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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: Caragata, Lea; Hutchinson, Susan; Marcus, Myra; McPhee, Debra M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    The following paper provides an analysis of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the specific impact of this legislation on poor women and children. It is argued that the current political/policy climate demands that helping professionals need to rethink their intervention methods in working with poor women. Proposed is an innovative response to the needs of this constituency which utilizes Freire's (1971) theories of popular education and “conscientization” as a model. The proposed model is founded on the belief that in order to achieve lasting change and real self-sufficiency women welfare recipients will need to begin to recognize themselves as political beings with the potential for exercising both individual and collective power. Moreover, it is argued that social workers and other frontline professionals have a critical role to play in the promotion of social justice, and social action on behalf of the poor clients they serve. (author abstract)

    The following paper provides an analysis of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) and the specific impact of this legislation on poor women and children. It is argued that the current political/policy climate demands that helping professionals need to rethink their intervention methods in working with poor women. Proposed is an innovative response to the needs of this constituency which utilizes Freire's (1971) theories of popular education and “conscientization” as a model. The proposed model is founded on the belief that in order to achieve lasting change and real self-sufficiency women welfare recipients will need to begin to recognize themselves as political beings with the potential for exercising both individual and collective power. Moreover, it is argued that social workers and other frontline professionals have a critical role to play in the promotion of social justice, and social action on behalf of the poor clients they serve. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Siegel, David. I.; Abbott, Ann
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    This study investigates a random sample of people who left welfare and a similar sample who returned to welfare in a mid-Atlantic state in 2002. Findings show that child-care difficulties are important barriers to employment and that they are bound together with other conditions of poverty such as adverse neighborhood conditions and other deprivations. Child care provision becomes difficult when neighborhoods are infested with drugs or guns or when caregivers must spend too much time finding the means to pay bills or rent and put food on the table. For the poorest groups, all these conditions negatively impact quality of life. The study's findings suggest social policy revisions that emphasize programs to improve the children's neighborhood environment and means of socialization, supplement caregivers' income to levels sufficient to pay for child care, and remove inadequacies or inconsistencies in government child care provision. (Author abstract)

    This study investigates a random sample of people who left welfare and a similar sample who returned to welfare in a mid-Atlantic state in 2002. Findings show that child-care difficulties are important barriers to employment and that they are bound together with other conditions of poverty such as adverse neighborhood conditions and other deprivations. Child care provision becomes difficult when neighborhoods are infested with drugs or guns or when caregivers must spend too much time finding the means to pay bills or rent and put food on the table. For the poorest groups, all these conditions negatively impact quality of life. The study's findings suggest social policy revisions that emphasize programs to improve the children's neighborhood environment and means of socialization, supplement caregivers' income to levels sufficient to pay for child care, and remove inadequacies or inconsistencies in government child care provision. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: O'Leary, Christopher J.; Kline, Kenneth J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) established Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in 1996 as the main federally funded program for cash assistance to needy families. Since that time, the number of benefit recipients has declined dramatically. While many TANF recipients left for employment, a substantial proportion experienced subsequent joblessness within the first few years following their exits. Using program administrative data, this study examines the role of regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in maintaining self-sufficiency for TANF leavers who experience subsequent job loss.

    To receive UI, both monetary and non-monetary requirements must be met. Eligibility for UI benefits requires that claimants have adequate recent employment and earnings, and involuntary job separations not due to things like poor job performance or misconduct. Furthermore, UI beneficiaries must be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work.

    Among TANF recipients who left the program for employment, this study...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) established Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in 1996 as the main federally funded program for cash assistance to needy families. Since that time, the number of benefit recipients has declined dramatically. While many TANF recipients left for employment, a substantial proportion experienced subsequent joblessness within the first few years following their exits. Using program administrative data, this study examines the role of regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in maintaining self-sufficiency for TANF leavers who experience subsequent job loss.

    To receive UI, both monetary and non-monetary requirements must be met. Eligibility for UI benefits requires that claimants have adequate recent employment and earnings, and involuntary job separations not due to things like poor job performance or misconduct. Furthermore, UI beneficiaries must be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work.

