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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: Gueron, Judith; Pauly, Edward
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1991

    From Welfare to Work appears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years.

    Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare...

    From Welfare to Work appears at a critical moment, when all fifty states are wrestling with tough budgetary and program choices as they implement the new federal welfare reforms. This book is a definitive analysis of the landmark social research that has directly informed those choices: the rigorous evaluation of programs designed to help welfare recipients become employed and self-sufficient. It discusses forty-five past and current studies, focusing on the series of seminal evaluations conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation over the last fifteen years.

    Which of these welfare-to-work programs have worked? For whom and at what cost? In answering these key questions, the authors clearly delineate the trade-offs facing policymakers as they strive to achieve the multiple goals of alleviating poverty, helping the most disadvantaged, curtailing dependence, and effecting welfare savings. The authors present compelling evidence that the generally low-cost, primarily job search-oriented programs of the late 1980s achieved sustained earnings gains and welfare savings. However, getting people out of poverty and helping those who are most disadvantaged may require some intensive, higher-cost services such as education and training. The authors explore a range of studies now in progress that will address these and other urgent issues. They also point to encouraging results from programs that were operating in San Diego and Baltimore, which suggest the potential value of a mixed strategy: combining job search and other low-cost activities for a broad portion of the caseload with more specialized services for smaller groups.

    Offering both an authoritative synthesis of work already done and recommendations for future innovation, From Welfare to Work will be the standard resource and required reading for practitioners and students in the social policy, social welfare, and academic communities. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Moffitt, Robert A.; Ver Ploeg, Michele
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2001

    With the passing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, the United States embarked on a major social experiment with its social welfare and safety net programs for the poor. The most far-reaching reform of the cash welfare system for single mothers since 1935, PRWORA replaced the federal entitlement program for low-income families and children (Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC) with a state-administered block grant program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Determining the consequences of this experiment is of great importance. Has welfare reform “worked?” What were the effects of the reforms on families and individuals? What reforms worked for whom and why? In looking toward the development of new policies to aid low-income families, which elements of the new welfare system need to be changed and which left as is?

    For these fundamental questions to be answered adequately, two issues need to be addressed. First, how should one go about answering these...

    With the passing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, the United States embarked on a major social experiment with its social welfare and safety net programs for the poor. The most far-reaching reform of the cash welfare system for single mothers since 1935, PRWORA replaced the federal entitlement program for low-income families and children (Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC) with a state-administered block grant program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Determining the consequences of this experiment is of great importance. Has welfare reform “worked?” What were the effects of the reforms on families and individuals? What reforms worked for whom and why? In looking toward the development of new policies to aid low-income families, which elements of the new welfare system need to be changed and which left as is?

    For these fundamental questions to be answered adequately, two issues need to be addressed. First, how should one go about answering these questions— what methods should be used and what types of studies should be conducted in order to determine the effects of welfare reform? Second, what types of data are needed to measure the effects of welfare reform? Are federal and state data sources currently available sufficient to carry out needed evaluations, and, if not, what investments in that infrastructure are needed?

    To answer these questions, the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council formed the Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs. This panel is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through a congressional appropriation. The charge to the panel is to review methods and data needed to evaluate the outcomes of changes in social welfare programs on families and individuals. The panel is specifically charged with assisting the department in (1) identifying how best to measure and track program eligibility, participation, child well-being, and other outcomes; (2) evaluating data, research designs, and methods for the study of welfare reform outcomes; and (3) identifying needed areas and topics of research. In doing so, the panel was asked to consider alternative federal and state data sources, the limitations of currently available data, appropriate evaluation designs and methods for analysis, and findings from previous research and evaluation. The panel is also specifically charged with reviewing data needs and methods for tracking and assessing the effects of program changes on families who stop receiving cash assistance—i.e., welfare leavers. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: O'Dell, Kelley
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    During the past several years, policymakers and program administrators have paid more attention to child-only cases, which comprise a growing percentage of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload.  While the number of child-only cases dropped between 1996 and 1998 from a peak of 978,000 families (22 percent of the caseload), the number and proportion have since increased. In fiscal 2001 there were about 786,900 child-only cases, accounting for 37.2 percent of the total TANF caseload. In addition, because the children and caregivers in child-only cases have some unique or particularly marked needs, there are questions and concerns about the well-being of these children and how best to serve them and their caregivers.

