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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: Bloom, Dan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Dan Bloom of MDRC examines policies and programs designed to help high school dropouts improve their educational attainment and labor market outcomes. So called “second-chance” programs, he says, have long provided some combination of education, training, employment, counseling, and social services. But the research record on their effectiveness is fairly thin, he says, and the results are mixed.

    Bloom describes eleven employment- or education-focused programs serving high school dropouts that have been rigorously evaluated over the past thirty years. Some relied heavily on paid work experience, while others focused more on job training or education. Some programs, especially those that offered paid work opportunities, generated significant increases in employment or earnings in the short term, but none of the studies that followed participants for more than a couple of years found lasting improvements in economic outcomes. Nevertheless, the findings provide an important foundation on which to build.

    Because of the high individual and social costs of ignoring high...

    Dan Bloom of MDRC examines policies and programs designed to help high school dropouts improve their educational attainment and labor market outcomes. So called “second-chance” programs, he says, have long provided some combination of education, training, employment, counseling, and social services. But the research record on their effectiveness is fairly thin, he says, and the results are mixed.

    Bloom describes eleven employment- or education-focused programs serving high school dropouts that have been rigorously evaluated over the past thirty years. Some relied heavily on paid work experience, while others focused more on job training or education. Some programs, especially those that offered paid work opportunities, generated significant increases in employment or earnings in the short term, but none of the studies that followed participants for more than a couple of years found lasting improvements in economic outcomes. Nevertheless, the findings provide an important foundation on which to build.

    Because of the high individual and social costs of ignoring high school dropouts, the argument for investing more public funds in services, systems, and research for these young people is strong. The paucity of conclusive evidence, however, makes it hard to know how to direct resources and magnifies the importance of ensuring that all new initiatives provide for rigorous evaluation of their impacts.

    Bloom concludes with recommendations for policy and research aimed at building on current efforts to expand and improve effective programs for dropouts while simultaneously developing and testing new approaches that might be more effective and strengthening local systems to support vulnerable young people. He stresses the importance of identifying and disseminating strategies to engage young people who are more seriously disconnected and unlikely to join programs. A recurring theme is that providing young people with opportunities for paid work may be useful both as an engagement tool and as a strategy for improving long-term labor market outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sommer, Teresa Eckrich; Sabol, Terri; Smith, Tara; Dow, Steven; Barczak, Monica; Chase-Lansdale, P. Lindsay; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu; King, Christopher T.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book, Report
    Year: 2015

    Two-generation programs - which provide workforce development, skills training, and social capital development to parents while their children attend quality early childhood education programs - are a promising anti-poverty strategy and are gaining interest across the country. Early childhood education programs, like Head Start and Early Head Start, are central resources for improving the life opportunities of low-income children. Yet, few early learning centers explicitly target parents for postsecondary education and career training, despite the fact that increased parental education and family income are associated with better outcomes for children. The Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Oklahoma (CAP Tulsa) is at the forefront of innovation, implementation, and evaluation of two-generation programming. CAP Tulsa is a large, comprehensive antipoverty agency that focuses on early childhood education and economic security for families; it also serves as the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for Tulsa County. It is one of the only fully operational, two-generation...

    Two-generation programs - which provide workforce development, skills training, and social capital development to parents while their children attend quality early childhood education programs - are a promising anti-poverty strategy and are gaining interest across the country. Early childhood education programs, like Head Start and Early Head Start, are central resources for improving the life opportunities of low-income children. Yet, few early learning centers explicitly target parents for postsecondary education and career training, despite the fact that increased parental education and family income are associated with better outcomes for children. The Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Oklahoma (CAP Tulsa) is at the forefront of innovation, implementation, and evaluation of two-generation programming. CAP Tulsa is a large, comprehensive antipoverty agency that focuses on early childhood education and economic security for families; it also serves as the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for Tulsa County. It is one of the only fully operational, two-generation human capital programs that combine early childhood education services with stackable career training for parents. In 2010, CAP Tulsa was the recipient of a large federal award from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to bring its novel two-generation program to scale. (Excerpt from author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Fein, David J.; Beecroft, Eric; Long, David A.; Catalfamo, Andrée Rose
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    In August 1999, Riverside Community College (RCC), in Riverside County, California, launched an innovative program designed to prepare welfare recipients for college and help them move to better jobs. Set on a community college campus, New Visions provides a 24-week program of academic instruction and support services, followed by up to five months of credit-bearing course work in an occupational mini-program. In order to be eligible, clients must have a high school diploma or GED and be working at least 20 hours a week. The program is a partnership between RCC and the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (RCDPSS).

    Abt Associates Inc.’s five-year evaluation of New Visions is the first random assignment study of the effectiveness of a special college program for welfare recipients. The evaluation, which also includes a study of program implementation, will answer several important questions. The first is whether offering intensive supports encourages single parents on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to return to school after they have gone to...

