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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: Folk, Karen Fox
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    Child care subsidies are crucial to becoming and remaining employed, yet the minimum cost of child care is not very much less for low-income families than for all families. The Census Bureau reports 1993 data on the cost of the care of preschool children for families with employed mothers: those with incomes under $1,200 per month paid an average of $47 a week, whereas the average cost of preschool child care for all families with employed mothers was $60/week. Bear in mind that these are averages, including a large proportion of women who work part time. Costs will be higher for W-2 participants employed full time.

    How do families manage when child care costs are 25– 33 percent of income? They rely heavily on relative care; only 40 percent of low-income families make cash payments for child care. The pattern is similar for single mothers: 60 percent pay for child care, and 40 percent use unpaid care by relatives. (author introduction)

    Child care subsidies are crucial to becoming and remaining employed, yet the minimum cost of child care is not very much less for low-income families than for all families. The Census Bureau reports 1993 data on the cost of the care of preschool children for families with employed mothers: those with incomes under $1,200 per month paid an average of $47 a week, whereas the average cost of preschool child care for all families with employed mothers was $60/week. Bear in mind that these are averages, including a large proportion of women who work part time. Costs will be higher for W-2 participants employed full time.

    How do families manage when child care costs are 25– 33 percent of income? They rely heavily on relative care; only 40 percent of low-income families make cash payments for child care. The pattern is similar for single mothers: 60 percent pay for child care, and 40 percent use unpaid care by relatives. (author introduction)

  • 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: Jarrett, Robin L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1999

    Impoverished inner-city neighborhoods in the United States are threatening contexts for the development of youngsters during middle childhood and adolescence. Nevertheless, some African-American families living in such neighborhoods succeed in protecting their children from the risks of "the streets" and launch them on paths toward achievement. Using quotes and ethnographic material from many studies, this article illustrates some of the parenting strategies that help inner-city African-American youths to overcome risks and achieve success. (author abstract)

    Impoverished inner-city neighborhoods in the United States are threatening contexts for the development of youngsters during middle childhood and adolescence. Nevertheless, some African-American families living in such neighborhoods succeed in protecting their children from the risks of "the streets" and launch them on paths toward achievement. Using quotes and ethnographic material from many studies, this article illustrates some of the parenting strategies that help inner-city African-American youths to overcome risks and achieve success. (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
  • Individual Author: Pindus, Nancy; Koralek, Robin; Martinson, Karin; Trutko, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    The policy context for both welfare programs and employment and training programs operated by the workforce development system has changed dramatically in the past few years.  The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 requires welfare agencies to focus more than in the past on moving welfare recipients into employment.  PRWORA provides funding to welfare agencies in the form of a block grant, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), to support efforts to achieve this objective.  The need to move more TANF clients into work activities and jobs means that TANF agencies need to expand or develop structural and organizational arrangements that make this possible, including coordinating with the workforce development system.

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grants Program provides additional funding to serve welfare recipients, but the resources flow through the employment and training system, now commonly called the workforce development system.  WtW creates new incentives for the workforce development system to coordinate with the...

    The policy context for both welfare programs and employment and training programs operated by the workforce development system has changed dramatically in the past few years.  The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 requires welfare agencies to focus more than in the past on moving welfare recipients into employment.  PRWORA provides funding to welfare agencies in the form of a block grant, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), to support efforts to achieve this objective.  The need to move more TANF clients into work activities and jobs means that TANF agencies need to expand or develop structural and organizational arrangements that make this possible, including coordinating with the workforce development system.

    The Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grants Program provides additional funding to serve welfare recipients, but the resources flow through the employment and training system, now commonly called the workforce development system.  WtW creates new incentives for the workforce development system to coordinate with the welfare system on behalf of welfare recipients.  The workforce development system is also changing, moving towards universal access to employment related services and the use of technology to serve job seekers and employers better.

    States and localities are responding to this dynamic environment in different ways, and their responses reflect historical relationships as well as current policy objectives.  This study builds on earlier research in the area of service coordination and integration, and provides a current description of local operational interaction between welfare and workforce development programs.  It is based on a review of the literature and site visits to twelve localities in six states.  The main intent is to add to the understanding about how welfare recipients receive employment-related services.  The study identifies different approaches to coordination, the advantages of coordination for clients, and factors that promote and impede coordination. (author abstract)

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