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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: Schumacher, Rachel; Greenberg, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    In light of significant welfare caseload declines since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, many questions have been raised about the circumstances of families and children no longer receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. In response to these questions, a number of states have initiated what have come to be known as "leaver" studies, examining the situations of families whose welfare cases have been closed. Initial study results found that a majority of survey respondents who had left welfare were now working, typically for more than thirty hours a week, and typically in jobs with wages below the poverty line. A number of the leaver studies also seek information concerning the child care arrangements or use of child care subsidies by families leaving welfare. This paper describes key findings from a review of data relevant to child care gathered through surveys of families who have left welfare. (author abstract)

    In light of significant welfare caseload declines since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, many questions have been raised about the circumstances of families and children no longer receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. In response to these questions, a number of states have initiated what have come to be known as "leaver" studies, examining the situations of families whose welfare cases have been closed. Initial study results found that a majority of survey respondents who had left welfare were now working, typically for more than thirty hours a week, and typically in jobs with wages below the poverty line. A number of the leaver studies also seek information concerning the child care arrangements or use of child care subsidies by families leaving welfare. This paper describes key findings from a review of data relevant to child care gathered through surveys of families who have left welfare. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Born, Catherine; Charlesworth, Leanne; West, Allison
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This study originated in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' solicitation for research projects that would provide early information on TANF program implementation. Among other goals, the study proposed to document customer pathways and assessment practices in Maryland's 24 local jurisdictions. In order to inform our understanding of assessment issues in the human services in general, we reviewed the current literature on this topic. During this review, we paid particular attention to discussions of assessment within the welfare-to-work context. The purpose of this monograph is to share the information we gained through this literature review.

    In this monograph, we describe definitions and functions of assessment in general as well as assessment issues specific to the welfare context. We focus on issues of particular relevance to assessment in the welfare-to-work environment and decisions that must be made by those designing and implementing assessment approaches. Also, because several agency characteristics are closely linked to assessment...

    This study originated in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' solicitation for research projects that would provide early information on TANF program implementation. Among other goals, the study proposed to document customer pathways and assessment practices in Maryland's 24 local jurisdictions. In order to inform our understanding of assessment issues in the human services in general, we reviewed the current literature on this topic. During this review, we paid particular attention to discussions of assessment within the welfare-to-work context. The purpose of this monograph is to share the information we gained through this literature review.

    In this monograph, we describe definitions and functions of assessment in general as well as assessment issues specific to the welfare context. We focus on issues of particular relevance to assessment in the welfare-to-work environment and decisions that must be made by those designing and implementing assessment approaches. Also, because several agency characteristics are closely linked to assessment practices, brief discussion of such characteristics is also included. Finally, we conclude by considering current assessment challenges facing localities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: O'Leary, Christopher J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This paper reviews the literature on evaluation of government operated programs to provide temporary income support and to promote reemployment for unemployed job seekers. The paper is a synopsis of the international literature spanning various evaluation techniques. The main aim is to identify the best methodology for measuring and monitoring net impacts of Employment Benefits and Support Measures (EBSMs) in Canada. Sections of the review are organized around the sources of literature. The first source is the academic literature, which provides a theoretical overview of alternative approaches to measuring and monitoring program impacts. The issue of how an ideal net impact monitoring system should work is also explored. The next source of literature is Canadian and foreign government reports. The literature review provides a context to assess the Canadian experience and future directions. The Upjohn Institute team has a high degree of foreign experience on similar topics. This was an asset in preparing the literature review since the government and other non-academic literature...

    This paper reviews the literature on evaluation of government operated programs to provide temporary income support and to promote reemployment for unemployed job seekers. The paper is a synopsis of the international literature spanning various evaluation techniques. The main aim is to identify the best methodology for measuring and monitoring net impacts of Employment Benefits and Support Measures (EBSMs) in Canada. Sections of the review are organized around the sources of literature. The first source is the academic literature, which provides a theoretical overview of alternative approaches to measuring and monitoring program impacts. The issue of how an ideal net impact monitoring system should work is also explored. The next source of literature is Canadian and foreign government reports. The literature review provides a context to assess the Canadian experience and future directions. The Upjohn Institute team has a high degree of foreign experience on similar topics. This was an asset in preparing the literature review since the government and other non-academic literature is typically difficult to obtain by the normal channels. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Committee for Economic Development Research and Policy Committee
    Reference Type: Report, White Papers
    Year: 2000

