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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: Siegel, David. I.; Abbott, Ann
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    This study investigates a random sample of people who left welfare and a similar sample who returned to welfare in a mid-Atlantic state in 2002. Findings show that child-care difficulties are important barriers to employment and that they are bound together with other conditions of poverty such as adverse neighborhood conditions and other deprivations. Child care provision becomes difficult when neighborhoods are infested with drugs or guns or when caregivers must spend too much time finding the means to pay bills or rent and put food on the table. For the poorest groups, all these conditions negatively impact quality of life. The study's findings suggest social policy revisions that emphasize programs to improve the children's neighborhood environment and means of socialization, supplement caregivers' income to levels sufficient to pay for child care, and remove inadequacies or inconsistencies in government child care provision. (Author abstract)

    This study investigates a random sample of people who left welfare and a similar sample who returned to welfare in a mid-Atlantic state in 2002. Findings show that child-care difficulties are important barriers to employment and that they are bound together with other conditions of poverty such as adverse neighborhood conditions and other deprivations. Child care provision becomes difficult when neighborhoods are infested with drugs or guns or when caregivers must spend too much time finding the means to pay bills or rent and put food on the table. For the poorest groups, all these conditions negatively impact quality of life. The study's findings suggest social policy revisions that emphasize programs to improve the children's neighborhood environment and means of socialization, supplement caregivers' income to levels sufficient to pay for child care, and remove inadequacies or inconsistencies in government child care provision. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chase-Lansdale, P. Lindsay; Moffitt, Robert A.; Lohman, Brenda J.; Cherlin, Andrew J.; Levine Coley, Rebekah; Pittman, Laura D.; Roff, Jennifer; Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    Results from a longitudinal study of 2,402 low-income families during the recent unprecedented era of welfare reform suggest that mothers' transitions off welfare and into employment are not associated with negative outcomes for preschoolers (ages 2 to 4 years) or young adolescents (ages 10 to 14 years). Indeed, no significant associations with mothers' welfare and employment transitions were found for preschoolers, and the dominant pattern was also of few statistically significant associations for adolescents. The associations that did occur provided slight evidence that mothers' entry into the labor force was related to improvements in adolescents' mental health, whereas exits from employment were linked with teenagers' increased behavior problems. (Author abstract)

    Results from a longitudinal study of 2,402 low-income families during the recent unprecedented era of welfare reform suggest that mothers' transitions off welfare and into employment are not associated with negative outcomes for preschoolers (ages 2 to 4 years) or young adolescents (ages 10 to 14 years). Indeed, no significant associations with mothers' welfare and employment transitions were found for preschoolers, and the dominant pattern was also of few statistically significant associations for adolescents. The associations that did occur provided slight evidence that mothers' entry into the labor force was related to improvements in adolescents' mental health, whereas exits from employment were linked with teenagers' increased behavior problems. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Michalopoulos, Charles; Tattrie, Doug; Miller, Cynthia; Robins, Philip K.; Morris, Pamela; Gyarmati, David; Redcross, Cindy; Foley, Kelly; Ford, Reuben
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Recognizing that welfare recipients who find jobs may remain poor, the "make work pay" approach rewards those who work by boosting their income. This strategy was the centerpiece of the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), a large-scale demonstration program in Canada that offered monthly earnings supplements to single parents who left welfare for full-time work. Launched in 1992, SSP was evaluated by MDRC in collaboration with the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation. As detailed in this report, which examines the program's effects on welfare recipients over five years, SSP substantially increased full-time employment, earnings, and income and reduced the poverty rate - all at a low net cost to the government. The program also improved the school performance of enrollees' elementary school-aged children, a benefit that - unlike the positive economic effects - persisted even after parents stopped receiving the supplement.(author abstract)

    Recognizing that welfare recipients who find jobs may remain poor, the "make work pay" approach rewards those who work by boosting their income. This strategy was the centerpiece of the Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), a large-scale demonstration program in Canada that offered monthly earnings supplements to single parents who left welfare for full-time work. Launched in 1992, SSP was evaluated by MDRC in collaboration with the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation. As detailed in this report, which examines the program's effects on welfare recipients over five years, SSP substantially increased full-time employment, earnings, and income and reduced the poverty rate - all at a low net cost to the government. The program also improved the school performance of enrollees' elementary school-aged children, a benefit that - unlike the positive economic effects - persisted even after parents stopped receiving the supplement.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Tout, Kathryn T.; Scarpa, Juliet; Zaslow, Martha J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    After peaking in 1994, welfare caseloads plunged during the rest of the 1990s. While the experiences and outcomes of adults who have left the welfare system have drawn the attention of researchers and journalists alike, far less is known about how the children of these welfare “leavers” have fared in the early years of welfare reform. Are these children more or less likely to be at risk in their development than children whose families remain on welfare?

    To address this question, this Research Brief compares survey data for children of welfare leavers and current welfare recipients on several outcome indicators in three key areas – health, school engagement, and social behavior. The picture that emerges is that children in both groups look similar on most of these measures. Only two differences stand out: adolescents whose families have recently left welfare are much more likely to have been suspended or expelled from school than adolescents whose families receive welfare; also, children in families receiving welfare are more likely to have an activity-limiting condition...

    After peaking in 1994, welfare caseloads plunged during the rest of the 1990s. While the experiences and outcomes of adults who have left the welfare system have drawn the attention of researchers and journalists alike, far less is known about how the children of these welfare “leavers” have fared in the early years of welfare reform. Are these children more or less likely to be at risk in their development than children whose families remain on welfare?

    To address this question, this Research Brief compares survey data for children of welfare leavers and current welfare recipients on several outcome indicators in three key areas – health, school engagement, and social behavior. The picture that emerges is that children in both groups look similar on most of these measures. Only two differences stand out: adolescents whose families have recently left welfare are much more likely to have been suspended or expelled from school than adolescents whose families receive welfare; also, children in families receiving welfare are more likely to have an activity-limiting condition than children whose families have left welfare.

    While children in the two welfare groups look similar on many measures to children in poor families that do not have a history of recent welfare receipt, there are a few differences that highlight potential vulnerabilities. Yet across all of the measures examined, children in the three low-income groups fare worse than children in more affluent families. These findings underscore the role of poverty, more than welfare status per se, as a marker of risk in children’s lives.(author abstract)

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