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SSRC Library

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.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

  • Conduct a search and filter parameters as desired.
  • "Check" the box next to the resources for which you would like a citation.
  • Select "Download Selected Citation" at the top of the Library Search Page.
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  • Select submit and download your citations.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Falk, Gene
    Year: 2013

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is willing to waive certain federal work participation standards under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to permit states to experiment with “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” The work participation standards are numerical performance standards that each state must meet or risk being penalized through a reduction in its block grant. These are standards that apply to the states, not directly to individuals, though they may influence how states design their welfare-to-work programs. Such waivers will be the first “new” waivers to test welfare-to-work strategies in more than 15 years. The waiver initiative would permit states that undertake an alternative welfare-to-work strategy to assess their programs using measures different from those in the current standards. HHS announced this policy through the release of an Information Memorandum on July 12, 2012. State requests for waivers will...

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is willing to waive certain federal work participation standards under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to permit states to experiment with “alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” The work participation standards are numerical performance standards that each state must meet or risk being penalized through a reduction in its block grant. These are standards that apply to the states, not directly to individuals, though they may influence how states design their welfare-to-work programs. Such waivers will be the first “new” waivers to test welfare-to-work strategies in more than 15 years. The waiver initiative would permit states that undertake an alternative welfare-to-work strategy to assess their programs using measures different from those in the current standards. HHS announced this policy through the release of an Information Memorandum on July 12, 2012. State requests for waivers will have to be approved by HHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and meet specified criteria.

    Under the 1996 law that created TANF, states had the authority to operate programs created under waivers of pre-1996 welfare law until their scheduled expiration. The last such waiver expired in 2007. Additionally, the House passed legislation three times between 2002 and 2005 to create new “superwaiver” authority that would, among other things, have had the effect of allowing waivers of the federal TANF work participation standards. A scaled-back version of this proposal was reported from the Senate Finance Committee, but not approved by the full Senate, twice during that period. This report discusses the current TANF work participation standards; the HHS initiative to waive TANF work participation standards; pre-1996 welfare waivers, including how they were treated under TANF; and the “superwaiver” proposal. This report is not a legal analysis of the Secretary’s authority to waive TANF work participation standards. Rather, it describes and provides context for this HHS initiative. (author abstract)