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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: Fontaine, Jocelyn; Eisenstat, Josh ; Cramer, Lindsey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening...

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening such relationships for fathers who are incarcerated or were formerly incarcerated. This brief then describes the healthy relationship activities provided by the Fatherhood Reentry programs in detail. A conclusion section includes recommendations intended for practitioners implementing family-focused programming for fathers impacted by incarceration and their partners/coparents based on the experiences of the Fatherhood Reentry projects. (Author introduction) 

  • Individual Author: Rossin-Slater, Maya
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    With nearly half of US births occurring out of wedlock, understanding how parents navigate their relationship options is important. This paper examines the consequences of a large exogenous change to parental relationship contract options on parental behavior and child well-being. Identification comes from the staggered timing of state reforms that substantially lowered the cost of legal paternity establishment. I show that the resulting increases in paternity establishment are partially driven by reductions in parental marriage. Although unmarried fathers become more involved with their children along some dimensions, the net effects on father involvement and child well-being are negative or zero. (Author abstract)

    With nearly half of US births occurring out of wedlock, understanding how parents navigate their relationship options is important. This paper examines the consequences of a large exogenous change to parental relationship contract options on parental behavior and child well-being. Identification comes from the staggered timing of state reforms that substantially lowered the cost of legal paternity establishment. I show that the resulting increases in paternity establishment are partially driven by reductions in parental marriage. Although unmarried fathers become more involved with their children along some dimensions, the net effects on father involvement and child well-being are negative or zero. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mellgren, Linda; McKay, Tasseli; Landwehr, Justin; Bir, Anupa; Helburn, Amy; Lindquist, Christine; Krieger, Kate
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    We examine the effects of an increase in income on the cohabitation and marriage of single mothers. Using data from an experiment that resulted in randomly assigned differences in child support receipt for welfare-receiving single mothers, we find that exogenous income increases (as a result of receiving all child support that was paid) are associated with significantly lower cohabitation rates between mothers and men who are not the fathers of their child(ren). Overall, these results support the hypothesis that additional income increases disadvantaged women's economic independence by reducing the need to be in the least stable type of partnerships. Our results also show the potential importance of distinguishing between biological and social fathers. (author abstract)

    We examine the effects of an increase in income on the cohabitation and marriage of single mothers. Using data from an experiment that resulted in randomly assigned differences in child support receipt for welfare-receiving single mothers, we find that exogenous income increases (as a result of receiving all child support that was paid) are associated with significantly lower cohabitation rates between mothers and men who are not the fathers of their child(ren). Overall, these results support the hypothesis that additional income increases disadvantaged women's economic independence by reducing the need to be in the least stable type of partnerships. Our results also show the potential importance of distinguishing between biological and social fathers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Beard, Allison; Bir, Anupa; Corwin, Elise; Macilvain, Brian; Richburg, Kelly; Lerman, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships, marriages, and child well-being. The evaluation is being conducted by RTI International and The Urban Institute. A component of the CHMI study involved an implementation study on initiatives approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.1 The goals of the initiatives were to improve the child support systems through community engagement and healthy marriage and relationship education programs. Operationally, these goals included direct improvements to the child support program, like increasing the number of child support orders established, increasing paternity establishment, and increasing payment toward support obligations. The broader context for these operational goals was improving child well-being and increasing parental responsibility.

    This is...

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships, marriages, and child well-being. The evaluation is being conducted by RTI International and The Urban Institute. A component of the CHMI study involved an implementation study on initiatives approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.1 The goals of the initiatives were to improve the child support systems through community engagement and healthy marriage and relationship education programs. Operationally, these goals included direct improvements to the child support program, like increasing the number of child support orders established, increasing paternity establishment, and increasing payment toward support obligations. The broader context for these operational goals was improving child well-being and increasing parental responsibility.

    This is the final in a series of reports being produced on the implementation of demonstrations in 14 sites receiving grants under the 1115 waivers. Earlier reports covered the implementation of initiatives in Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Jacksonville, Florida; Lexington, Kentucky; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nampa, Idaho; and New Orleans, Louisiana. This report focuses on the initiatives in Marion County, Indiana; Clark County, Ohio; Lakewood, Washington; and Yakima, Washington. The goal of the implementation studies was to describe the nature of the community initiatives, including recruitment and outreach strategies, targeting efforts, and innovative approaches for linking child support with healthy relationship and marriage support activities. This report examines key aspects of the initiatives’ community partnerships, design and implementation of service delivery, and links with child support. It does not present estimates of program impacts or effectiveness. The report is based on site visits conducted in 2010, 3 to 5 years after the initiatives were initially approved as well as information provided over the course of operations by grantees. Because these visits took place when the initiatives were ongoing, this report is not a complete accounting of what the initiatives accomplished or how many people they served over the course of their waivers. (author abstract)

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