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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: Brown, Elizabeth; Conroy, Kara; Kirby, Gretchen G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

    Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures. The performance measures component of the EMPOWERED study explores how aligned performance measurement might achieve accountability across programs that share similar goals and maximize efficiencies in program management and service coordination.

    This issue brief provides local perspec­tives on challenges and opportunities for aligning performance indicators across a variety of federal programs promoting self-sufficiency. The brief is informed by three in-depth case studies that included discussions with a range of administrators, supervisors, and frontline staff across select programs in the three localities. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Larin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) programs served about 0.5 percent of the approximately 43.5 million SNAP recipients in an average month of fiscal year 2016, according to the most recent USDA data available. These programs are generally designed to help SNAP recipients increase their ability to obtain regular employment through services such as job search and training. Some recipients may be required to participate. According to USDA, about 14 percent of SNAP recipients were subject to work requirements in an average month of fiscal year 2016, while others, such as children and the elderly, were generally exempt from these requirements. States have flexibility in how they design their E&T programs. Over the last several years, states have 1) increasingly moved away from programs that mandate participation, 2) focused on serving able-bodied adults without dependents whose benefits are generally time-limited unless they comply with work...

    Overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) programs served about 0.5 percent of the approximately 43.5 million SNAP recipients in an average month of fiscal year 2016, according to the most recent USDA data available. These programs are generally designed to help SNAP recipients increase their ability to obtain regular employment through services such as job search and training. Some recipients may be required to participate. According to USDA, about 14 percent of SNAP recipients were subject to work requirements in an average month of fiscal year 2016, while others, such as children and the elderly, were generally exempt from these requirements. States have flexibility in how they design their E&T programs. Over the last several years, states have 1) increasingly moved away from programs that mandate participation, 2) focused on serving able-bodied adults without dependents whose benefits are generally time-limited unless they comply with work requirements, and 3) partnered with state and local organizations to deliver services. USDA has taken steps to increase support and oversight of SNAP E&T since 2014, including collecting new data on participant outcomes from states. GAO has ongoing work reviewing SNAP E&T programs, including USDA oversight. USDA and the states partner to address issues that affect program integrity, including improper payments and fraud, and USDA has taken some steps to address challenges in these areas, but issues remain. 

    • Improper Payments. In 2016, GAO reviewed SNAP improper payment rates and found that states’ adoption of program flexibilities and changes in federal SNAP policy in the previous decade, as well as improper payment rate calculation methods, likely affected these rates. Although USDA reported improper payment estimates for SNAP in previous years, USDA did not report an estimate for benefits paid in fiscal years 2015 or 2016 due to data quality issues in some states. USDA has since been working with the states to improve improper payment estimates for the fiscal year 2017 review.
    • Recipient Fraud. In 2014, GAO made recommendations to USDA to address challenges states faced in combatting recipient fraud. For example, GAO found that USDA’s guidance on the use of transaction data to uncover potential trafficking lacked specificity and recommended USDA develop additional guidance. Since then, USDA has provided technical assistance to some states, including on the use of data analytics. GAO has ongoing work reviewing states’ use of data analytics to identify SNAP recipient fraud.
    • Retailer Trafficking. In 2006, GAO identified several ways in which SNAP was vulnerable to retailer trafficking—a practice involving the exchange of benefits for cash or non-food items. For example, USDA had not conducted analyses to identify high-risk retailers and target its resources. Since then, USDA has established risk levels for retailers based on various factors. GAO has ongoing work assessing how USDA prevents, detects, and responds to retailer trafficking and reviewing the usefulness of USDA’s estimates of the extent of SNAP retailer trafficking. (Author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Strawn, Julie
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2018

    SNAP E&T and State and local workforce agencies share a common goal of helping low-income individuals gain the skills necessary to qualify for jobs leading to self-sufficiency. A March 2016 joint letter issued by the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) encouraged SNAP and the workforce system to collaborate on shared strategies that connect SNAP participants to employment and training services through American Job Centers (AJCs). In particular, the letter emphasized ways to provide services to Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs). (Author introduction)

    SNAP E&T and State and local workforce agencies share a common goal of helping low-income individuals gain the skills necessary to qualify for jobs leading to self-sufficiency. A March 2016 joint letter issued by the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) encouraged SNAP and the workforce system to collaborate on shared strategies that connect SNAP participants to employment and training services through American Job Centers (AJCs). In particular, the letter emphasized ways to provide services to Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs). (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Wheaton, Laura; Waxman, Elaine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    We examine proposed legislation from the House Committee on Agriculture to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which significantly expands and intensifies work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and implements significant penalties if an individual or a household is not in compliance. Using the Urban Institute’s newly developed ATTIS (Analysis of Taxes, Transfers and Income Security) microsimulation model based on the American Community Survey (ACS) to assess how many individuals and households would likely be affected by the House Committee’s proposal at the national level as well as in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, we find 7.9 million SNAP participants in an average month in 2018 would be subject to new requirements proposed by the bill. Among this group, 5.2 million or 66 percent would not meet the proposed work requirement based on their current work patterns, although some might receive an exemption or live in an area where the requirements are waived. We also find that over a course of...

    We examine proposed legislation from the House Committee on Agriculture to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which significantly expands and intensifies work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and implements significant penalties if an individual or a household is not in compliance. Using the Urban Institute’s newly developed ATTIS (Analysis of Taxes, Transfers and Income Security) microsimulation model based on the American Community Survey (ACS) to assess how many individuals and households would likely be affected by the House Committee’s proposal at the national level as well as in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, we find 7.9 million SNAP participants in an average month in 2018 would be subject to new requirements proposed by the bill. Among this group, 5.2 million or 66 percent would not meet the proposed work requirement based on their current work patterns, although some might receive an exemption or live in an area where the requirements are waived. We also find that over a course of a year, 9.8 million SNAP participants would be subject to, but would not meet, work requirements for at least one month in 2018, but 52 percent of this group would meet the work requirements in at least one other month in the year. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chinavare, Nehemiah; Dospoy, Kevin; Laurie, Chad
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    As Wisconsin implements changes to safety net programs for low-income people, the Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Medicaid Services is evaluating the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program, including whether it improves employment and earnings outcomes and increases self-sufficiency. This report provides an assessment of the services offered in Wisconsin through FSET. It provides DHS with a review of the efficacy of FSET training activities, and an explanation of data sources, outcomes, and measures. The report concludes with short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations to conduct a quality evaluation of FSET – separate monitoring and evaluation data, implement uniform data entry processes, and redesign the database. (Author abstract)

    As Wisconsin implements changes to safety net programs for low-income people, the Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Medicaid Services is evaluating the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program, including whether it improves employment and earnings outcomes and increases self-sufficiency. This report provides an assessment of the services offered in Wisconsin through FSET. It provides DHS with a review of the efficacy of FSET training activities, and an explanation of data sources, outcomes, and measures. The report concludes with short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations to conduct a quality evaluation of FSET – separate monitoring and evaluation data, implement uniform data entry processes, and redesign the database. (Author abstract)

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