating routes, or changing the way that school siting decisions are made, might yield pragmatic solutions that further level the playing field for a city’s most disadvantaged students. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Murphy, Lauren; Zief, Susan; Hulsey, Lara
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    This brief summarizes key characteristics of programs funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) that reported at least half of the youth they served were adjudicated youth. PREP, which aims to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors, is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is awarded to states and territories through formula grants (State PREP), and through a competitive process to tribes and tribal entities (Tribal PREP) and to direct service providers in states and territories that did not take State PREP funding (Competitive PREP).

    Purpose

    This brief is one in a series that will inform stakeholders and the public about the PREP program.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    Seventy-two programs across 24 states and territories reported primarily serving adjudicated youth. These...

    Introduction

    This brief summarizes key characteristics of programs funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) that reported at least half of the youth they served were adjudicated youth. PREP, which aims to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors, is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is awarded to states and territories through formula grants (State PREP), and through a competitive process to tribes and tribal entities (Tribal PREP) and to direct service providers in states and territories that did not take State PREP funding (Competitive PREP).

    Purpose

    This brief is one in a series that will inform stakeholders and the public about the PREP program.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    Seventy-two programs across 24 states and territories reported primarily serving adjudicated youth. These programs served about 8,000 youth each year, largely through juvenile detention centers. Most youth in these programs reported being White or Black or African American, and most were ages 15 to 18. About three-quarters of youth reported being sexually active before entering the program. After PREP, more than one-third of the youth in these programs reported they were less likely to have sex in the next six months, and a large majority reported they were more likely to use condoms and birth control if they have sex.

    Methods

    PREP grantees submit performance measures data to ACF each year. These findings are based on performance measures data submitted by State PREP, Tribal PREP, and Competitive PREP grantees for the 2014–2015 reporting period. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Murphy, Lauren; Zief, Susan; Hulsey, Lara
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    This brief summarizes key characteristics of programs funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) that reported at least half of the youth they served were in foster care. PREP, which aims to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors, is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is awarded to states and territories through formula grants (State PREP), and through a competitive process to tribes and tribal entities (Tribal PREP) and to direct service providers in states and territories that did not take State PREP funding (Competitive PREP).

    Purpose

    This brief is one in a series that will inform stakeholders and the public about the PREP program.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    Forty-six programs across 16 states reported primarily serving youth in foster care. These programs served about...

    Introduction

    This brief summarizes key characteristics of programs funded through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) that reported at least half of the youth they served were in foster care. PREP, which aims to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors, is administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding is awarded to states and territories through formula grants (State PREP), and through a competitive process to tribes and tribal entities (Tribal PREP) and to direct service providers in states and territories that did not take State PREP funding (Competitive PREP).

    Purpose

    This brief is one in a series that will inform stakeholders and the public about the PREP program.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    Forty-six programs across 16 states reported primarily serving youth in foster care. These programs served about 5,000 youth each year, largely through foster care settings. Most youth in these programs reported being White or Black or African American, and most were ages 15 to 18. About two-thirds of youth reported being sexually active before entering the program. After PREP, more than one-third of the youth in these programs reported they were less likely to have sex in the next six months, and a large majority reported they were more likely to use condoms and birth control if they have sex.

    Methods

    PREP grantees submit performance measures data to ACF each year. These findings are based on performance measures data submitted by State PREP, Tribal PREP, and Competitive PREP grantees for the 2014–2015 reporting period. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Kauff, Jacqueline; Derr, Michelle K.; Pavetti, LaDonna
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    This dramatic policy change has drawn attention to the need to engage recipients in activities that build their capacity to work. In fact, PRWORA requires states to engage a certain minimum percentage of their caseload in specified work and work-related activities for a specified number of hours per week. The required rate in most states has been relatively low to date, however, because the minimum rate is reduced by one percentage point for each percentage point that a state's average monthly caseload drops below its average monthly caseload for fiscal year 1995 (and the drop is not a result of eligibility or other policy changes). Thus, most states have not been terribly restricted by the federal legislation. While the percentage of TANF cases meeting the participation requirement nationwide is relatively low (33 percent in fiscal year 2002), states are likely engaging a larger share of cases either in activities other than those specified in the legislation or in the specified activities but for fewer hours than required by the federal law. The goal of engaging all or nearly...

