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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: Halpern, Robert
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1998

    How has America's social welfare network benefited families living in poverty? In what ways has it failed to provide for their needs? The system of social welfare in the United States has been in place for most of this century-and although it has had lasting impact on the lives of many people in need, it is far from perfect in its handling of the nation's poor. Fragile Families, Fragile Solutions presents a historical perspective on one of the central components of the U.S. social welfare network-family services-and provides a unique look at the advances this service network has achieved, problems it has confronted, and where it is likely to go in the future.

    Beginning with an exploration of the nineteenth-century roots of family services and the emergence of family casework at the beginning of this century, Halpern ranges through the 1920s and 1930- charting the influence of psychoanalytic theory in social service work and government responses to the Depression. He surveys the following two decades, when policymakers attempted to respond to changing inner-city populations...

    How has America's social welfare network benefited families living in poverty? In what ways has it failed to provide for their needs? The system of social welfare in the United States has been in place for most of this century-and although it has had lasting impact on the lives of many people in need, it is far from perfect in its handling of the nation's poor. Fragile Families, Fragile Solutions presents a historical perspective on one of the central components of the U.S. social welfare network-family services-and provides a unique look at the advances this service network has achieved, problems it has confronted, and where it is likely to go in the future.

    Beginning with an exploration of the nineteenth-century roots of family services and the emergence of family casework at the beginning of this century, Halpern ranges through the 1920s and 1930- charting the influence of psychoanalytic theory in social service work and government responses to the Depression. He surveys the following two decades, when policymakers attempted to respond to changing inner-city populations. An extended section focuses on the 1960- a critical reform period. Covering a wide spectrum of contemporary issues in policy and organization, as well as escalating crises in such areas as child welfare, Halpern brings readers up to date on this complex subject.

    Offering policy recommendations for the future, Halpern inspires social workers and policymakers alike with a symbolic goal of constructing a more positive vision of the potential of social services, and a pragmatic objective of designing an efficient, effective family services network to care for Americans in greatest need of support. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fix, Michael; Zimmerman, Wendy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The casual observer—and policymaker—might readily believe that the country is neatly divided into two kinds of families: those composed of citizens who have strong claims to legal rights and social benefits, and those composed of noncitizens, whose claims to both are more contingent. American families, however, are far more complex: the number of families that contain a mix of both citizens and noncitizens is surprisingly large. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. families with children is a mixed-status family, that is to say, a family in which one or more parents is a noncitizen and one or more children is a citizen. Further, mixed-status families are themselves complex: they may be made up of any combination of legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and naturalized citizens. Their composition also changes frequently, as undocumented family members legalize their status and legal immigrants naturalize. The number, complexity, and fluidity of these mixed immigration status families complicate the design and implementation of the already complicated arenas of immigration and immigrant policy...

    The casual observer—and policymaker—might readily believe that the country is neatly divided into two kinds of families: those composed of citizens who have strong claims to legal rights and social benefits, and those composed of noncitizens, whose claims to both are more contingent. American families, however, are far more complex: the number of families that contain a mix of both citizens and noncitizens is surprisingly large. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. families with children is a mixed-status family, that is to say, a family in which one or more parents is a noncitizen and one or more children is a citizen. Further, mixed-status families are themselves complex: they may be made up of any combination of legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and naturalized citizens. Their composition also changes frequently, as undocumented family members legalize their status and legal immigrants naturalize. The number, complexity, and fluidity of these mixed immigration status families complicate the design and implementation of the already complicated arenas of immigration and immigrant policy.

    In this paper, we document the prevalence of mixed immigration status families and discuss some of the immigration and citizenship policies that drive their formation. We identify a number of the challenges that mixed-status families pose for achieving the goals of recent welfare and illegal immigration reform laws. More specifically, we explore how recent curbs on noncitizens' use of public benefits may have the unintended effects of "chilling" citizen children's use of benefits. We note how efforts to single out immigrant children for the restoration of benefits such as food stamps may fall short of the intended objectives because most children of immigrants are already citizens who never lost their eligibility for benefits in the first place. These benefit restorations may also fall wide of the mark because the citizen children may still suffer the effects of their parents' reduced eligibility. Both of these results are, in a sense, the by-products of mixed-status families and social policies that treat citizens and noncitizens differently. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: King, Elisabeth; Elliott, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This report describes family centered employment strategies. It begins with a look at the economics of families in poverty and provides a brief outline of the many ways in which employment and training programs have begun to work with families. The report then examines the work of four employment programs now offering employment services to families: (1) a transitional employment program; (2) a refugee resettlement program; (3) a youth employment program; and (4) a faith-based program. The key elements that have enabled these programs to provide services successfully are discussed. The major federal programs used to meet the employment needs of the poor, however, remain focused principally on serving individuals. Recent Clinton administration proposals indicate that the family is beginning to occupy a more central place in the discussion of federal employment programs. Until public resources are available, it seems unlikely that many organizations will make the extraordinary effort to combine multiple revenue sources needed to serve families' employment needs successfully. An...

