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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: Gezinski, Lindsay Blair
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, Congress ended “welfare as we know it” and formally adopted a workfare approach. However, families continue to be trapped in the “low-wage ghetto”. Therefore, research is needed that investigates effective routes out of poverty. Studies have found that welfare recipients with higher educational attainment work more and earn significantly higher income than those with lower educational attainment. However, very little research exists around the relationship between social capital and labor force participation.

    Four research questions guided this study: (1) How do demographic variables affect social capital and human capital among single women who use welfare? (2) How do social capital and human capital affect employment outcome? (3) Do social capital and human capital act as mediators between demographic variables and employment outcome? (4) How do macro-level variables (i.e., city unemployment rate and state TANF policy) affect employment outcome?

    This study...

    With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, Congress ended “welfare as we know it” and formally adopted a workfare approach. However, families continue to be trapped in the “low-wage ghetto”. Therefore, research is needed that investigates effective routes out of poverty. Studies have found that welfare recipients with higher educational attainment work more and earn significantly higher income than those with lower educational attainment. However, very little research exists around the relationship between social capital and labor force participation.

    Four research questions guided this study: (1) How do demographic variables affect social capital and human capital among single women who use welfare? (2) How do social capital and human capital affect employment outcome? (3) Do social capital and human capital act as mediators between demographic variables and employment outcome? (4) How do macro-level variables (i.e., city unemployment rate and state TANF policy) affect employment outcome?

    This study analyzed Wave 2 (2005-2007) data from the Making Connections Cross-Site Survey database. 1,428 women with no spouse/partner present in the household who indicated use of a TANF/welfare office in the last 12 months were selected for inclusion in the study sample. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to extract factors that underlie the social capital construct and to identify the indicators that were associated with each of those factors. Five social capital factors emerged: support giving social capital, bonding social capital, bridging social capital, value sharing social capital, and support receiving social capital. Structural equation modeling was used to answer the major research questions in this study. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia; Tessler, Betsy; Van Dok, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This report presents first-year impact results from two sites in the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration—San Diego, California and Dayton, Ohio—and implementation findings for those two sites as well as for a third site, Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Only San Diego and Dayton are covered in this Executive Summary.) WASC is an innovative program designed to help low-wage workers advance in the labor market and increase their incomes. It offers services to help workers stay employed, improve their skills, and find higher-paying jobs. It also provides easier access to a range of financial work supports, such as child care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for which workers may be eligible. Finally, a key feature of WASC is that all these services are offered in a single location—the local One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The program was explicitly designed to build the capacity of the workforce development system to serve low-wage workers, and its findings will be of direct relevance to the debate on WIA...

    This report presents first-year impact results from two sites in the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration—San Diego, California and Dayton, Ohio—and implementation findings for those two sites as well as for a third site, Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Only San Diego and Dayton are covered in this Executive Summary.) WASC is an innovative program designed to help low-wage workers advance in the labor market and increase their incomes. It offers services to help workers stay employed, improve their skills, and find higher-paying jobs. It also provides easier access to a range of financial work supports, such as child care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for which workers may be eligible. Finally, a key feature of WASC is that all these services are offered in a single location—the local One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The program was explicitly designed to build the capacity of the workforce development system to serve low-wage workers, and its findings will be of direct relevance to the debate on WIA reauthorization. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Alderson, Desiree Principe; Gennetian, Lisa A. ; Dowsett, Chantelle J. ; Imes, Amy; Huston, Aletha C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    This study examines how welfare and employment policies affect subpopulations of low-income families that have different levels of initial disadvantage. Education, prior earnings, and welfare receipt are used to measure disadvantage. The analysis of data from experiments suggests that employment-based programs have no effects on economic well-being among the least-disadvantaged low-income, single-parent families, but they have positive effects on employment and income for the most-disadvantaged and moderately disadvantaged families. These programs increase school achievement and enrollment in center-based child care of children only in moderately disadvantaged families. The most-disadvantaged families are found to increase use of child care that is not center based. Parents in these families experience depressive symptoms and aggravation. The findings raise questions about how to support families at the lowest end of the economic spectrum. (author abstract)

    This study examines how welfare and employment policies affect subpopulations of low-income families that have different levels of initial disadvantage. Education, prior earnings, and welfare receipt are used to measure disadvantage. The analysis of data from experiments suggests that employment-based programs have no effects on economic well-being among the least-disadvantaged low-income, single-parent families, but they have positive effects on employment and income for the most-disadvantaged and moderately disadvantaged families. These programs increase school achievement and enrollment in center-based child care of children only in moderately disadvantaged families. The most-disadvantaged families are found to increase use of child care that is not center based. Parents in these families experience depressive symptoms and aggravation. The findings raise questions about how to support families at the lowest end of the economic spectrum. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Crosby, Danielle A. ; Huston, Aletha C. ; Lowe, Edward D.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Policymakers have long recognized child care as a key ingredient in low-income parents' employability. We examine the effects of expansions in child care policies that were bundled with a mix of employment-related policies and implemented as part of several random assignment studies on families' child care access and cost. Almost all of these welfare and employment programs increased employment and led to concomitant increases in the use of child care, especially paid child care. Only the programs that also expanded access or affordability of child care consistently increased the use of child care subsidies and reduced out-of-pocket costs to parents, allowing parents to purchase center-based care. With one exception, such programs had small effects on employment-related child care problems, suggesting that broader and more generous targeting of child care assistance may be important for achieving the goal of enhancing the stability of employment among low-income families. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a...

    Policymakers have long recognized child care as a key ingredient in low-income parents' employability. We examine the effects of expansions in child care policies that were bundled with a mix of employment-related policies and implemented as part of several random assignment studies on families' child care access and cost. Almost all of these welfare and employment programs increased employment and led to concomitant increases in the use of child care, especially paid child care. Only the programs that also expanded access or affordability of child care consistently increased the use of child care subsidies and reduced out-of-pocket costs to parents, allowing parents to purchase center-based care. With one exception, such programs had small effects on employment-related child care problems, suggesting that broader and more generous targeting of child care assistance may be important for achieving the goal of enhancing the stability of employment among low-income families. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper published by MDRC.

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