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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: Goerge, Robert M. ; Wiegand, Emily R. ; Gjertson, Leah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2021

    This brief summarizes results from a 2019 needs assessment of the capacity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs in 54 U.S. states and territories to analyze data used for the purposes of program improvement, monitoring, and evidence-building. It highlights areas of strength and success in how these agencies use data, as well as areas for growth. It also includes suggested strategies that may improve data use by TANF agencies.

    The brief should be of interest to policymakers, researchers, and organizations seeking to expand the use of data in state TANF agencies. Additionally, it may be of interest to state TANF administrators who wish to understand the landscape of data use.

    Purpose

    The assessment was completed to understand TANF agencies’ needs for training and technical assistance to expand data use and capacity. These findings directly informed the design of the TANF Data Innovation (TDI) project, launched by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen agencies’ use...

    This brief summarizes results from a 2019 needs assessment of the capacity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs in 54 U.S. states and territories to analyze data used for the purposes of program improvement, monitoring, and evidence-building. It highlights areas of strength and success in how these agencies use data, as well as areas for growth. It also includes suggested strategies that may improve data use by TANF agencies.

    The brief should be of interest to policymakers, researchers, and organizations seeking to expand the use of data in state TANF agencies. Additionally, it may be of interest to state TANF administrators who wish to understand the landscape of data use.

    Purpose

    The assessment was completed to understand TANF agencies’ needs for training and technical assistance to expand data use and capacity. These findings directly informed the design of the TANF Data Innovation (TDI) project, launched by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen agencies’ use of TANF, employment, and other administrative data. The brief shares findings more broadly to inform similar and future efforts.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    Positive characteristics of data use by state TANF agencies include the following:

    • Information is flowing to TANF decision-makers, especially through regular reports of aggregated data.
    • Agencies have access to a consistent set of data elements.
    • Agency staff members have knowledge of fundamental data analysis techniques and tools.
    • TANF staff members rate their agency’s data use highly.

    Areas for growth in state TANF agency data use include:

    • Limited staff capacity, especially staff time, restricts what agencies can do.
    • Users may not be able to understand or trust the data because of data quality or documentation challenges.
    • Some states have modernized data systems, but other systems are increasingly becoming obsolete.
    • Agencies report access to employment data for TANF recipients, but access for analytical purposes continues to be a challenge.

    Methods

    There were three components to the needs assessment. The first component was an online survey of the 54 states and territories that operate TANF; 48 of 54 agencies responded. The second was a series of in-depth stakeholder interviews with experts from federal and local government agencies and human service, research, and technology organizations. The third was a systematic review of online public reports and analyses that used TANF data. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Work-related requirements—such as employment, job search, job training, or community engagement activities—are currently a condition of eligibility for some safety net programs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance and Medicaid each include work-related requirements in some states or localities for some beneficiaries. Recent proposals would expand or introduce new work requirements in these and other safety net programs, which offer vital supports for families to meet their basic needs.

    For parents, meeting work requirements to gain or maintain eligibility for safety net programs and access to vital supports is not as straightforward as simply engaging in the required work activities. Parents must not only understand what the requirements are, but be able to access the necessary training and supports to meet the requirements and document their compliance. If they qualify for an exemption, they must learn how to document this as well. Agencies administering safety net programs must be able...

    Work-related requirements—such as employment, job search, job training, or community engagement activities—are currently a condition of eligibility for some safety net programs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance and Medicaid each include work-related requirements in some states or localities for some beneficiaries. Recent proposals would expand or introduce new work requirements in these and other safety net programs, which offer vital supports for families to meet their basic needs.

    For parents, meeting work requirements to gain or maintain eligibility for safety net programs and access to vital supports is not as straightforward as simply engaging in the required work activities. Parents must not only understand what the requirements are, but be able to access the necessary training and supports to meet the requirements and document their compliance. If they qualify for an exemption, they must learn how to document this as well. Agencies administering safety net programs must be able to efficiently process each case.

    This report illustrates and explores the complex pathways parents who are subject to work requirements must navigate to maintain their access to the safety net. Some pathways may lead families to maintain their access to benefits, while others could lead them to lose access to benefits for which they are still eligible. (Edited author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Karpman, Michael; Hahn, Heather; Gangopadhyaya, Anuj
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Since 2017, policymakers have sought to establish or expand work requirements for participants in federal safety net programs. These policies generally require non-disabled adults to work or participate in work-related activities for a minimum number of hours per week or month to continue receiving benefits. Program participants must navigate these requirements within a low-wage job market in which just-in-time scheduling practices have resulted in unstable and unpredictable work hours for many employees.

    Using data from the December 2018 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, we examined the prevalence of precarious work schedules among working adults whose families participate in federal safety net programs in the past year, focusing on four key areas: nonstandard work shift schedules, fluctuation in weekly hours worked, advance notice of work schedules, and control over work schedules. We find that safety net program participants’ work schedules are structured in ways that would place these workers at risk of transitioning in and out of compliance with...

    Since 2017, policymakers have sought to establish or expand work requirements for participants in federal safety net programs. These policies generally require non-disabled adults to work or participate in work-related activities for a minimum number of hours per week or month to continue receiving benefits. Program participants must navigate these requirements within a low-wage job market in which just-in-time scheduling practices have resulted in unstable and unpredictable work hours for many employees.

    Using data from the December 2018 Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, we examined the prevalence of precarious work schedules among working adults whose families participate in federal safety net programs in the past year, focusing on four key areas: nonstandard work shift schedules, fluctuation in weekly hours worked, advance notice of work schedules, and control over work schedules. We find that safety net program participants’ work schedules are structured in ways that would place these workers at risk of transitioning in and out of compliance with work requirements week to week for reasons beyond their control. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jones, Kristen
    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 provides the results of a study concering SNAP E&T participation and programs. Results suggests partnerships with providers embedded in communities that include SNAP participants improve outcomes. 

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. The presentation provides the results of a study concering SNAP E&T participation and programs. Results suggests partnerships with providers embedded in communities that include SNAP participants improve outcomes. 

  • Individual Author: Rigsby, Allison
    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 provides an overview of Louisiana's mandatory and voluntary SNAP E&T programs across providers and locations. 

    This presentation was given at the 57th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Workshop in 2019. The presentation provides an overview of Louisiana's mandatory and voluntary SNAP E&T programs across providers and locations. 

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