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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: Ehrle Macomber, Jennifer; Cuccaro-Alamin, Stephanie; Duncan, Dean; Kuehn, Daniel; McDaniel, Marla; Vericker, Tracy; Pergamit, Mike; Needell, Barbara; Kum, Hye-Chung; Stewart, Joy; Lee, Chung-Kwon ; Barth, Richard P.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This study examines employment outcomes for youth who age out of foster care through their middle twenties in three states: California, Minnesota, and North Carolina. The study linked child welfare, Unemployment Insurance (UI), and public assistance administrative data to assess outcomes. Results suggest that youth who age out of foster care continue to experience poor employment outcomes at age 24 and generally follow one of four employment trajectories as they transition to adulthood.(author abstract)

    This study examines employment outcomes for youth who age out of foster care through their middle twenties in three states: California, Minnesota, and North Carolina. The study linked child welfare, Unemployment Insurance (UI), and public assistance administrative data to assess outcomes. Results suggest that youth who age out of foster care continue to experience poor employment outcomes at age 24 and generally follow one of four employment trajectories as they transition to adulthood.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    While most young people successfully transition to adulthood, a significant number of youth are disconnected from school and employment. These youth are more likely than others to engage in crime, become incarcerated, and rely on public systems of support. Several federal agencies oversee a number of programs and grants that assist local programs in serving this population at the local level. GAO reviewed the following: (1) characteristics of locally operated programs that serve disconnected youth, (2) the key elements of locally operated programs to which directors attribute their success in reconnecting youth to education and employment, and (3) challenges involved in operating these programs and how federal agencies are helping to address these challenges. GAO interviewed officials from four federal agencies, experts, and directors of 39 local programs identified by agencies and experts as helping youth meet educational and employment goals.

    The 39 local programs GAO reviewed differed in their funding sources and program structure, yet shared some characteristics, such...

    While most young people successfully transition to adulthood, a significant number of youth are disconnected from school and employment. These youth are more likely than others to engage in crime, become incarcerated, and rely on public systems of support. Several federal agencies oversee a number of programs and grants that assist local programs in serving this population at the local level. GAO reviewed the following: (1) characteristics of locally operated programs that serve disconnected youth, (2) the key elements of locally operated programs to which directors attribute their success in reconnecting youth to education and employment, and (3) challenges involved in operating these programs and how federal agencies are helping to address these challenges. GAO interviewed officials from four federal agencies, experts, and directors of 39 local programs identified by agencies and experts as helping youth meet educational and employment goals.

    The 39 local programs GAO reviewed differed in their funding sources and program structure, yet shared some characteristics, such as years of experience serving youth. These programs received funding from multiple sources: federal, state, local, and private, although most relied on some federal funds. They were structured differently--for example, some were community-based organizations that provided services on a daily basis, some were charter schools, and some offered residential living. Most of the programs were created to address local concerns such as youth homelessness or dropout rates, and many had at least 10 years of experience serving youth. Program directors GAO interviewed attributed their success in reconnecting youth to education and employment to several key elements of their programs. These included effective staff and leadership; a holistic approach to serving youth that addresses the youth's multiple needs; specific program design components, such as experiential learning opportunities and self-paced curricula; and a focus on empowering youth. Many of the 39 local program directors reported common challenges in operating their programs--the complex circumstances of their participants, service gaps, funding constraints, and management of federal grants--that increased federal coordination efforts under way may help address. Most of the 15 directors that relied on Labor's Workforce Investment Act Youth funds reported that meeting performance goals within the 1-year time frames that workforce investment boards often write into contracts hinders their ability to serve youth with great challenges, who may need more time to obtain skills. Labor officials reported that they intend for Workforce Investment Boards to develop longer-term contracts to help programs serve hard-to-employ youth. Labor has provided limited technical assistance and is considering issuing guidance on this issue, but has not established a time frame to do so. Federal agencies have recently intensified their coordination efforts, which may help local programs faced with challenges managing across multiple federal grants. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Courtney, Mark E.; Osgood, D. W. ; Foster, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    D. Wayne Osgood, E. Michael Foster, and Mark E. Courtney examine the transition to adult- hood for youth involved in social service and justice systems during childhood and adolescence. They survey the challenges faced by youth in the mental health system, the foster care system, the juvenile justice system, the criminal justice system, and special education, and by youth with physical disabilities and chronic illness, as well as runaway and homeless youth.