    To address the circumstances of child-only cases, some states have designed specific programs and policies for them, such as specialized case management and increased financial assistance. Other states are focusing on a holistic service approach and integrating the services of the welfare and child welfare systems. (author abstract)

    ...

    During the past several years, policymakers and program administrators have paid more attention to child-only cases, which comprise a growing percentage of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload.  While the number of child-only cases dropped between 1996 and 1998 from a peak of 978,000 families (22 percent of the caseload), the number and proportion have since increased. In fiscal 2001 there were about 786,900 child-only cases, accounting for 37.2 percent of the total TANF caseload. In addition, because the children and caregivers in child-only cases have some unique or particularly marked needs, there are questions and concerns about the well-being of these children and how best to serve them and their caregivers.

    To address the circumstances of child-only cases, some states have designed specific programs and policies for them, such as specialized case management and increased financial assistance. Other states are focusing on a holistic service approach and integrating the services of the welfare and child welfare systems. (author abstract)

    The original hyperlink to this resource has been removed by the publisher. You may obtain a single use PDF by emailing the SSRC at ssrc@opressrc.org.

  • Individual Author: Acs, Gregory; Loprest, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The dramatic decline in welfare caseloads in the 1990s suggested that welfare reform was achieving one of its major goals: reducing dependency. It also raised questions among policymakers, program administrators, advocates, and the public as to whether the characteristics of the caseload were changing, whether families that left welfare were better off than when they were on welfare, and whether former recipients were making progress in the labor market. The purpose of this report is to summarize what we know about these issues for current TANF recipients and former recipients (“leavers”)1 from existing literature and to update our knowledge with new analysis using more recent data. The key questions addressed in the report are: 1.) How do the characteristics of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload compare with the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)/TANF caseload characteristics 5 and 10 years ago?2 In particular, is the caseload more or less disadvantaged than in the past, especially with respect to their employability? 2.) What are the...

    The dramatic decline in welfare caseloads in the 1990s suggested that welfare reform was achieving one of its major goals: reducing dependency. It also raised questions among policymakers, program administrators, advocates, and the public as to whether the characteristics of the caseload were changing, whether families that left welfare were better off than when they were on welfare, and whether former recipients were making progress in the labor market. The purpose of this report is to summarize what we know about these issues for current TANF recipients and former recipients (“leavers”)1 from existing literature and to update our knowledge with new analysis using more recent data. The key questions addressed in the report are: 1.) How do the characteristics of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload compare with the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)/TANF caseload characteristics 5 and 10 years ago?2 In particular, is the caseload more or less disadvantaged than in the past, especially with respect to their employability? 2.) What are the characteristics and outcomes for families that recently left the TANF rolls compared with families on TANF, and compared with families that left the TANF rolls 5 and 10 years ago? Have TANF leavers become more or less disadvantaged? Are families better off after leaving TANF than when they were on the welfare rolls? (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Heffernan, Christine; Goehring, Benjamin; Hecker, Ian; Giannarelli, Linda; Minton, Sarah
    Reference Type: Dataset, Report
    Year: 2018

    The purpose of this publication—the Welfare Rules Database’s annual Databook—is to provide researchers and policymakers with easy access to detailed information on how states provide cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The dozens of tables in this book collectively describe how states determine eligibility for TANF benefits, how they compute program benefits for eligible families, and the work requirements and time limits that they impose. In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017, 1.095 million families received cash aid from TANF in the average month.

    This publication presents the key policies that each state used to determine cash aid under the TANF program as of July 2017. The Databook also provides longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2017. All the tables in this publication are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and developed and maintained by the Urban...

    The purpose of this publication—the Welfare Rules Database’s annual Databook—is to provide researchers and policymakers with easy access to detailed information on how states provide cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The dozens of tables in this book collectively describe how states determine eligibility for TANF benefits, how they compute program benefits for eligible families, and the work requirements and time limits that they impose. In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017, 1.095 million families received cash aid from TANF in the average month.

    This publication presents the key policies that each state used to determine cash aid under the TANF program as of July 2017. The Databook also provides longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2017. All the tables in this publication are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and developed and maintained by the Urban Institute. The Databook summarizes the more detailed information in the WRD. Users interested in more information than is provided in this Databook are encouraged to use the full database, available at https://wrd.urban.org. This site includes a point-and-click interface, as well as extensive documentation. (Edited author introduction)