    This report describes family centered employment strategies. It begins with a look at the economics of families in poverty and provides a brief outline of the many ways in which employment and training programs have begun to work with families. The report then examines the work of four employment programs now offering employment services to families: (1) a transitional employment program; (2) a refugee resettlement program; (3) a youth employment program; and (4) a faith-based program. The key elements that have enabled these programs to provide services successfully are discussed. The major federal programs used to meet the employment needs of the poor, however, remain focused principally on serving individuals. Recent Clinton administration proposals indicate that the family is beginning to occupy a more central place in the discussion of federal employment programs. Until public resources are available, it seems unlikely that many organizations will make the extraordinary effort to combine multiple revenue sources needed to serve families' employment needs successfully. An appendix describes the four programs in detail.

  • Individual Author: Greenberg, Mark H.; Levin-Epstein, Jodie; Hutson, Rutledge Q.; Ooms, Theodora J.; Schumacher, Rachel; Turetsky, Vicki; Engstrom, David M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the social policy landscape for children in many ways. It replaced the prior welfare program with block grants to the states entitled Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and modified a broad array of other programs and initiatives affecting low-income children. This article describes the key themes dominating the debate over welfare reform in 1996, specifically:

    • Increased state discretion in program design, leading to more variability in states' eligibility requirements and services provided to low-income families;
    • More stringent work requirements even for parents of very young children;
    • Time limits on the use of federal funds for cash assistance, and a strong focus on caseload reduction;
    • Increased emphasis on parental responsibility, with stronger child support requirements; and
    • Increased emphasis on reducing out-of-wedlock births, including bonuses to states with the largest reductions, and special requirements for...

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 changed the social policy landscape for children in many ways. It replaced the prior welfare program with block grants to the states entitled Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and modified a broad array of other programs and initiatives affecting low-income children. This article describes the key themes dominating the debate over welfare reform in 1996, specifically:

    • Increased state discretion in program design, leading to more variability in states' eligibility requirements and services provided to low-income families;
    • More stringent work requirements even for parents of very young children;
    • Time limits on the use of federal funds for cash assistance, and a strong focus on caseload reduction;
    • Increased emphasis on parental responsibility, with stronger child support requirements; and
    • Increased emphasis on reducing out-of-wedlock births, including bonuses to states with the largest reductions, and special requirements for unmarried teen parents who seek welfare.

    Although child well-being received little attention during the congressional debates in 1996, the authors conclude with the hope that improving child outcomes and child well-being will emerge as a key theme when the law is reauthorized in 2002. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Avellar, Sarah; Smock, Pamela J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    Although the economic effects of divorce have been well studied, a similar exploration of cohabitation has not been conducted. For this analysis, the authors use a sample from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (N = 2,372) documenting changes in economic well-being at the end of a cohabiting relationship and comparing these results to a sample of divorced respondents. After dissolution, formerly cohabiting men's economic standing declines moderately, whereas formerly cohabiting women's declines much more precipitously, leaving a substantial proportion of women in poverty. This effect is particularly pronounced for African American and Hispanic women. Though the end of the relationship does reinforce gender stratification, it is also an "equalizer" between married and cohabiting women, leaving them in strikingly similar economic positions. (author abstract)

    Although the economic effects of divorce have been well studied, a similar exploration of cohabitation has not been conducted. For this analysis, the authors use a sample from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (N = 2,372) documenting changes in economic well-being at the end of a cohabiting relationship and comparing these results to a sample of divorced respondents. After dissolution, formerly cohabiting men's economic standing declines moderately, whereas formerly cohabiting women's declines much more precipitously, leaving a substantial proportion of women in poverty. This effect is particularly pronounced for African American and Hispanic women. Though the end of the relationship does reinforce gender stratification, it is also an "equalizer" between married and cohabiting women, leaving them in strikingly similar economic positions. (author abstract)

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