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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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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: Danielson, Caroline; Reed, Deborah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    California's welfare program - the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program - provides cash assistance to needy families while helping them gain self-sufficiency. Toward this end, most adults receiving CalWORKs are required to work; they may also (with some restrictions) combine work with education or training. If they do not work or do not seek employment and lack a valid exemption, CalWORKs adults risk losing a portion of their welfare grants.

    Federal rules require the state to have close to half of all adults on welfare working at least part-time, or engaged in a limited set of activities intended to lead to employment. Failure to meet this standard (the so-called "work participation rate") can result in substantial fiscal penalties for the state. The most recent official statistics indicate that only about one-fifth (22.2%) of CalWORKs families required to comply with the federal standard actually did in 2006.

    In his 2007, 2008, and 2009 budget proposals, Governor Schwarzenegger suggested major changes to the sanction and time-...

    California's welfare program - the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program - provides cash assistance to needy families while helping them gain self-sufficiency. Toward this end, most adults receiving CalWORKs are required to work; they may also (with some restrictions) combine work with education or training. If they do not work or do not seek employment and lack a valid exemption, CalWORKs adults risk losing a portion of their welfare grants.

    Federal rules require the state to have close to half of all adults on welfare working at least part-time, or engaged in a limited set of activities intended to lead to employment. Failure to meet this standard (the so-called "work participation rate") can result in substantial fiscal penalties for the state. The most recent official statistics indicate that only about one-fifth (22.2%) of CalWORKs families required to comply with the federal standard actually did in 2006.

    In his 2007, 2008, and 2009 budget proposals, Governor Schwarzenegger suggested major changes to the sanction and time-limit policies in the CalWORKs program, seeking to boost the share of welfare adults who are working. Current state law allows cash assistance to continue to children whose parents have been removed from aid ("sanctioned") for failing to meet work requirements. Similarly, current law limits adults to a maximum of 60 months of cash assistance, but their children's eligibility is not time limited.  The governor's proposals entailed eventually eliminating benefits to the entire family if parents are not working sufficient hours. To-date, the governor's sanction and time-limit proposals have not been included in an enacted budget.

    This report examines the likely effects that increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies would have on the welfare caseload, the state's work participation rate, and the economic circumstances of vulnerable families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lindhorst, Taryn; Mancoske, Ronald J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    A central feature of the reforms enacted through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (welfare reform) has been the adoption of strategies to involuntarily remove Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients from the welfare rolls, including increased use of sanctions and time limits on welfare receipt. Drawing on data from a three year panel study of women who had been receiving welfare in a state which adopted stringent sanctioning and time limit policies, we investigate predictors of recipients’ TANF status after implementation of welfare reform, and identify differences in post-reform material resources, hardships and quality of life based on TANF status. Almost half of all welfare case closures during the first time period after reforms were implemented through involuntary strategies. Relatively few baseline characteristics predicted different outcomes once welfare time limits and sanctions were implemented. Those who were timed off welfare had substantially lower incomes in the year following their removal. One third of all...

    A central feature of the reforms enacted through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (welfare reform) has been the adoption of strategies to involuntarily remove Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients from the welfare rolls, including increased use of sanctions and time limits on welfare receipt. Drawing on data from a three year panel study of women who had been receiving welfare in a state which adopted stringent sanctioning and time limit policies, we investigate predictors of recipients’ TANF status after implementation of welfare reform, and identify differences in post-reform material resources, hardships and quality of life based on TANF status. Almost half of all welfare case closures during the first time period after reforms were implemented through involuntary strategies. Relatively few baseline characteristics predicted different outcomes once welfare time limits and sanctions were implemented. Those who were timed off welfare had substantially lower incomes in the year following their removal. One third of all respondents, regardless of reason for leaving TANF reported having insufficient food, housing problems and lack of access to needed medical care. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blank, Rebecca M.
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2004

    In August 1996, the Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Many pieces of legislation are heralded as “pathbreaking reform” when they are passed. PRWORA was an exception in that such a claim has turned out to be correct. The changes that PRWORA initiated, along with several related policy changes that occurred at the same time, have fundamentally altered the ways in which we provide assistance to low-income families in the United States. The implications of these changes are only beginning to be understood. This paper reviews the provisions of PRWORA and its subsequent effects on welfare programs, provides some simple empirical summaries of the changes in behavior and well-being since the mid-1990s, summarizes the existing literature that analyzes the effects of these reforms and discusses a set of key questions about the effects of these reforms that are still unanswered. (author introduction)

    In August 1996, the Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Many pieces of legislation are heralded as “pathbreaking reform” when they are passed. PRWORA was an exception in that such a claim has turned out to be correct. The changes that PRWORA initiated, along with several related policy changes that occurred at the same time, have fundamentally altered the ways in which we provide assistance to low-income families in the United States. The implications of these changes are only beginning to be understood. This paper reviews the provisions of PRWORA and its subsequent effects on welfare programs, provides some simple empirical summaries of the changes in behavior and well-being since the mid-1990s, summarizes the existing literature that analyzes the effects of these reforms and discusses a set of key questions about the effects of these reforms that are still unanswered. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Tout, Kathryn; Brooks, Jennifer; Zaslow, Martha; Redd, Zakia; Moore, Kristin; McGarvey, Ayelish; McGroder, Sharon; Gennetian, Lisa; Morris, Pamela; Ross, Christine; Beecroft, Erik
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    This report focuses on the question of whether and how pilot welfare reform programs launched in five states–Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota–affected children’s developmental outcomes. We synthesize results from experimental studies (in which follow-up interviews ranged from 2.5 to 6.5 years after random assignment) in the five states, looking first at adult economic outcomes that the programs aimed to change (targeted outcomes), then turning to aspects of young children’s lives–including child care and the home environment–that may also have been changed by the programs, and focusing finally on how children themselves were affected by the programs. (author abstract)

    This report focuses on the question of whether and how pilot welfare reform programs launched in five states–Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota–affected children’s developmental outcomes. We synthesize results from experimental studies (in which follow-up interviews ranged from 2.5 to 6.5 years after random assignment) in the five states, looking first at adult economic outcomes that the programs aimed to change (targeted outcomes), then turning to aspects of young children’s lives–including child care and the home environment–that may also have been changed by the programs, and focusing finally on how children themselves were affected by the programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Reference Type: Regulation
    Year: 1999

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issues regulations governing key provisions of the new welfare block grant program enacted in 1996—the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. It replaces the national welfare program known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the related programs known as the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program. These rules reflect new Federal, State, and Tribal relationships in the administration of welfare programs; a new focus on moving recipients into work; and a new emphasis on program information, measurement, and performance regulatory reform (author abstract). 

    64 Fed. Reg. 17720 (1999). 

     

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issues regulations governing key provisions of the new welfare block grant program enacted in 1996—the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. It replaces the national welfare program known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the related programs known as the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program. These rules reflect new Federal, State, and Tribal relationships in the administration of welfare programs; a new focus on moving recipients into work; and a new emphasis on program information, measurement, and performance regulatory reform (author abstract). 

    64 Fed. Reg. 17720 (1999). 

     

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