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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.

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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: Turetsky, Vicki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds...

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds that it is time for Maryland to reform its child support system. Not only are orders for many low-income parents set unrealistically high, but policies around enforcement and collection are unnecessarily punitive. For example, people who fail to pay child support can have their license suspended. But the research shows that this strategy further interferes with low-income parents’ ability to pay by affecting their ability to find and maintain employment and does not yield more money for the state. The report focuses on 15 policy recommendations that Maryland should implement to increase the effectiveness of our child support system. Three key evidence-based strategies underlie the policy recommendations in the report:

    1. Set child support orders that reflect parents’ actual ability to pay.
    2. Reduce uncollectible child support debt.
    3. Ensure that children, not the state, receive the money when their parents pay child support.

    By focusing on these three evidence-based strategies—and the specific policy recommendations in this report—we hope to offer promising alternatives that better meet the needs of low-income children and families. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Gjertson, Leah; George, Robert; Wiegand, Emily
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2019

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. The presentation, moderated by Mark Fauth, highlights efforts by states to measure caseload dynamics and earnings outcomes for TANF participants through the Family Self Sufficiency Data Center Initiative. 

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. The presentation, moderated by Mark Fauth, highlights efforts by states to measure caseload dynamics and earnings outcomes for TANF participants through the Family Self Sufficiency Data Center Initiative. 

  • Individual Author: Gingerich, Jade; Hartman, Ellie; Selekman, Rebekah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2019

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. This presentation provides an overview of the PROMISE program, a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and SSA that offers case management, benefits counseling and financial literacy training, career- and work-based learning experiences, and parent training and information for youth and their families.

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. This presentation provides an overview of the PROMISE program, a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and SSA that offers case management, benefits counseling and financial literacy training, career- and work-based learning experiences, and parent training and information for youth and their families.

  • Individual Author: Guare, Richard; Fauth, Mark
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2019

    These presentations are from the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop.  This presentation discusses the components and principles of the ESCentials Model which is a coaching system that emphasizes the role of executive skills in goal setting and attaining goals through self-regulation. 

    These presentations are from the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop.  This presentation discusses the components and principles of the ESCentials Model which is a coaching system that emphasizes the role of executive skills in goal setting and attaining goals through self-regulation. 

  • Individual Author: Passarella, Letitia L.; Nicoli, Lisa T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a...

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2004 and March 2007; (b) Great Recession Era—an increasing caseload between April 2007 and December 2011; and (c) Great Recession Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2012 and March 2017.

    The main findings from this report indicate that families’ financial situations improved after exiting the TCA program, compared with their circumstances before they came onto the program. Nonetheless, these families struggle to rise above poverty and maintain independence from cash assistance. (Author abstract) 

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