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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: Jemmott, John B. III; Jemmott, Loretta Sweet; Fong, Geoffrey T.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1998

    Context- African American adolescents are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but which behavioral interventions to reduce risk are most effective and who should conduct them is not known. 

    Objective- To evaluate the effects of abstinence and safer-sex HIV risk-reduction interventions on young inner-city African American adolescents' HIV sexual risk behaviors when implemented by adult facilitators as compared with peer cofacilitators.

    Design- Randomized controlled trial with 3-, 6-, and 12- month follow-up.

    Setting- Three middle schools serving low-income African American communities in Philadelphia, Pa.

    Participants- A total of 659 African American adolescents recruited for a Saturday program.

    Interventions- Based on cognitive-behavioral theories and elicitation research, interventions involved 8 1-hour modules implemented by adult facilitators or peer cofacilitators. Abstinence intervention stressed delaying sexual intercourse or reducing its frequency; safer-sex intervention...

    Context- African American adolescents are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but which behavioral interventions to reduce risk are most effective and who should conduct them is not known. 

    Objective- To evaluate the effects of abstinence and safer-sex HIV risk-reduction interventions on young inner-city African American adolescents' HIV sexual risk behaviors when implemented by adult facilitators as compared with peer cofacilitators.

    Design- Randomized controlled trial with 3-, 6-, and 12- month follow-up.

    Setting- Three middle schools serving low-income African American communities in Philadelphia, Pa.

    Participants- A total of 659 African American adolescents recruited for a Saturday program.

    Interventions- Based on cognitive-behavioral theories and elicitation research, interventions involved 8 1-hour modules implemented by adult facilitators or peer cofacilitators. Abstinence intervention stressed delaying sexual intercourse or reducing its frequency; safer-sex intervention stressed condom use; control intervention concerned health issues unrelated to sexual behavior.

    Main Outcome Measures- Self-reported sexual intercourse, condom use, and unprotected sexual intercourse.

    Results- Mean age of the enrollees was 11.8 years; 53% were female and 92% were still enrolled at 12 months. Abstinence intervention participants were less likely to report having sexual intercourse in the 3 months after intervention than were control group participants (12.5% vs 21.5%, P=.02), but not at 6- or 12-month follow-up (17.2% vs 22.7%, P=.14; 20.0% vs 23.1%, P=.42, respectively). Safer-sex intervention participants reported significantly more consistent condom use than did control group participants at 3 months (odds ration [OR]= 3.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-9.16) and higher frequency of condom use at all follow-ups. Among adolescents who reported sexual experience at baseline, the safer-sex intervention group reported less sexual intercourse in the previous 3 months at 6- and 12-month follow-up than did control and abstinence intervention (adjusted mean days over prior 3 months, 1.34 vs 3.77 and 3.03 respectively; P</= .01 at 12-month follow-up) and less unprotected intercourse at all follow-ups than did control group (adjusted mean days, 0.04 vs 1.85, respectively, P<.001 at 12-month follow-up). There were no differences in intervention effects with adult facilitators as compared with peer cofacilitators. 

    Conclusion- Both abstinence and safer-sex interventions can reduce HIV sexual risk behaviors, but safer-sex interventions may be especially effective with sexually experienced adolescents and may have longer-lasting effects. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holcomb, Pamela A.; Pavetti, LaDonna; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Riedinger, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of...

    In order to encourage and stimulate the cross-fertilization of ideas across states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Urban Institute to document key practices and strategies states have used thus far to make their welfare systems more employment focused, particularly with respect to strategies emphasizing quick entry into the labor market. Six local sites in five states were selected for intensive examination:

    Indiana: Indianapolis (pop. 817,604) and Scottsburg (pop. 22,528)

    Massachusetts: Worcester (pop. 718,858)

    Oregon: Portland (pop. 614,104)

    Virginia: Culpeper (pop. 30,528)

    Wisconsin: Racine (pop. 182,982)

    These states were chosen for in-depth analysis because they exemplify a mix of different strategies to achieve the common goal of increasing employment among welfare recipients. The states vary in terms of the average cash payment they provide recipients—Indiana and Virginia are fairly low grant states while Massachusetts, Oregon and Wisconsin provide relatively high grants.

    In recent years, all of the study states have experienced significant declines in their cash assistance caseloads that are well above the national average, low unemployment and strong economies.

    Work-oriented reforms in place at the time of this study were implemented at different points between 1993 and 1996. Since the passage of PRWORA, Indiana and Wisconsin both implemented new work-oriented reforms while Virginia, Massachusetts, and Oregon have made few changes.

    Thus, while this study captures state experiences at one point in time, it also reflects states at different stages in their own evolution toward a more employment focused welfare system. It is also important to note that this study took place too soon after TANF went into effect to fully capture the implications and impact of the new federal welfare reform law (e.g., progressively steeper participation rate requirements, lifetime limit on benefit receipt). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scrivener, Susan; Hamilton, Gayle; Farrell, Mary; Freedman, Stephen; Friedlander, Daniel; Mitchell, Marisa; Nudelman, Jodi; Schwartz, Christine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    As states and localities transform their welfare­-to-­work programs in response to the federal legislation, the need to learn about programs that have moved substantial numbers of people into work and off welfare increases.  The two ­year findings presented in this report show the Portland, Oregon, welfare-­to­-work program run between early 1993 and mid 1996 to be among the most successful large ­scale mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs studied, producing large increases in employment and earnings and equally large reductions in welfare receipt for a broad cross section of the welfare caseload.  The positive effects remained very strong at the end of the two ­year period studied, and preliminary data suggest they will continue into the third year.