    Among TANF recipients who left the program for employment, this study examines subsequent joblessness, application for UI benefits, eligibility for UI benefits, and rates of UI benefit receipt. The levels of TANF and UI income support are compared, and the rate of return to TANF is contrasted between UI beneficiaries, non-applicants, and ineligible applicants. Findings are compared to results from earlier studies measuring UI eligibility and receipt among those who left social assistance programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brock, Thomas; Coulton, Claudia; London, Andrew; Polit, Denise; Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Scott, Ellen; Verma, Nandita; Kwakye, Isaac; Martin, Vanessa; Polyne, Judy C.; Seith, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This report - one of a series from MDRC's Project on Devolution and Urban Change - examines how welfare reform unfolded in Ohio's largest city and county: Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County. Ohio's TANF program features one of the country's shortest time limits (36 months) and has a strong emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment. This study uses field research, surveys and interviews of current and former welfare recipients, state and county welfare and employment records, and indicators of social and economic trends to assess TANF's implementation and effects. Because of the strong economy and ample funding for services in the late 1990s, it captures welfare reform in the best of times, while also focusing on the poorest families and neighborhoods...

    The study's findings counter the notion that welfare reform would lead to service retrenchment and a worsening of conditions for families and neighborhoods. To the contrary, there were many improvements in Cleveland - though the favorable economy played a major role, and time limits had just been implemented when the...

    This report - one of a series from MDRC's Project on Devolution and Urban Change - examines how welfare reform unfolded in Ohio's largest city and county: Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County. Ohio's TANF program features one of the country's shortest time limits (36 months) and has a strong emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment. This study uses field research, surveys and interviews of current and former welfare recipients, state and county welfare and employment records, and indicators of social and economic trends to assess TANF's implementation and effects. Because of the strong economy and ample funding for services in the late 1990s, it captures welfare reform in the best of times, while also focusing on the poorest families and neighborhoods...

    The study's findings counter the notion that welfare reform would lead to service retrenchment and a worsening of conditions for families and neighborhoods. To the contrary, there were many improvements in Cleveland - though the favorable economy played a major role, and time limits had just been implemented when the study ended. Further study is needed to determine the long-term effects of time limits and how welfare reform will fare under less auspicious conditions. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Dethlefs, William W.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2002

    In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 was passed. This act replaced AFDC with TANF, imposed lifetime limits on continued eligibility, and required employment for all participants. Despite the high profile of welfare-to-work, direct employer involvement and outreach was overlooked in this legislation. This exclusion continued a deleterious effect on the low job tenure (less than six months) of former welfare recipients, which is about one-tenth that of the overall population of working women in the United States.

    This research was initiated to investigate the various occupational welfare roles that employers have in prolonging job tenure of former welfare recipients. Organizational socialization theory provided the framework for the research. It includes the pre-entry phase , where job preparation and pre-employment training are addressed. It also includes the encounter phase , a period encompassing the first six months of employment, when the employer first offers fringe benefits.

    Using 1998 employment...

    In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 was passed. This act replaced AFDC with TANF, imposed lifetime limits on continued eligibility, and required employment for all participants. Despite the high profile of welfare-to-work, direct employer involvement and outreach was overlooked in this legislation. This exclusion continued a deleterious effect on the low job tenure (less than six months) of former welfare recipients, which is about one-tenth that of the overall population of working women in the United States.

    This research was initiated to investigate the various occupational welfare roles that employers have in prolonging job tenure of former welfare recipients. Organizational socialization theory provided the framework for the research. It includes the pre-entry phase , where job preparation and pre-employment training are addressed. It also includes the encounter phase , a period encompassing the first six months of employment, when the employer first offers fringe benefits.

    Using 1998 employment data from the 1979-1998 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, access to fringe benefits, among other variables, were analyzed for their effect on job tenure using a post-welfare sample and a comparative sample of women without a welfare history. The findings suggest access to employer provided fringe benefits does prolong job tenure, particularly through the availability of health and life insurance, retirement, and parental leave. Of non-employment variables, education had the greatest effect on job tenure. These data suggest higher levels of educational attainment have a significant and causal relationship with longer job tenure.

    As a means of ensuring welfare reform's success and in light of lifetime limits on welfare eligibility, several recommendations are made based on this research. Employer partnerships should be encouraged with all state and local governments. The private sector, particularly the small employer, employs the majority of former welfare recipients; as such they too stand to gain significantly from such a relationship. Provision of pre-employment training and post-high school education should also be supported. Together these strategies can contribute to an overall increase in wage levels, fringe benefit availability, job security, and permanent, instead of serial employment, for former welfare recipients. (author abstract)

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