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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: Wood, Robert G.; Goesling, Brian; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The federal government has had a long-standing commitment to supporting healthy relationships and stable families. In the mid-1990s, Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which had the formation and maintenance of two-parent families as one of its core purposes. TANF provided states with the funding and flexibility to support activities to promote healthy marriage. Beginning in the mid-2000s, the federal government began providing additional funding specifically to support healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) services. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees these funds and distributes them through a set of competitive multi-year grants to organizations nationwide. OFA made the most recent round of HMRE grant awards in September 2015. These grants support HMRE services for a mix of populations, including youth in high school, individual adults, and adult couples. (Author abstract) 

    The federal government has had a long-standing commitment to supporting healthy relationships and stable families. In the mid-1990s, Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which had the formation and maintenance of two-parent families as one of its core purposes. TANF provided states with the funding and flexibility to support activities to promote healthy marriage. Beginning in the mid-2000s, the federal government began providing additional funding specifically to support healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) services. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees these funds and distributes them through a set of competitive multi-year grants to organizations nationwide. OFA made the most recent round of HMRE grant awards in September 2015. These grants support HMRE services for a mix of populations, including youth in high school, individual adults, and adult couples. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Shinn, Marybeth; Wood, Michelle; Bell, Stephen; Dastrup, Samuel; Solari, Claudia D.; Brown, Scott R.; McInnis, Debi; McCall, Tom; Kattel, Utsav
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at...

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at the longer, 37-month followup. For example, 20 months after random assignment, assignment to SUB reduced the proportion of families with child separations in the 6 months before the survey--this effect was not detected in the 6 months before the 37-month survey. Also in this longer window of observation, some positive impacts in the child well-being domain have emerged. Families offered a voucher continue to be significantly more food secure and experience significantly less economic stress than families offered the other interventions. On measures of employment and earnings, the modest negative impacts of vouchers relative to usual care have fallen, although some remain statistically significant. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Kleinman, Rebecca; Kauff, Jackie; Dworsky, Amy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing...

    When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

    One resource for such youth is the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP is a special-purpose voucher program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, also known as Section 8) program. The primary purpose of FUP is to provide housing vouchers to child-welfare involved families for whom the lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for imminent out-of-home placement of children or delays in family reunification. Youth ages 18 to 21 who leave foster care at age 16 or older and who do not have adequate housing, however, are also eligible for a time-limited housing voucher. FUP vouchers offer up to 18 months of rental subsidy and supportive services to help such youth gain skills for independent living.

    FUP functions as an interagency collaboration between local public housing agencies (PHAs) and public child welfare agencies (PCWAs). Participating communities decide whether to apply for FUP vouchers, and, if awarded vouchers, whether to serve families, youth, or both in their FUP programs. In communities using FUP for youth, PCWAs refer eligible youth to PHAs and offer supportive services to those who receive a FUP voucher. When PHAs receive youth referrals, they verify HCV eligibility and subsidize the rent of eligible youth who are able to find and secure housing.

    This report describes the extent to which—and how—communities are using FUP to support youth. The research draws on findings from a survey of PHAs administering FUP, a survey of PCWAs partnered with PHAs that serve youth, and site visits to four areas that use FUP to serve youth. The surveys were designed to identify the universe of communities providing FUP vouchers to youth and to gather basic information about how they administer the program. The site visits sought to provide a finer grained understanding of how communities are using FUP to serve this population and sought to identify promising practices and lessons learned. (author summary)

  • Individual Author: Bellotti, Jeanne; Derr, Michelle; Paxton, Nora
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    In July 2007, the Employment and Training Administration awarded grants to five organizations to assist ex-offenders transition back into their communities under the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program. The demonstration is based on the core premise that helping formerly incarcerated individuals find and maintain stable and legal employment will reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The cornerstone of the beneficiary choice approach is the participant's choice of the service provider that best meets his/her needs. The demonstration includes the added element of performance-based contracting for those services.

