The Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) evaluation was launched in 2003 to test the effectiveness of a skills-based relationship education program designed to help low-income married couples strengthen their relationships and, in turn, to support more stable and more nurturing home environments and more positive outcomes for parents and their children. The evaluation is led by MDRC, in collaboration with Abt Associates and other partners, and is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for drug addicts and alcoholics (DA&A beneficiaries) ended in January 1997 without any special effort to create employment for those who lost benefits. Relying on data from a nine-site, two-year panel study of 1,764 former DA &A recipients and detailed semistructured interviews with subsamples in four sites, this paper examines employment outcomes and barriers to employment among 611 respondents who lost SSI and did not replace it with another form of publicly funded income assistance.
Description: Making Connections is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-term, multi-site effort to demonstrate that poor results for children and families in tough neighborhoods can be changed for the better.
Population: Sites in Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, and Seattle. Aimed at improving outcomes of children and families in tough/isolated neighborhoods and communities, as well as outcomes for the communities as a whole.
This paper addresses the role community colleges can play in moving the working poor toward economic independence. Since Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) was enacted in 1996, there have been many new job openings in the country. But, employment and earnings prospects for job seekers leaving the welfare system are dismal. TANF clients are filling jobs in the service sector that pay near-minimum wage. In 1963, 35% of the labor force worked in low-paying jobs, but by 1998 that figure had risen to 63%.
This article describes a place-based research demonstration program to promote and sustain employment among residents of selected public housing developments in six U.S. cities. Because all eligible residents of the participating public housing developments were free to take part in the program, it was not possible to study its impacts in a classical experiment, with random assignment of individual residents to the program or a control group.
This report provides key findings from case studies developed on 14 Assets for Independence (AFI)-funded individual development account (IDA) projects. IDAs are personal savings accounts targeted to low-income persons that encourage participants to save for specific types of assets by providing matching funds when the accountholder makes withdrawals for an allowable asset purchase. The rationale for IDAs lies in the proposition that income transfers have eased the hardship of the poor but have been less effective in enabling low-income families to become economically self-sufficient.
This study represents the impact study component of the AFI evaluation. It examines the effects of AFI participation on the three forms of asset building targeted by the AFI Program: homeownership, business ownership, and postsecondary education. The analysis also assesses the program’s impact on key components of net worth (financial assets, home equity, and consumer debt) and on employment status and income (whether employed, amount of monthly earnings, and receipt of means-tested benefits from cash assistance, food stamps, or Medicaid).
This report explores one key dimension of access to public benefits—the application and eligibility determination process. Of particular interest is how local-level administrative procedures and operations may generally affect eligible families' access to benefits. Special consideration is given to exploring these issues as they relate to immigrants and limited English speakers.
Over recent decades, policymakers have recognized that helping parents on welfare pay for child care is essential to help them move from welfare to work. As such, child care has consistently been an integral part of federal and state welfare reform efforts. It was a major focus of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), and of the cash assistance and welfare-to-work program it established—the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
Despite the critical role child care subsidies play in welfare-to-work efforts, little research has examined how sites have approached putting these services together for families. The Urban Institute engaged in a multiyear study to help fill the information gap about the complex interactions of these two systems on behalf of welfare families (box 2). This study occurred in three phases.