    One problem is that the services these vulnerable populations receive from these systems as children and adolescents often end abruptly as they transition to adulthood, even though the need for them continues. Youth must leave systems tailored for clients their age and, if they are eligible for further services at all, enter adult systems that are not equipped to address their needs. One exception is the special education system, whose services extend into early adult- hood and are designed for individuals’ needs.

    The authors review current public policies directed toward vulnerable youth in transition and find...

    D. Wayne Osgood, E. Michael Foster, and Mark E. Courtney examine the transition to adult- hood for youth involved in social service and justice systems during childhood and adolescence. They survey the challenges faced by youth in the mental health system, the foster care system, the juvenile justice system, the criminal justice system, and special education, and by youth with physical disabilities and chronic illness, as well as runaway and homeless youth.

    One problem is that the services these vulnerable populations receive from these systems as children and adolescents often end abruptly as they transition to adulthood, even though the need for them continues. Youth must leave systems tailored for clients their age and, if they are eligible for further services at all, enter adult systems that are not equipped to address their needs. One exception is the special education system, whose services extend into early adult- hood and are designed for individuals’ needs.

    The authors review current public policies directed toward vulnerable youth in transition and find problems in four areas: eligibility criteria that exclude youth from services that might benefit them, inadequate funding for transition services, a lack of coordination across service systems, and inadequate training about young-adult developmental issues for service professionals.

    The authors then discuss policy options that can help create a developmentally appropriate and socially inclusive system of support for vulnerable youth. Among the options are strengthening all programs for youth in transition, improving the existing systems of care for children and adolescents, addressing the loss of access to services at the age of majority, and coordinating today’s multiple systems into a single coherent system. The authors see heightened governmental interest in better supports for vulnerable young adults, both through expanding the federal role in their lives and through improving coordination of the systems that serve them. The Fostering Connections Act of 2008, for example, extended services to adolescents in foster care from the age of eighteen to the age of twenty-one. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Golonka, Susan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

    The number of youth aging out of foster care has increased every year since 2001. This population, although small in number, has a high economic cost to state governments and society as a whole. Yet, because there are relatively few of these young people, states that invest in them can make a large positive impact without incurring great cost. This report highlights effective state strategies and promising approaches aimed at improving outcomes for foster youth in the following five areas:

    • Education - promote educational attainment;
    • Employment - connect youth with employment and career training;
    • Housing - enhance access to safe and affordable housing;
    • Health care - help you gain access to and manage health care; and
    • Relationships - help youth build stable and lifelong relationships.

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Collins, Mary Elizabeth; Spencer, Renee; Ward, Rolanda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Social support is needed by everyone, but particularly by vulnerable populations at times of transition. This study utilizes data collected from 96 former foster youth regarding supports they received during the transition from care. The report addresses three questions: (1) What types of supportive relationships did the sample report? (2) What are the characteristics of supportive relationships? (3) What is the relationship of social support to outcomes? Based on the analysis, the authors draw implications for intervention and research. (Author abstract)

    Social support is needed by everyone, but particularly by vulnerable populations at times of transition. This study utilizes data collected from 96 former foster youth regarding supports they received during the transition from care. The report addresses three questions: (1) What types of supportive relationships did the sample report? (2) What are the characteristics of supportive relationships? (3) What is the relationship of social support to outcomes? Based on the analysis, the authors draw implications for intervention and research. (Author abstract)

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