    This dramatic policy change has drawn attention to the need to engage recipients in activities that build their capacity to work. In fact, PRWORA requires states to engage a certain minimum percentage of their caseload in specified work and work-related activities for a specified number of hours per week. The required rate in most states has been relatively low to date, however, because the minimum rate is reduced by one percentage point for each percentage point that a state's average monthly caseload drops below its average monthly caseload for fiscal year 1995 (and the drop is not a result of eligibility or other policy changes). Thus, most states have not been terribly restricted by the federal legislation. While the percentage of TANF cases meeting the participation requirement nationwide is relatively low (33 percent in fiscal year 2002), states are likely engaging a larger share of cases either in activities other than those specified in the legislation or in the specified activities but for fewer hours than required by the federal law. The goal of engaging all or nearly all TANF recipients in work and work-related activities is even explicit in some state and local programs.

    Information on the strategies state and local programs use to engage all or most TANF recipients in work activities is important because it could help other programs that have the same goal in mind. Yet, we know little about which programs currently strive toward this goal or the strategies they use to do so. To learn more, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the Study of Work Participation and Full Engagement Strategies, an examination of seven state and local programs that attempt to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients (excluding recipients in child-only cases) in work and work-related activities. This report presents the study findings, which are especially timely, as the proposed reauthorization of the TANF legislation will likely require states to engage a greater percentage of their caseload in work activities.

    The Study of Work Participation and Full Engagement Strategies had three broad objectives: to identify state and local programs that intend to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients (excluding those in child-only cases) in work or work-related activities, to examine how these programs operate, and to identify ways in which other programs might engage a larger share of their caseload in work or work-related activities. More specifically, the study sought to answer the following research questions:

    • Which state and local programs currently strive to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients in work or work-related activities?
    • What program services and administrative procedures do state and local programs use to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients in work or work-related activities?
    • To what extent are programs that attempt to engage all or nearly all TANF recipients succeeding, and how do levels of engagement in these programs compare to program participation rates as defined by the federal TANF legislation?

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shirk, Martha; Bennett, Neil G.; Aber, J. Lawrence
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1999

    In Lives on the Line, Martha Shirk, Neil G. Bennett, and NCCP Director J. Lawrence Aber meld affecting personal profiles with sophisticated demographic analysis to create a vivid portrait of what life is like for more than 14 million American children growing up below the poverty line. In personal profiles of ten families across the nation, from a Pacific Islander family in Hawaii to a homeless family in a wealthy New York City suburb, award-winning journalist Martha Shirk depicts the realities of life for children below the poverty line. She takes readers deep into the lives of families in poverty—lives sometimes marked by childhood abuse, parental loss, and long-term violence—and with each family explores their prospects for moving above the poverty threshold. Along the way, Shirk finds amazing resilience, resourcefulness, and strength of spirit in many of these poor families.

    Neil G. Bennett, Director of Demography for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University (NCCP), shatters many commonly held stereotypes by analyzing Census Bureau...

    In Lives on the Line, Martha Shirk, Neil G. Bennett, and NCCP Director J. Lawrence Aber meld affecting personal profiles with sophisticated demographic analysis to create a vivid portrait of what life is like for more than 14 million American children growing up below the poverty line. In personal profiles of ten families across the nation, from a Pacific Islander family in Hawaii to a homeless family in a wealthy New York City suburb, award-winning journalist Martha Shirk depicts the realities of life for children below the poverty line. She takes readers deep into the lives of families in poverty—lives sometimes marked by childhood abuse, parental loss, and long-term violence—and with each family explores their prospects for moving above the poverty threshold. Along the way, Shirk finds amazing resilience, resourcefulness, and strength of spirit in many of these poor families.

    Neil G. Bennett, Director of Demography for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University (NCCP), shatters many commonly held stereotypes by analyzing Census Bureau data to show which American children are most likely to be poor. He reports, for instance, that over 60 percent of poor young children have at least one employed parent, that most poor young children live in suburban or rural areas, and that a parent's graduation from high school is insufficient to insure against poverty. Among his most startling findings are that in the last two decades, the Young Child Poverty Rate grew significantly faster in the suburbs than in urban or rural areas, and that it grew much faster among whites than among blacks.

    J. Lawrence Aber, a nationally recognized expert in child development and social policy, describes the effects of poverty on child development and showcases proven strategies for preventing or reducing child poverty. He also shows us that it is in our national self-interest to address the problem of child poverty by making a smart investment in America's future.

    As a powerful portrait of the effects of poverty on America's children and families, Lives on the Line narrows the gap between “them” and “us.” It will change the way you think about the poor. (author abstract)

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