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SSRC Library

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.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

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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: Falk, Gene
    Year: 2013

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is willing to waive certain federal work participation standards under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to permit states to experiment with “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” The work participation standards are numerical performance standards that each state must meet or risk being penalized through a reduction in its block grant. These are standards that apply to the states, not directly to individuals, though they may influence how states design their welfare-to-work programs. Such waivers will be the first “new” waivers to test welfare-to-work strategies in more than 15 years. The waiver initiative would permit states that undertake an alternative welfare-to-work strategy to assess their programs using measures different from those in the current standards. HHS announced this policy through the release of an Information Memorandum on July 12, 2012. State requests for waivers will...

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is willing to waive certain federal work participation standards under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to permit states to experiment with “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” The work participation standards are numerical performance standards that each state must meet or risk being penalized through a reduction in its block grant. These are standards that apply to the states, not directly to individuals, though they may influence how states design their welfare-to-work programs. Such waivers will be the first “new” waivers to test welfare-to-work strategies in more than 15 years. The waiver initiative would permit states that undertake an alternative welfare-to-work strategy to assess their programs using measures different from those in the current standards. HHS announced this policy through the release of an Information Memorandum on July 12, 2012. State requests for waivers will have to be approved by HHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and meet specified criteria.

    Under the 1996 law that created TANF, states had the authority to operate programs created under waivers of pre-1996 welfare law until their scheduled expiration. The last such waiver expired in 2007. Additionally, the House passed legislation three times between 2002 and 2005 to create new “superwaiver” authority that would, among other things, have had the effect of allowing waivers of the federal TANF work participation standards. A scaled-back version of this proposal was reported from the Senate Finance Committee, but not approved by the full Senate, twice during that period. This report discusses the current TANF work participation standards; the HHS initiative to waive TANF work participation standards; pre-1996 welfare waivers, including how they were treated under TANF; and the “superwaiver” proposal. This report is not a legal analysis of the Secretary’s authority to waive TANF work participation standards. Rather, it describes and provides context for this HHS initiative. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lynch, Karen E.
    Year: 2012

    The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) is permanently authorized by Title XX, Subtitle A, of the Social Security Act as a “capped” entitlement to states. This means that states are entitled to their share of funds, as determined by formula, out of an amount of money that is capped in statute at a specific level (also known as a funding ceiling). Although social services for certain welfare recipients have been authorized under various titles of the Social Security Act since 1956, the SSBG in its current form was created in 1981 (P.L. 97-35). Block grant funds are given to states to achieve a wide range of social policy goals, which include promoting self-sufficiency, preventing child abuse, and supporting community-based care for the elderly and disabled...

    Since FY2001, annual appropriations for the SSBG have included a provision stipulating that states may transfer up to 10% of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to the SSBG. In addition to funding from annual appropriations, the SSBG has occasionally received supplemental appropriations,...

    The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) is permanently authorized by Title XX, Subtitle A, of the Social Security Act as a “capped” entitlement to states. This means that states are entitled to their share of funds, as determined by formula, out of an amount of money that is capped in statute at a specific level (also known as a funding ceiling). Although social services for certain welfare recipients have been authorized under various titles of the Social Security Act since 1956, the SSBG in its current form was created in 1981 (P.L. 97-35). Block grant funds are given to states to achieve a wide range of social policy goals, which include promoting self-sufficiency, preventing child abuse, and supporting community-based care for the elderly and disabled...

    Since FY2001, annual appropriations for the SSBG have included a provision stipulating that states may transfer up to 10% of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to the SSBG. In addition to funding from annual appropriations, the SSBG has occasionally received supplemental appropriations, including funds that were appropriated for expenses related to natural disasters in FY2006 and FY2009. A special SSBG program for enterprise communities and empowerment zones was authorized in 1993 (P.L. 103-66), but is not currently funded. Health reform legislation enacted into law (P.L. 111-148) in March 2010 amended Title XX of the Social Security Act to include a subtitle on elder justice and to establish several other programs. Although these changes, briefly discussed later in the report, have technical importance for the statutory citations of the SSBG, they do not substantively amend the provisions within Title XX that govern the SSBG itself. At the federal level, the SSBG is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Legislation amending Title XX is typically reported by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
    Year: 2012

    The majority of young people in the United States grow up healthy and safe in their communities. Most of those of school age live with parents who provide for their well-being, and they attend schools that prepare them for advanced education or vocational training and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. Many youth also receive assistance from their families during the transition to adulthood. During this period, young adults cycle between attending school, living independently, and staying with their families. Approximately 60% of parents today provide financial support to their adult children who are no longer in school. This support comes in the form of housing (50% of parents provide this support to their adult children), living expenses (48%), cost of transportation (41%), health insurance (35%), spending money (29%), and medical bills (28%). Even with this assistance, the current move from adolescence to adulthood has become longer and increasingly complex.

    For vulnerable (or “at-risk”) youth populations, the transition to adulthood is further complicated by a number of...

    The majority of young people in the United States grow up healthy and safe in their communities. Most of those of school age live with parents who provide for their well-being, and they attend schools that prepare them for advanced education or vocational training and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. Many youth also receive assistance from their families during the transition to adulthood. During this period, young adults cycle between attending school, living independently, and staying with their families. Approximately 60% of parents today provide financial support to their adult children who are no longer in school. This support comes in the form of housing (50% of parents provide this support to their adult children), living expenses (48%), cost of transportation (41%), health insurance (35%), spending money (29%), and medical bills (28%). Even with this assistance, the current move from adolescence to adulthood has become longer and increasingly complex.

    For vulnerable (or “at-risk”) youth populations, the transition to adulthood is further complicated by a number of challenges, including family conflict or abandonment and obstacles to securing employment that provides adequate wages and health insurance. These youth may be prone to outcomes that have negative consequences for their future development as responsible, self-sufficient adults. Risk outcomes include teenage parenthood; homelessness; drug abuse; delinquency; physical and sexual abuse; and school dropout. Detachment from the labor market and school—or disconnectedness—may be the single strongest indicator that the transition to adulthood has not been made successfully. (author abstract)

    The CRS occasionally updates this resource. Information is based on the 2012 version.