    In August 1999, Riverside Community College (RCC), in Riverside County, California, launched an innovative program designed to prepare welfare recipients for college and help them move to better jobs. Set on a community college campus, New Visions provides a 24-week program of academic instruction and support services, followed by up to five months of credit-bearing course work in an occupational mini-program. In order to be eligible, clients must have a high school diploma or GED and be working at least 20 hours a week. The program is a partnership between RCC and the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (RCDPSS).

    Abt Associates Inc.’s five-year evaluation of New Visions is the first random assignment study of the effectiveness of a special college program for welfare recipients. The evaluation, which also includes a study of program implementation, will answer several important questions. The first is whether offering intensive supports encourages single parents on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to return to school after they have gone to work. The second is whether making work a condition of education and training increases motivation to learn and enhances short-run job retention and advancement opportunities. The third is whether providing remedial education and support services helps participants to succeed in regular college programs, thereby increasing their access to higher-paying jobs over the long run…

    This report reviews the literature on special programs for welfare recipients at two- and four-year colleges, describes the New Visions demonstration, and provides initial findings on program implementation and client experiences. The findings come at a very early juncture in the demonstration and are offered as an introduction to New Visions rather than as a preview of its likely outcomes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Berger, Lawrence M. (ed.); Cancian, Maria (ed.); Magnuson, Katherine (ed.)
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2018

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty...

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty from a variety of perspectives. Some of these proposals are more of a departure from existing policies than others, some borrow from other countries or revive old ideas, some are narrow in focus and others much broader, but all seek to move anti-poverty efforts into new territory. (Author abstract) 

    Contents:

    Introduction

    Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations: New Proposals for Addressing Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Berger, Maria Cancian, and Katherine Magnuson

    Part I. Employment, Education, and Family Planning

    Coupling a Federal Minimum Wage Hike with Public Investments to Make Work Pay and Reduce Poverty

    Jennifer Romich and Heather Hill

    A Path to Ending Poverty by Way of Ending Unemployment: A Federal Job Guarantee

    Mark Paul, William Darity Jr., Darrick Hamilton, and Khaing Zaw

    Working to Reduce Poverty: A National Subsidized Employment Proposal

    Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Kali Grant, Julie Kerksick, Dan Bloom, and Ajay Chaudry 

    A "Race to the Top" in Public Higher Education to Improve Education and Employment Among the Poor

    Harry Holzer

    Postsecondary Pathways out of Poverty: City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and the Case for National Policy

    Diana Strumbos, Donna Linderman, and Carson Hicks

    A Two-Generation Human Capital Approach to Anti-poverty Policy

    Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Terri Sabol, Elise Chor, William Schneider, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Mario Small, Christopher King, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa

    Could We Level the Playing Field? Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Nonmarital Fertility, and Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Wu and Nicholas Mark

    Assessing the Potential Impacts of Innovative New Policy Proposals on Poverty in the United States

    Christopher Wimer, Sophie Collyer, and Sara Kimberlin

  • Individual Author: Bauman, Kevin; Christensen, Cody
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    To address these labor market challenges, many have turned to America’s workforce development system. Recent efforts from Congress and the White House confirm that policymakers are serious about expanding job-training opportunities. But even with the heightened focus, a shockingly small percentage of individuals leveraging the workforce system combine available Department of Labor training funds with money from other federal and state programs—despite that many more might qualify for additional aid. Incongruent bureaucratic processes commonly inhibit the effectiveness of workforce training, and policy requirements are not clearly communicated to training seekers, financial aid administrators, and private entities. If the goal is to increase the number of job seekers that participate in high-quality training programs, more can be done to improve the coordination between the Department of Labor and these groups. This report offers recommendations for enhancing the federal workforce development system by reviewing and identifying inefficiencies in the current system. It concludes by...

    To address these labor market challenges, many have turned to America’s workforce development system. Recent efforts from Congress and the White House confirm that policymakers are serious about expanding job-training opportunities. But even with the heightened focus, a shockingly small percentage of individuals leveraging the workforce system combine available Department of Labor training funds with money from other federal and state programs—despite that many more might qualify for additional aid. Incongruent bureaucratic processes commonly inhibit the effectiveness of workforce training, and policy requirements are not clearly communicated to training seekers, financial aid administrators, and private entities. If the goal is to increase the number of job seekers that participate in high-quality training programs, more can be done to improve the coordination between the Department of Labor and these groups. This report offers recommendations for enhancing the federal workforce development system by reviewing and identifying inefficiencies in the current system. It concludes by forwarding several policy suggestions aimed at improving the way that Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding is used by job seekers and training providers. (Excerpt from author introduction) 

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