    The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 fundamentally changed the welfare system in America. The emphasis shifted from supporting low-income people who do not work to helping low-income people work to support themselves. This report examines the record of welfare reform in the wider context of the low-skill labor market. It asks how former welfare recipients have fared in finding employment, reducing dependency, and raising incomes. Recommendations are made for completing and improving the program for moving individuals from welfare to work. (author abstract)

    The signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 fundamentally changed the welfare system in America. The emphasis shifted from supporting low-income people who do not work to helping low-income people work to support themselves. This report examines the record of welfare reform in the wider context of the low-skill labor market. It asks how former welfare recipients have fared in finding employment, reducing dependency, and raising incomes. Recommendations are made for completing and improving the program for moving individuals from welfare to work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kaye, Kelleen; Nightingale, Demetra Smith
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Increased emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment as a result of welfare reform has raised questions about the labor market facing low-wage workers. What are the characteristics of this market (as opposed to the labor market as a whole)? Will it be able to absorb the welfare leavers? How is it affected by changes in the larger economy? What opportunities do low-wage workers have for advancement once they enter the labor market?

    To help policy makers answer these questions, nine papers by experts in labor market analysis were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, to review current literature on the low-wage market and highlight policy implications that flow from the review. (The Data Appendix provides a statistical portrait of the labor market as a whole and the characteristics of low-wage workers.)

    The important role of the low-wage labor market as welfare recipients and other economically disadvantaged persons move into employment is clear from the evidence...

    Increased emphasis on moving welfare recipients into employment as a result of welfare reform has raised questions about the labor market facing low-wage workers. What are the characteristics of this market (as opposed to the labor market as a whole)? Will it be able to absorb the welfare leavers? How is it affected by changes in the larger economy? What opportunities do low-wage workers have for advancement once they enter the labor market?

    To help policy makers answer these questions, nine papers by experts in labor market analysis were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, to review current literature on the low-wage market and highlight policy implications that flow from the review. (The Data Appendix provides a statistical portrait of the labor market as a whole and the characteristics of low-wage workers.)

    The important role of the low-wage labor market as welfare recipients and other economically disadvantaged persons move into employment is clear from the evidence marshaled in the review. There is a strong consensus that this labor market will be able to absorb people leaving the rolls, as long as the economy retains its current strength. However, there is often little opportunity for job advancement in this market. Suggestions made by the authors for improving economic opportunity for low-wage workers include ways to increase wages and sustain income directly, improve labor market access and job retention, support occupational mobility and job advancement, and enhance employment security. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    Introduction and Overview/ Kelleen Kaye and Demetra Smith Nightingale

    Section I: What is the Low-Wage Labor Market and Has It Changed Over Time?

    • Defining and Characterizing the Low-Wage Labor Market/ Jared Bernstein and Heidi Hartmann
    • Low-Wage Labor Markets:  The Business Cycle and Regional Differences/ David M. Smith and Stephen A. Woodbury

    Section II:  Policies Affecting the Low-Wage Labor Market

    • Can the Labor Market Absorb Three Million Welfare Recipients?/ Gary Burtless
    • Does the Minimum Wage Help or Hurt Low-Wage Workers?/ Mark D. Turner
    • Job Creation for Low-Wage Workers:  An Assessment of Public Service Jobs, Tax Credits, and Empowerment Zones/ Burt S. Barnow

    Section III:  Barriers to Entering the Low-Wage Labor Market

    • Matching and Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Hiring Perspective/ Harry Holzer
    • Matching and Mismatch in the Low-wage Labor Market:  Job Search Perspective/ Julia R. Henly

    Section IV:  Barriers to Advancement in the Low-Wage Labor Market

    • Work as a Stepping Stone for Low-Skilled Workers:  What is the Evidence?/ Peter Gottschalk
    • The Role of Job Turnover in the Low-Wage Labor Market/ Julia Lane

    APPENDIX:  Statistical Data and Background Information

    • Overall Labor Market
    • Factors Affecting Low-Wage Employment
    • Description of the Working Poor
    • Health Insurance and Other Benefits

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