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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: Meyers, Marcia K.; Lukemeyer, Anna; Smeeding, Timothy M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This paper addresses issues which arise at the juncture of welfare and disability policies. Using preliminary data from a recent survey of current and recent AFDC recipients in California, we find that disabilities and chronic health problems affect the mothers or children in 43 percent of all households in the AFDC system. The presence of one or more children with disabilities or chronic illnesses is found to have an impact on the economic well-being of families, with increased levels of direct hardship reported by families caring for one or more severely impaired children. Potential causes of higher levels of hardship are examined by considering the impact of direct expenses associated with the care of the child(ren) and reductions in the mother's probability of paid employment. SSI receipt is found to have a modest antipoverty effect for families with special needs children, reducing the prevalence of poverty and extreme poverty for families even after the additional direct costs of caring for these children are considered. (author abstract)

    This paper addresses issues which arise at the juncture of welfare and disability policies. Using preliminary data from a recent survey of current and recent AFDC recipients in California, we find that disabilities and chronic health problems affect the mothers or children in 43 percent of all households in the AFDC system. The presence of one or more children with disabilities or chronic illnesses is found to have an impact on the economic well-being of families, with increased levels of direct hardship reported by families caring for one or more severely impaired children. Potential causes of higher levels of hardship are examined by considering the impact of direct expenses associated with the care of the child(ren) and reductions in the mother's probability of paid employment. SSI receipt is found to have a modest antipoverty effect for families with special needs children, reducing the prevalence of poverty and extreme poverty for families even after the additional direct costs of caring for these children are considered. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stoney, Louise; Greenberg, Mark H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    The United States does not have a single coordinated child care system. Instead, child care and early education involve a complex mix of private and public funding for an array of formal and informal, regulated and unregulated, primarily educational and primarily custodial care arrangements. Public funding may be federal, state, or local and may be in the form of tax relief, vouchers or reimbursements to families, contractual arrangements with providers, or direct provision of services. This article describes the principal sources of public and private funding for child care, highlights some of the key issues resulting from the current fragmented funding approach, and suggests some possible consequences if pending federal legislation restructuring several public funding programs is enacted. (Author introduction)

    The United States does not have a single coordinated child care system. Instead, child care and early education involve a complex mix of private and public funding for an array of formal and informal, regulated and unregulated, primarily educational and primarily custodial care arrangements. Public funding may be federal, state, or local and may be in the form of tax relief, vouchers or reimbursements to families, contractual arrangements with providers, or direct provision of services. This article describes the principal sources of public and private funding for child care, highlights some of the key issues resulting from the current fragmented funding approach, and suggests some possible consequences if pending federal legislation restructuring several public funding programs is enacted. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1996

    A very important contribution to the field of labor economics, and in particular to the understanding of the labor market for workers with relatively low skill levels. I think we have the sense that the market looks bad, but haven't been clear on how bad it is, or how it got that way. What Employers Want provides some of the answers and identifies the important questions. It is essential reading. —Jeffrey S. Zax, University of Colorado at Boulder

    The substantial deterioration in employment and earnings among the nation's less-educated workers, especially minorities and younger males in the nation's big cities, has been tentatively ascribed to a variety of causes: an increase in required job skills, the movement of companies from the cities to the suburbs, and a rising unwillingness to hire minority job seekers. What Employers Want is the first book to replace conjecture about today's job market with first-hand information gleaned from employers about who gets hired. Drawn from a survey of over 3,000 employers in four major metropolitan areas—Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta,...

    A very important contribution to the field of labor economics, and in particular to the understanding of the labor market for workers with relatively low skill levels. I think we have the sense that the market looks bad, but haven't been clear on how bad it is, or how it got that way. What Employers Want provides some of the answers and identifies the important questions. It is essential reading. —Jeffrey S. Zax, University of Colorado at Boulder

    The substantial deterioration in employment and earnings among the nation's less-educated workers, especially minorities and younger males in the nation's big cities, has been tentatively ascribed to a variety of causes: an increase in required job skills, the movement of companies from the cities to the suburbs, and a rising unwillingness to hire minority job seekers. What Employers Want is the first book to replace conjecture about today's job market with first-hand information gleaned from employers about who gets hired. Drawn from a survey of over 3,000 employers in four major metropolitan areas—Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, and Detroit—this volume provides a wealth of data on what jobs are available to the less-educated, in what industries, what skills they require, where they are located, what they pay, and how they are filled.

