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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: Greenfield, Jennifer C.; Reichman, Nancy; Cole, Paula M.; Galgiani, Hannah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Colorado is poised this year to consider passing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave measure. Despite several unsuccessful attempts in recent years, changes in the state legislature and in voter sentiment point to building momentum in support of the policy. Passing it would make Colorado the seventh state in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, to pass a statewide initiative. Drawing from data about similar programs in other states, this report examines what a comprehensive paid family and medical leave initiative might look like in Colorado. Specifically, we estimate that approximately 5% of eligible workers per year are likely to access leave benefits under the new program, with an average weekly benefit of about $671. To fund the program, workers and private-sector employers will each need to contribute about .34% of wages each year. At this premium rate, the program will be able to fully fund a wage replacement scheme that matches or comes close to matching wages of the lowest earners, with a maximum weekly benefit cap of either $1000 or $1200/week. Overall, the...

    Colorado is poised this year to consider passing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave measure. Despite several unsuccessful attempts in recent years, changes in the state legislature and in voter sentiment point to building momentum in support of the policy. Passing it would make Colorado the seventh state in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia, to pass a statewide initiative. Drawing from data about similar programs in other states, this report examines what a comprehensive paid family and medical leave initiative might look like in Colorado. Specifically, we estimate that approximately 5% of eligible workers per year are likely to access leave benefits under the new program, with an average weekly benefit of about $671. To fund the program, workers and private-sector employers will each need to contribute about .34% of wages each year. At this premium rate, the program will be able to fully fund a wage replacement scheme that matches or comes close to matching wages of the lowest earners, with a maximum weekly benefit cap of either $1000 or $1200/week. Overall, the program seems feasible and is likely to bring a number of important benefits to workers and employers across the state, in exchange for a modest investment in the form of premium contributions. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rothwell, David W. ; Ottusch, Timothy ; Finders, Jennifer K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Children who grow up in income poverty experience increased risks for lifelong hardship. These hardships include low birth weight, increased infant mortality, emotional and behavioral problems, delayed cognitive development, lower academic achievement, and high school dropout, to name a few. The effects of income poverty are intergenerational, such that children in poverty are substantially more likely to be poor as adults. A recent review summarizing the past 50 years of research on this subject, highlights toxic stress and compromised immunity as the most conclusive mechanisms by which low income shapes later outcomes. The consequences of income poverty justify why more research is needed on the nature and extent of childhood poverty and interventions to reduce it. Within the existing literature, the vast majority of child poverty research uses household income as the sole indicator of well-being. Yet, families rely on a range of economic resources beyond income to meet basic needs and support children's development. Reeves and colleagues have recognized that poverty and...

    Children who grow up in income poverty experience increased risks for lifelong hardship. These hardships include low birth weight, increased infant mortality, emotional and behavioral problems, delayed cognitive development, lower academic achievement, and high school dropout, to name a few. The effects of income poverty are intergenerational, such that children in poverty are substantially more likely to be poor as adults. A recent review summarizing the past 50 years of research on this subject, highlights toxic stress and compromised immunity as the most conclusive mechanisms by which low income shapes later outcomes. The consequences of income poverty justify why more research is needed on the nature and extent of childhood poverty and interventions to reduce it. Within the existing literature, the vast majority of child poverty research uses household income as the sole indicator of well-being. Yet, families rely on a range of economic resources beyond income to meet basic needs and support children's development. Reeves and colleagues have recognized that poverty and disadvantage are complex and should be measured with multiple dimensions. Specifically, assets—financial and non-financial—shape family functioning and children's development in ways that are unique and independent from income. We begin by defining assets to include financial capital such as savings and stocks, along with non-financial assets such as real estate holdings, vehicles, etc. We then focus on financial assets as especially important to household finances because they can be easily liquidated to smooth consumption during times of economic hardship. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Morrison, Carly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is...

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is statistically significant at the 10 percent level (which suggests that it is due to the Start Smart intervention rather than random chance), and represents a 9 percent increase in payments made during the first month. Start Smart did not produce statistically significant differences in payments made in the second or third month. (Edited author overview)

  • Individual Author: Blumenthal, Anne; Shanks, Trina R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary...

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary education right before the transition to adulthood. We found that: (1) the vast majority of account-holding families did not make withdrawals from their SEED accounts, (2) recent family communication about the SEED accounts was related to the specificity of a child's post-secondary plans, (3) there were tensions between college aspirations and the concrete steps needed to get there, and (4) families voiced concerns regarding the substantial barriers to post-secondary education. These findings point to both the promises and challenges of CSAs that newly developed programs might want to consider. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Burman, Leonard E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This report analyzes a straightforward mechanism to mitigate middle-class wage stagnation: a wage tax credit of 100 percent of earnings up to a maximum credit of $10,000, called a universal earned income tax credit. The child tax credit would increase from $2,000 to $2,500 and be made fully refundable. A broad-based, value-added tax of 11 percent would finance the new credit. The proposal is highly progressive and would nearly end poverty for families headed by a full-time worker. This report compares the proposal with current law, analyzes its economic effects, compares it to alternative reform options, and considers some complementary policy options. (Author abstract)

    This report analyzes a straightforward mechanism to mitigate middle-class wage stagnation: a wage tax credit of 100 percent of earnings up to a maximum credit of $10,000, called a universal earned income tax credit. The child tax credit would increase from $2,000 to $2,500 and be made fully refundable. A broad-based, value-added tax of 11 percent would finance the new credit. The proposal is highly progressive and would nearly end poverty for families headed by a full-time worker. This report compares the proposal with current law, analyzes its economic effects, compares it to alternative reform options, and considers some complementary policy options. (Author abstract)

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