    This report is the latest from an evaluation of mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs in seven sites called the National Evaluation of welfare-­to-­work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation), conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with...

    As states and localities transform their welfare­-to-­work programs in response to the federal legislation, the need to learn about programs that have moved substantial numbers of people into work and off welfare increases.  The two ­year findings presented in this report show the Portland, Oregon, welfare-­to­-work program run between early 1993 and mid 1996 to be among the most successful large ­scale mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs studied, producing large increases in employment and earnings and equally large reductions in welfare receipt for a broad cross section of the welfare caseload.  The positive effects remained very strong at the end of the two ­year period studied, and preliminary data suggest they will continue into the third year.

    This report is the latest from an evaluation of mandatory welfare-­to-­work programs in seven sites called the National Evaluation of welfare-­to-­work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation), conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education.  The report examines the mandatory welfare­-to-­work program run in Portland (Multnomah and Washington counties).  Through the program, Portland provided employment and support services to a broad cross section of the AFDC caseload, including parents with children as young as one year old.  These people were required to participate in program activities or face reductions in their welfare grants.  Although the program studied was designed and implemented prior to the 1996 reform, its overarching goal was similar to that of the new law:  to foster the self­ sufficiency of adult recipients through increased employment and decreased welfare receipt.  (The program that Portland is running under the 1996 welfare reform law includes some key features of the program studied in this report.

    This report describes the implementation, participation patterns, and cost of the Portland program, and presents estimates of the effects of the program on employment, earnings, and welfare receipt during the two years following people’s entry into the program. To determine the effects of Portland’s program, 5,547 single-parent AFDC applicants and recipients aged 21 and over who attended a program orientation between February 1993 and December 1994 were randomly assigned to either a program group, eligible for program services and subject to participation requirements, or a control group, not eligible for services and not subject to participation requirements (although they could participate in other services in the community). Because randomization makes the two groups similar at the start, any differences in average subsequent outcomes (such as two-year earnings) can be confidently attributed to the effects of the program. These differences, known as program impacts, will be discussed later in the summary and are statistically significant unless otherwise noted. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Halpern, Robert
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1998

    How has America's social welfare network benefited families living in poverty? In what ways has it failed to provide for their needs? The system of social welfare in the United States has been in place for most of this century-and although it has had lasting impact on the lives of many people in need, it is far from perfect in its handling of the nation's poor. Fragile Families, Fragile Solutions presents a historical perspective on one of the central components of the U.S. social welfare network-family services-and provides a unique look at the advances this service network has achieved, problems it has confronted, and where it is likely to go in the future.

    Beginning with an exploration of the nineteenth-century roots of family services and the emergence of family casework at the beginning of this century, Halpern ranges through the 1920s and 1930- charting the influence of psychoanalytic theory in social service work and government responses to the Depression. He surveys the following two decades, when policymakers attempted to respond to changing inner-city populations...

    How has America's social welfare network benefited families living in poverty? In what ways has it failed to provide for their needs? The system of social welfare in the United States has been in place for most of this century-and although it has had lasting impact on the lives of many people in need, it is far from perfect in its handling of the nation's poor. Fragile Families, Fragile Solutions presents a historical perspective on one of the central components of the U.S. social welfare network-family services-and provides a unique look at the advances this service network has achieved, problems it has confronted, and where it is likely to go in the future.

    Beginning with an exploration of the nineteenth-century roots of family services and the emergence of family casework at the beginning of this century, Halpern ranges through the 1920s and 1930- charting the influence of psychoanalytic theory in social service work and government responses to the Depression. He surveys the following two decades, when policymakers attempted to respond to changing inner-city populations. An extended section focuses on the 1960- a critical reform period. Covering a wide spectrum of contemporary issues in policy and organization, as well as escalating crises in such areas as child welfare, Halpern brings readers up to date on this complex subject.

    Offering policy recommendations for the future, Halpern inspires social workers and policymakers alike with a symbolic goal of constructing a more positive vision of the potential of social services, and a pragmatic objective of designing an efficient, effective family services network to care for Americans in greatest need of support. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Crouse, Gil; Hauan, Susan; Isaacs, Julia; Lyon, Matt; Silva, Richard
    Year: 1998

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence.  This Annual Report on Welfare Indicators, October 1998 is the second of these annual reports.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration.  Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs.  The amount of time over which a family depends on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependency.  Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition:

    • A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities.  Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are...

    The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence.  This Annual Report on Welfare Indicators, October 1998 is the second of these annual reports.

    Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration.  Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs.  The amount of time over which a family depends on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependency.  Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition:

    • A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities.  Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are dependent on welfare.

    The proposed definition, unfortunately, cannot be measured precisely at this time with currently available data.  Most importantly, current data do not distinguish between cash benefits where work is required and cash benefits that are paid without work.  Thus it was not possible to construct one single indicator of dependence.  Instead this report includes a number of indicators addressing welfare recipiency, dependence, and labor force attachment...

    Since the causes of welfare receipt and dependence are not clearly known, the report also includes a larger set of risk factors associated with welfare receipt.  Indicators of deprivation are included as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation.  The risk factors are loosely organized into three categories:  economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment, and measures of teen behavior, including nonmarital childbearing.  Additional data on welfare programs, poverty, and non-marital births are included in three appendices. (author abstract)

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