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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: Quint, Janet; Bos, Johannes; Polit, Denise
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across...

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across the country, sought to help the young mothers acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could secure jobs offering opportunities for advancement and could thereby reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants in postponing additional childbearing and to help them become better parents. Finally, New Chance was explicitly "two-generational" in its approach, seeking to enhance the cognitive abilities, health, and socioemotional well-being of enrollees' children. The program was, for the most part, voluntary; that is, young women were generally not required to attend in order to receive public assistance. Instead, most joined it because they wanted to earn their General Educational Development (GED, or high school equivalency) certificates and the program offered free child care to enable them to participate.

    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, young women who applied and were determined to be eligible for New Chance were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, whose members could enroll in the program, or the control group, whose members could not join New Chance but could receive other services available in their communities. To ascertain both short- and longer-term program effects, comparable information was collected from each member of both groups through in-home survey interviews conducted approximately 1½ and 3½ years after the individual had been randomly assigned. The measured average differences between the two groups' outcomes over time (such as their differences in rates of GED attainment, employment, or subsequent childbearing) and between the outcomes for their children are the observed results (or impacts) of New Chance. This, the final report on the New Chance program and its impacts, examines the trajectories of 2,079 young mothers who responded to the 3½-year survey.  (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Pearson, Jessica; Thoennes, Nancy; Griswold, Esther Ann
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1999

    Brief interviews with 1,082 applicants for public assistance in four Colorado welfare offices show that 40% disclose current or past abuse. When apprised of the option of obtaining an exemption to the child support requirements of the new welfare reform law, only 6.7% of victims (2.7% of applicants) expressed an interest in applying. Most women said they wanted child support and that its pursuit would pose no danger. Only one-third of the victims who expressed an interest in applying for an exemption were granted one. Two-thirds were denied because they lacked sufficient documentation to corroborate their claims of potential harm. (Author abstract)

    Brief interviews with 1,082 applicants for public assistance in four Colorado welfare offices show that 40% disclose current or past abuse. When apprised of the option of obtaining an exemption to the child support requirements of the new welfare reform law, only 6.7% of victims (2.7% of applicants) expressed an interest in applying. Most women said they wanted child support and that its pursuit would pose no danger. Only one-third of the victims who expressed an interest in applying for an exemption were granted one. Two-thirds were denied because they lacked sufficient documentation to corroborate their claims of potential harm. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Capizzano, Jeffrey; Koralek, Robin; Botsko, Christopher; Bess, Roseana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    This report begins with a short profile of Colorado's demographic, economic, and political conditions and then moves into a discussion of different aspects of the state's social safety net. The next three sections offer more detail on specific programs and services. The first section describes Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Colorado Works, including the state's work-related component for TANF recipients. The second section covers the state's system for providing child care for both Colorado Works recipients and other low-income families. The third section describes the child welfare system, with particular attention paid to the interaction between child welfare and welfare reform. Each section discusses important policies affecting the program and the clients that the program serves, the program's administrative structure and general service delivery, and information on recent changes. The brief concludes with a summary of noteworthy trends across the different social policy areas. (author introduction)

    This report begins with a short profile of Colorado's demographic, economic, and political conditions and then moves into a discussion of different aspects of the state's social safety net. The next three sections offer more detail on specific programs and services. The first section describes Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Colorado Works, including the state's work-related component for TANF recipients. The second section covers the state's system for providing child care for both Colorado Works recipients and other low-income families. The third section describes the child welfare system, with particular attention paid to the interaction between child welfare and welfare reform. Each section discusses important policies affecting the program and the clients that the program serves, the program's administrative structure and general service delivery, and information on recent changes. The brief concludes with a summary of noteworthy trends across the different social policy areas. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Pearson, Jessica; Griswold, Esther Ann; Thoennes, Nancy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    This article reports on three demonstration projects involving efforts to address the needs of public assistance applicants/recipients who are domestic violence victims while also developing effective methods to improve cooperation with child support agencies. Through various approaches, such as direct questioning, screening and referrals, and domestic violence specialists, the projects explore ways to identify victims of domestic violence, levels of interest in child support and exemptions, barriers to cooperation, and clients' responses to specialists and referrals for community-based services. (Author abstract)

    This article reports on three demonstration projects involving efforts to address the needs of public assistance applicants/recipients who are domestic violence victims while also developing effective methods to improve cooperation with child support agencies. Through various approaches, such as direct questioning, screening and referrals, and domestic violence specialists, the projects explore ways to identify victims of domestic violence, levels of interest in child support and exemptions, barriers to cooperation, and clients' responses to specialists and referrals for community-based services. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha J. ; Moore, Kristin A.; Brooks, Jennifer L.; Morris, Pamela A.; Tout, Kathryn; Redd, Zakia A.; Emig, Carol A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    Even prior to passage of federal welfare reform, many demonstration programs anticipated key features of the 1996 law, such as "work-first" strategies, time limits on welfare receipt, and financial incentives to work. Over the past decade, 10 experimental evaluations of these programs have extended their studies to examine the impacts on children. This article provides a synthesis of findings from the first seven of these studies to release results concerning child impacts. Key observations include the following:

    • Across the different types of welfare-to-work programs examined, researchers found neither widespread harm nor widespread benefit to young children, but some significant impacts did occur.
    • Favorable impacts tended to occur in programs that improved family economic status or maternal education, but these programs still did not bring children to the level of national norms for positive child development.
    • Unfavorable impacts tended to occur when families did not show economic progress or when their economic situation worsened, when the children...

    Even prior to passage of federal welfare reform, many demonstration programs anticipated key features of the 1996 law, such as "work-first" strategies, time limits on welfare receipt, and financial incentives to work. Over the past decade, 10 experimental evaluations of these programs have extended their studies to examine the impacts on children. This article provides a synthesis of findings from the first seven of these studies to release results concerning child impacts. Key observations include the following:

    • Across the different types of welfare-to-work programs examined, researchers found neither widespread harm nor widespread benefit to young children, but some significant impacts did occur.
    • Favorable impacts tended to occur in programs that improved family economic status or maternal education, but these programs still did not bring children to the level of national norms for positive child development.
    • Unfavorable impacts tended to occur when families did not show economic progress or when their economic situation worsened, when the children were adolescents, and - unexpectedly - when the families were believed to be at lower risk for long-term welfare receipt.

    Thus, although impacts were not widespread, these programs did have the potential to affect children for both better and worse across a range of developmental outcomes. The authors conclude that these findings underscore the importance of strengthening program approaches to enhance developmental outcomes for children in families being served by the welfare system. (author abstract)

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