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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Blumenthal, Anne; Shanks, Trina R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary...

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary education right before the transition to adulthood. We found that: (1) the vast majority of account-holding families did not make withdrawals from their SEED accounts, (2) recent family communication about the SEED accounts was related to the specificity of a child's post-secondary plans, (3) there were tensions between college aspirations and the concrete steps needed to get there, and (4) families voiced concerns regarding the substantial barriers to post-secondary education. These findings point to both the promises and challenges of CSAs that newly developed programs might want to consider. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Grist, Nicky; Plat, Katie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report, with generous support from Capital One, draws on data results from a two-city pilot to better understand how Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) clients are saving and ultimately inform new savings indicators for financial counseling success.

    In 2017, financial counselors at Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) in Nashville and Philadelphia tested an innovative approach to defining, discussing, and tracking their clients’ efforts to build savings, using new savings outcomes. The CFE Fund combined counselor and client experiences with academic and policy research to operationalize the field’s thinking about how people with low incomes save, to tell a more complete story about the impact of financial counseling on savings, and to learn whether changing a program’s data system affects the way financial counselors work and the results their clients achieve. (Author introduction)

     

    This report, with generous support from Capital One, draws on data results from a two-city pilot to better understand how Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) clients are saving and ultimately inform new savings indicators for financial counseling success.

    In 2017, financial counselors at Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) in Nashville and Philadelphia tested an innovative approach to defining, discussing, and tracking their clients’ efforts to build savings, using new savings outcomes. The CFE Fund combined counselor and client experiences with academic and policy research to operationalize the field’s thinking about how people with low incomes save, to tell a more complete story about the impact of financial counseling on savings, and to learn whether changing a program’s data system affects the way financial counselors work and the results their clients achieve. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report is a three-year evaluation of the Financial Empowerment Center initiative's replication in 5 cities (Denver, CO; Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA and San Antonio, TX). Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. The evaluation draws on data from 22,000 clients who participated in 57,000 counseling sessions across these first 5 city replication partners, and provides additional evidence of the program's success. (Author introduction)

    This report is a three-year evaluation of the Financial Empowerment Center initiative's replication in 5 cities (Denver, CO; Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA and San Antonio, TX). Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. The evaluation draws on data from 22,000 clients who participated in 57,000 counseling sessions across these first 5 city replication partners, and provides additional evidence of the program's success. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Pergamit, Michael; McKerman, Signe-Mary; Braga, Breno; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Hahn, Heather; Edelstein, Sara; Elkin, Sam
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents first-year findings from an evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program at two sites — Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM and RISE Financial Pathways in Los Angeles, CA.

    Findings show that the AFI program increased low-income participants’ savings after one year. There is also evidence of a range of several beneficial secondary impacts, including reductions in material hardship and improvements in perceived financial well-being.

    This is the first evaluation of the AFI program to use a randomized controlled trial. The study assesses the program’s early effects on participants’ savings, asset ownership, and economic well-being. (Author abstract)

    This report presents first-year findings from an evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program at two sites — Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM and RISE Financial Pathways in Los Angeles, CA.

    Findings show that the AFI program increased low-income participants’ savings after one year. There is also evidence of a range of several beneficial secondary impacts, including reductions in material hardship and improvements in perceived financial well-being.

    This is the first evaluation of the AFI program to use a randomized controlled trial. The study assesses the program’s early effects on participants’ savings, asset ownership, and economic well-being. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dechausay, Nadine; Miller, Cynthia; Quiroz-Becerra, Victoria
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    In 2007, New York City launched the first test of a conditional cash transfer program in the United States. Called Family Rewards, the program sought to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by offering cash assistance to poor families to reduce immediate hardship, but conditioned this assistance on families’ efforts to improve their health, further their children’s education, and increase parents’ work and earnings, in the hope of reducing poverty over the long term. The program had positive effects on some outcomes, but left others unchanged. Building on the lessons learned from that evaluation led to the next iteration and test of the model — called Family Rewards 2.0, the subject of this report.

    Family Rewards 2.0 was launched in July 2011 in the Bronx, New York and Memphis, Tennessee. While still offering rewards in the areas of children’s education, family health, and parents’ work, Family Rewards 2.0 has fewer rewards in each domain, offers the education rewards only to high school students, makes the rewards more timely by paying them each month, and...

    In 2007, New York City launched the first test of a conditional cash transfer program in the United States. Called Family Rewards, the program sought to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by offering cash assistance to poor families to reduce immediate hardship, but conditioned this assistance on families’ efforts to improve their health, further their children’s education, and increase parents’ work and earnings, in the hope of reducing poverty over the long term. The program had positive effects on some outcomes, but left others unchanged. Building on the lessons learned from that evaluation led to the next iteration and test of the model — called Family Rewards 2.0, the subject of this report.

    Family Rewards 2.0 was launched in July 2011 in the Bronx, New York and Memphis, Tennessee. While still offering rewards in the areas of children’s education, family health, and parents’ work, Family Rewards 2.0 has fewer rewards in each domain, offers the education rewards only to high school students, makes the rewards more timely by paying them each month, and includes family guidance. The addition of guidance, or having staff members actively help families develop strategies to earn rewards, represents the biggest change to the original model.

    MDRC is evaluating the program through a randomized controlled trial involving approximately 1,200 families in each city, half of whom can receive the cash rewards if they meet the required conditions, and half of whom have been assigned to a control group that cannot receive the rewards. This report presents early findings on the program’s implementation and families’ receipt of rewards during the first two years. (author introduction)

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