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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: Rangarajan, Anu
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet...

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet the new demands of the workplace. In addition, welfare mothers often have to deal with new income reporting and accounting rules to continue to receive welfare and other benefits, including transitional child care and transitional Medicaid. Many welfare recipients also find low-paying entry-level positions in occupations with irregular hours or shifts that change to accommodate fluctuating workloads. These circumstances complicate child care and budgeting challenges. Compounding these new demands, many welfare recipients have little in the way of a social support network to help them weather some of the crises that affect their ability to hold a job. In fact, many welfare recipients report that friends and families undermine their efforts to attain self-sufficiency through work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lein, Laura; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Welfare mothers are popularly viewed as passively dependent on their checks and averse to work. Reformers across the political spectrum advocate moving these women off the welfare rolls and into the labor force as the solution to their problems. Making Ends Meet offers dramatic evidence toward a different conclusion: In the present labor market, unskilled single mothers who hold jobs are frequently worse off than those on welfare, and neither welfare nor low-wage employment alone will support a family at subsistence levels. Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein interviewed nearly four hundred welfare and low-income single mothers from cities in Massachusetts, Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina over a six year period. They learned the reality of these mothers' struggles to provide for their families: where their money comes from, what they spend it on, how they cope with their children's needs, and what hardships they suffer. Edin and Lein's careful budgetary analyses reveal that even a full range of welfare benefits—AFDC payments, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies—typically...

    Welfare mothers are popularly viewed as passively dependent on their checks and averse to work. Reformers across the political spectrum advocate moving these women off the welfare rolls and into the labor force as the solution to their problems. Making Ends Meet offers dramatic evidence toward a different conclusion: In the present labor market, unskilled single mothers who hold jobs are frequently worse off than those on welfare, and neither welfare nor low-wage employment alone will support a family at subsistence levels. Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein interviewed nearly four hundred welfare and low-income single mothers from cities in Massachusetts, Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina over a six year period. They learned the reality of these mothers' struggles to provide for their families: where their money comes from, what they spend it on, how they cope with their children's needs, and what hardships they suffer. Edin and Lein's careful budgetary analyses reveal that even a full range of welfare benefits—AFDC payments, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies—typically meet only three-fifths of a family's needs, and that funds for adequate food, clothing and other necessities are often lacking. Leaving welfare for work offers little hope for improvement, and in many cases threatens even greater hardship. Jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled women provide meager salaries, irregular or uncertain hours, frequent layoffs, and no promise of advancement. Mothers who work not only assume extra child care, medical, and transportation expenses but are also deprived of many of the housing and educational subsidies available to those on welfare. Regardless of whether they are on welfare or employed, virtually all these single mothers need to supplement their income with menial, off-the-books work and intermittent contributions from family, live-in boyfriends, their children's fathers, and local charities. In doing so, they pay a heavy price. Welfare mothers must work covertly to avoid losing benefits, while working mothers are forced to sacrifice even more time with their children. (author abstract) 

     

  • Individual Author: Rangarajan, Anu; Novak, Tim
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The PESD evaluation had three main objectives: (1) to better understand and characterize the experiences of individuals after they become employed and to examine the factors contributing to job loss or job stability, (2) to examine the feasibility of providing services to newly employed welfare recipients and to study issues related to service delivery, and (3) to determine whether postemployment services can help individuals keep their jobs longer or regain employment more quickly after job loss. This report focuses on the third objective and provides an update of our initial findings of the programs’ effectiveness in promoting employment and reducing welfare dependency. In particular, this report examines the effectiveness of the PESD programs in increasing employment and reducing welfare dependency over a two-year period, using administrative records data on program enrollees. (author abstract)

    The PESD evaluation had three main objectives: (1) to better understand and characterize the experiences of individuals after they become employed and to examine the factors contributing to job loss or job stability, (2) to examine the feasibility of providing services to newly employed welfare recipients and to study issues related to service delivery, and (3) to determine whether postemployment services can help individuals keep their jobs longer or regain employment more quickly after job loss. This report focuses on the third objective and provides an update of our initial findings of the programs’ effectiveness in promoting employment and reducing welfare dependency. In particular, this report examines the effectiveness of the PESD programs in increasing employment and reducing welfare dependency over a two-year period, using administrative records data on program enrollees. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moffitt, Robert ; Roff, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Women who have left TANF in three cities--Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio--have an average employment rate of 63 percent after leaving welfare, a rate similar to those found in studies of welfare leavers in many other states. But this average obscures a large amount of variation across different groups of women, some of which have done much better than average and some of whom have done much worse. Women with lower levels of education, with younger children, who are in poor health, and who are themselves young have considerably lower employment rates and postwelfare income levels than women with greater levels of education, better health status, with older children, and who are older. Outcomes also differ among those leavers with a longer history of welfare dependence, a group not examined in other studies. The employment and, especially, income outcomes among these leavers are considerably worse than the average. Leavers who have been sanctioned also do much worse after leaving the rolls than those not sanctioned. These large differences in outcomes for former welfare...

    Women who have left TANF in three cities--Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio--have an average employment rate of 63 percent after leaving welfare, a rate similar to those found in studies of welfare leavers in many other states. But this average obscures a large amount of variation across different groups of women, some of which have done much better than average and some of whom have done much worse. Women with lower levels of education, with younger children, who are in poor health, and who are themselves young have considerably lower employment rates and postwelfare income levels than women with greater levels of education, better health status, with older children, and who are older. Outcomes also differ among those leavers with a longer history of welfare dependence, a group not examined in other studies. The employment and, especially, income outcomes among these leavers are considerably worse than the average. Leavers who have been sanctioned also do much worse after leaving the rolls than those not sanctioned. These large differences in outcomes for former welfare recipients should be examined by policy-makers when they consider reforms to assist those who have difficulty attaining self-sufficiency off the welfare rolls. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Pavetti, LaDonna; Derr, Michelle; Anderson, Jacquelyn; Trippe, Carole; Paschal, Sidnee
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or...

    Although it is perceived that many welfare offices are using intermediaries to link welfare recipients with jobs, very little is known about how widely they are used, who these intermediaries are, how they operate or the issues they face in linking welfare recipients with jobs.  To better understand the characteristics of intermediary organizations and their role in current welfare reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) to conduct the exploratory research documented in this report.  This research has four purposes:

    1. To describe the characteristics of intermediaries
    2. To describe the key decisions local welfare offices have made regarding the use of intermediaries
    3. To provide in-depth information on the types of services intermediaries provide, the process they use to link welfare recipients with employers and the challenges they face
    4. To identify lessons that can benefit policymakers and other or newly emerging intermediaries and assess the implications of the findings for future research on welfare employment efforts

    The devolution of responsibility from the federal government to the states for developing and implementing assistance policies for needy families has spawned a broad range of approaches to transforming the welfare system into a work-based assistance system.  To capture the way intermediaries function in these diverse policy environments, information for this study was gathered through site visits to 20 sites, one urban and one rural in each of ten states.  Sites were selected to provide broad regional representation; a mix of large, medium, and small TANF caseloads; different approaches to moving welfare recipients into employment; and a diversity of administrative and service delivery structures.  Site visits were conducted between April and August 1999 by researchers from MPR and our subcontractor, the National Alliance of Businesses (NAB). (author abstract)

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