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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: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Duncan, Greg J.; Knox, Virginia W.; Vargas, Wanda G.; Clark-Kauffman, Elizabeth; London, Andrew S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    The federal law that overhauled the nation's welfare system in 1996 aimed to break the cycle of poverty through its effects not only on welfare recipients but also on their children. While it was feared that some of the policy changes might harm young children, it was generally believed that older children would benefit from new community norms and the presence of working parents as role models. But analyses from several MDRC studies released in recent years suggest that the new policies did not bring benefits to adolescents. With reauthorization of the 1996 law now under debate, the Next Generation project — an innovative collaboration among MDRC and other leading research institutions — has produced this research synthesis, the first comprehensive and systematic look at how welfare and work policies targeted at low-income parents have influenced their adolescent children. Using meta-analytic techniques, the work integrates survey data collected from parents in eight MDRC studies of 16 different welfare and employment programs, focusing on children aged 12 to 18 when the surveys...

    The federal law that overhauled the nation's welfare system in 1996 aimed to break the cycle of poverty through its effects not only on welfare recipients but also on their children. While it was feared that some of the policy changes might harm young children, it was generally believed that older children would benefit from new community norms and the presence of working parents as role models. But analyses from several MDRC studies released in recent years suggest that the new policies did not bring benefits to adolescents. With reauthorization of the 1996 law now under debate, the Next Generation project — an innovative collaboration among MDRC and other leading research institutions — has produced this research synthesis, the first comprehensive and systematic look at how welfare and work policies targeted at low-income parents have influenced their adolescent children. Using meta-analytic techniques, the work integrates survey data collected from parents in eight MDRC studies of 16 different welfare and employment programs, focusing on children aged 12 to 18 when the surveys were conducted; it also draws on ethnographic case studies to flesh out the quantitative findings.

    In each study, some parents were randomly assigned to a program that included some combination of three key policies — mandatory employment activities, earnings supplements, and time limits on welfare receipt — while others were randomly assigned to a control group that was neither eligible for the program's services nor subject to its requirements. Random assignment ensures that any differences that emerged between the two groups — or their children - are attributable to the program. Although the studies examined programs that began operating before 1996, the three policies examined here have been adopted, in various combinations, in many states' programs since welfare reform was passed. Thus, this is the best body of evidence to date concerning how low-income adolescents fare as a result of policies aimed at increasing their parents' employment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Crosby, Danielle A.; Huston, Aletha C.; Lowe, Edward D.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Background

    Improving access to affordable, high-quality child care is an important component of efforts to support employment among low-income families. This paper uses data from random assignment studies of 21 welfare and work pilot programs to investigate how a set of child care policies affected low-income families’ use of paid care and subsidies and their experience with employment-related child care problems. In programs that provided it, increased access to care included one or more of the following:  promotion and subsidization of formal care, case management and support services, efficient reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenditures, and continuity of care for families transitioning on and off welfare. The effects of programs that increased access to child care are evaluated against the backdrop of child care subsidies provided through the AFDC system and block grants for low-income families available at the time.

    Key Findings

    Welfare and work programs generally increased employment and use of paid child care...

    Background

    Improving access to affordable, high-quality child care is an important component of efforts to support employment among low-income families. This paper uses data from random assignment studies of 21 welfare and work pilot programs to investigate how a set of child care policies affected low-income families’ use of paid care and subsidies and their experience with employment-related child care problems. In programs that provided it, increased access to care included one or more of the following:  promotion and subsidization of formal care, case management and support services, efficient reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenditures, and continuity of care for families transitioning on and off welfare. The effects of programs that increased access to child care are evaluated against the backdrop of child care subsidies provided through the AFDC system and block grants for low-income families available at the time.

    Key Findings

    Welfare and work programs generally increased employment and use of paid child care regardless of whether the programs included policies that increased access to care.

    Compared to programs that did not enhance access to child care, those that did increased use of child care subsidies, reduced out-of-pocket costs, and reduced reports of child care problems that interfered with employment.

    Conclusions and Implications

    Benefits to families from the expanded availability of subsidized child care assistance and lower out-of-pocket cost in welfare and work programs can increase disposable family income, which has been shown to improve child well-being. Reductions in child care problems that interfere with employment, moreover, may promote job stability. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bitler, Marianne P.; Hoynes, Hilary W.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    The stated goals of welfare reform are to increase work, reduce dependency on welfare, reduce births outside marriage, and to increase the formation of two parent families. However, welfare reform may also have indirect impacts on health. We provide a comprehensive review of the literature on the impacts of welfare reform on health. We illustrate the main findings from the literature by presenting estimates of the impact of reform on health insurance, health utilization, and health status using data from five state waiver experiments. The most consistent finding is that welfare reform led to a reduction in health insurance coverage. The impacts on health care utilization and health status tend to be more mixed and fewer are statistically significant. While the results are not conclusive, they suggest that welfare-to-work programs need not have large negative health effects. (author abstract)

    This resource was also published as a working paper by the National Poverty...

  • Individual Author: Fryer, Jr., Ronald G.; Katz, Lawrence F.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    A key policy question is whether high quality schools alone can weaken the cycle of intergenerational poverty for those growing up in high-poverty areas or whether broader neighborhood-based interventions are necessary or sufficient to achieve this aim. An ideal randomized experiment would contrast a treatment of improving neighborhood quality while keeping school quality constant to one of improving school quality while leaving the neighborhood unchanged to one that improved both neighborhood and school quality. Although no such study exists, there is a growing body of evidence using credible experimental and quasi-experimental sources of variation in neighborhoods and schools. We examine this literature, using a simple conceptual framework, to shed light on which interventions may achieve escape velocity for disadvantaged children— allowing youth to escape the gravitational pull of poverty. (Edited author introduction)

     

    A key policy question is whether high quality schools alone can weaken the cycle of intergenerational poverty for those growing up in high-poverty areas or whether broader neighborhood-based interventions are necessary or sufficient to achieve this aim. An ideal randomized experiment would contrast a treatment of improving neighborhood quality while keeping school quality constant to one of improving school quality while leaving the neighborhood unchanged to one that improved both neighborhood and school quality. Although no such study exists, there is a growing body of evidence using credible experimental and quasi-experimental sources of variation in neighborhoods and schools. We examine this literature, using a simple conceptual framework, to shed light on which interventions may achieve escape velocity for disadvantaged children— allowing youth to escape the gravitational pull of poverty. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Murray, Desiree W.; Rosanbalm, Katie; Christopoulos, Christina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report describes the results of a comprehensive review of self-regulation interventions spanning birth to young adulthood and a range of outcomes. It also summarizes the level of evidence for the different interventions. Additionally, the report provides details on the methodological approach and data findings, including figures with detailed descriptions for the reader who is interested in the evidence base supporting the conclusions. (author abstract)

    This report describes the results of a comprehensive review of self-regulation interventions spanning birth to young adulthood and a range of outcomes. It also summarizes the level of evidence for the different interventions. Additionally, the report provides details on the methodological approach and data findings, including figures with detailed descriptions for the reader who is interested in the evidence base supporting the conclusions. (author abstract)

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