    The evidence points to a dramatic surge in suburban, white-collar jobs. The manufacturing industry—once a steady employer of blue-collar workers—has been eclipsed by the expanding retail trade and service industries, where the vast majority of jobs are in clerical, managerial, or sales positions. Since manufacturing establishments have been the most likely employers to move from the central cities to the suburbs, the shortage of jobs for low-skill urban workers is particularly acute. In the central cities, the problem is compounded and available jobs remain vacant because employers increasingly require greater cognitive and social skills as well as specific job-related experience. Holzer reveals the extent to which minorities are routinely excluded by employer recruitment and screening practices that rely heavily on testing, informal referrals, and stable work histories. The inaccessible location and discriminatory hiring patterns of suburban employers further limit the hiring of black males in particular, while earnings, especially for minority females, remain low.

    Proponents of welfare reform often assume that stricter work requirements and shorter eligibility periods will effectively channel welfare recipients toward steady employment and off federal subsidies. What Employers Want directly challenges this premise and demonstrates that only concerted efforts to close the gap between urban employers and inner city residents can produce healthy levels of employment in the nation's cities. Professor Holzer outlines the measures that will be necessary—targeted education and training programs, improved transportation and job placement, heightened enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, and aggressive job creation strategies. Repairing urban labor markets will not be easy. This book shows why. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Culhane, Dennis P.; Koblinsky, Sally A.; Wilson, Cynthia P.; Weinreb, Jenni
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1996

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families...

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families. Most require assistance and opportunities in areas at least as comprehensive as the issues that caused their homelessness in the first place. Areas of need include financial planning, substance abuse counseling, further education, parenting classes, mental health counseling, and treatment for chronic illnesses (including HIV/AIDS), among a host of others.
    4. For homeless families to improve their circumstances, their children must be able to remain in school and receive services necessary to address the developmental challenges that are likely to arise as a result of their homelessness. Without addressing the specific needs of homeless children, particularly those needs related to their homelessness, the long-term prospects for a family’s well-being may be greatly compromised. (author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Freedman, Stephen; Friedlander, Daniel; Lin, Winston; Schweder, Amanda
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    The paper summarizes the latest finding on the effectiveness of California’s Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Program, a statewide initiative aimed at increasing the employment and self-sufficiency of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the nation's major case welfare program. GAIN’s effects are estimated for a sample of 33,000 persons from six counties — including single parents (AFDC-FGs) and unemployed heads of two-parent households (AFDC-Us) — who entered the program between early 1988 and mid-1990. Each sample member was then assigned at random to either an experimental group, who were required to participate in GAIN, or to a control group who were precluded from the program but could seek other services in their community. The paper compares average earnings and AFDC payments for each group over a five-year follow-up, beginning with the first quarter after random assignment (i.e., from quarters 2 through 21). Differences in average earnings and AFDC payments for each group represent the effects, or impacts, of GAIN.

    The paper and...

    The paper summarizes the latest finding on the effectiveness of California’s Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Program, a statewide initiative aimed at increasing the employment and self-sufficiency of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the nation's major case welfare program. GAIN’s effects are estimated for a sample of 33,000 persons from six counties — including single parents (AFDC-FGs) and unemployed heads of two-parent households (AFDC-Us) — who entered the program between early 1988 and mid-1990. Each sample member was then assigned at random to either an experimental group, who were required to participate in GAIN, or to a control group who were precluded from the program but could seek other services in their community. The paper compares average earnings and AFDC payments for each group over a five-year follow-up, beginning with the first quarter after random assignment (i.e., from quarters 2 through 21). Differences in average earnings and AFDC payments for each group represent the effects, or impacts, of GAIN.

    The paper and attached tables and graphs add two years of follow-up to the impact results in Riccio, Friedlander, and Freedman (1994). Among the most noteworthy findings of this paper is that earning gains continued through year five for both assistance groups. GAIN also continued to produce savings in AFDC payments, but only for AFDC-FGs. Such persistence in program effects is unusual for a welfare-to-work initiative and represents a significant achievement for the GAIN program. On the other hand, only about 4 in 10 experimental group members in either assistance group worked for pay during the final year of follow-up; and a relatively large percentage (nearly 40 percent of AFDC-FGs and close to half of AFDC-Us) were receiving AFDC payment at the end of year five. These results indicate that future improvements in the program effectiveness will depend in part on success in helping these long-term AFDC recipients find stable employment. (author abstract)

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