    This report, Giving Ex-Offenders a Choice in Life: First Findings from the Beneficiary Choice Demonstration, was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Information included in the report was gathered during visits to each grantee community and after intense discussions at grantee conferences sponsored by the Department of Labor. The report includes a description of the grantees and the communities in which they operate; the grantees’...

    In July 2007, the Employment and Training Administration awarded grants to five organizations to assist ex-offenders transition back into their communities under the Beneficiary Choice Contracting Program. The demonstration is based on the core premise that helping formerly incarcerated individuals find and maintain stable and legal employment will reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The cornerstone of the beneficiary choice approach is the participant's choice of the service provider that best meets his/her needs. The demonstration includes the added element of performance-based contracting for those services.

    This report, Giving Ex-Offenders a Choice in Life: First Findings from the Beneficiary Choice Demonstration, was prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Information included in the report was gathered during visits to each grantee community and after intense discussions at grantee conferences sponsored by the Department of Labor. The report includes a description of the grantees and the communities in which they operate; the grantees’ experiences in developing the programs; the characteristics of participants enrolled during the initial months of operation; and some of their early employment-related outcomes. Of particular interest, the report also includes a description of grantees’ initial efforts to ensure that participants have a truly independent choice of service providers. The early successes and ongoing challenges faced by the grantees when implementing the indirect funding approach through performance-based contracting are also identified in the report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Paulsell, Diane; Max, Jeffrey; Derr, Michelle; Burwick, Andrew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    The public workforce investment system aims to serve all job seekers, but many of those most in need of help do not use it. Language barriers, dislike or fear of government agencies, limited awareness of available services, and difficulties using self-directed services are some of the challenges that may limit the accessibility of the system. While not traditionally partners in the workforce investment system, small, grassroots faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) may be well positioned to serve people who do not currently use the public workforce system. Some job seekers may be more likely to access services from FBCOs because they typically have earned the trust of local community members and understand their needs. Moreover, FBCOs often provide personal, flexible, and comprehensive services that are well suited to people who face multiple barriers to employment.

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recognized that by filling a service gap and serving some of the neediest populations, FBCOs have the potential to be valuable partners in the workforce...

    The public workforce investment system aims to serve all job seekers, but many of those most in need of help do not use it. Language barriers, dislike or fear of government agencies, limited awareness of available services, and difficulties using self-directed services are some of the challenges that may limit the accessibility of the system. While not traditionally partners in the workforce investment system, small, grassroots faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) may be well positioned to serve people who do not currently use the public workforce system. Some job seekers may be more likely to access services from FBCOs because they typically have earned the trust of local community members and understand their needs. Moreover, FBCOs often provide personal, flexible, and comprehensive services that are well suited to people who face multiple barriers to employment.

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recognized that by filling a service gap and serving some of the neediest populations, FBCOs have the potential to be valuable partners in the workforce investment system. Collaborating with FBCOs may also allow the government to leverage its workforce investment funds by taking advantage of the volunteers, donated goods and services, and other resources FBCOs are often able to access. Moreover, an FBCO’s knowledge of its community and its needs may help workforce investment agencies plan and deliver services more effectively.

    Collaborations between government agencies and FBCOs may not, however, come easily. In many communities, workforce investment agencies and grassroots FBCOs have little experience working together. Government agencies may not know about the work of FBCOs, and FBCOs may be unaware of the ways that public agencies could help their clients. Each may perceive the other’s mission as different from its own. In addition, government agencies may be concerned about their customers’ rights and legal issues when services are provided by faith-based organizations (FBOs), and the limited administrative and service capacity of some FBCOs may also be a barrier to collaborative relationships.

    Cognizant of the potential barriers to these collaborations, DOL has since 2002 granted over $30 million to promote and sustain collaborations between FBCOs and the workforce investment system. These grants have been made to FBCOs, states, intermediaries, and Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). Intermediaries are larger nonprofit faith- or community-based agencies that can facilitate collaboration with smaller, grassroots organizations. WIBs are state or local entities that oversee the local workforce investment systems. (author abstract)

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