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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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  • Individual Author: Paxson, Christina; Waldfogel, Jane
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This paper examines how child maltreatment is affected by the economic circumstances of parents. 'Child maltreatment' encompasses a wide range of behaviors that adversely affect children. It includes neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and other forms of abuse or neglect. Using state-level panel data on the numbers of reports and substantiated cases of maltreatment, we examine whether socioeconomic factors play different roles for these different types of maltreatment. A key finding is that the economic circumstances of parents matter: increases in the fractions of children with absent fathers and working mothers are related to increases in many of the measures of maltreatment, as are increases in the share of families with two non-working parents, and those with incomes below 75 percent of the poverty line. We also examine the links between family structure, welfare benefits, and child maltreatment. Welfare programs affect the incentives of women and men to work and to live in single or dual-parent families. By changing the family structure and work behavior of parents as...

    This paper examines how child maltreatment is affected by the economic circumstances of parents. 'Child maltreatment' encompasses a wide range of behaviors that adversely affect children. It includes neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and other forms of abuse or neglect. Using state-level panel data on the numbers of reports and substantiated cases of maltreatment, we examine whether socioeconomic factors play different roles for these different types of maltreatment. A key finding is that the economic circumstances of parents matter: increases in the fractions of children with absent fathers and working mothers are related to increases in many of the measures of maltreatment, as are increases in the share of families with two non-working parents, and those with incomes below 75 percent of the poverty line. We also examine the links between family structure, welfare benefits, and child maltreatment. Welfare programs affect the incentives of women and men to work and to live in single or dual-parent families. By changing the family structure and work behavior of parents as well as their incomes, welfare reforms can be expected to affect the incidence of child maltreatment. Although is too early to accurately determine what the effects of the recent reforms will be, our analysis indicates that: 1) consistent with other research, the characteristics of state's welfare systems have affected the work behavior and structure of families during the 1977-1996 time period; 2) decreases in a state's welfare benefit levels are associated with large increases in child neglect, and with small decreases in physical abuse. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zedlewski, Sheila
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The dramatic shift from cash assistance to work, embodied in the 1996 replacement of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), highlights the need to understand the extent to which current cash assistance recipients participate in required work-related activities—and the obstacles they may face in getting and keeping a job. The 1997 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) provides a picture of recipient work activity and obstacles to work in the early period of TANF implementation.2

    The good news, according to NSAF data, is that a larger proportion of the TANF caseload was participating in work activities in 1997 than in the past. More than half reported either working, being in school, or actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to the survey. However, not all the news was so positive. More than 4 out of 10 recipients reported at least two significant obstacles to work, such as low education, no recent work experience...

    The dramatic shift from cash assistance to work, embodied in the 1996 replacement of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), highlights the need to understand the extent to which current cash assistance recipients participate in required work-related activities—and the obstacles they may face in getting and keeping a job. The 1997 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) provides a picture of recipient work activity and obstacles to work in the early period of TANF implementation.2

    The good news, according to NSAF data, is that a larger proportion of the TANF caseload was participating in work activities in 1997 than in the past. More than half reported either working, being in school, or actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to the survey. However, not all the news was so positive. More than 4 out of 10 recipients reported at least two significant obstacles to work, such as low education, no recent work experience, or mental or physical health problems.

    The survey also provides a preliminary but suggestive look at whether, as states continue to move TANF recipients into jobs, recipients still receiving TANF are likely to face increasing obstacles to a successful move from welfare to employment. So far, the evidence is mixed. Contrary to what one might expect, states that had instituted work-focused welfare reform prior to TANF had 1997 caseloads with fewer reports of obstacles to work than did states with less or no focus on work before TANF became federal law. These same states had larger shares of recipients working regardless of reported obstacles to work. Further, the rate of caseload decline per se did not seem to clearly relate to caseload disadvantage at this early stage of reform. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    Year: 1999

    For at least 30 years, states’ welfare and workforce development systems have been collaborating at some level to provide employment and training services to welfare clients, but their efforts often focused more on skills training than on getting a job. Over time, federal welfare reform initiatives have given states greater flexibility to design and administer their welfare programs to serve their unique program needs, including greater flexibility in collaborating with workforce development systems. At the same time, the workforce development system has established a new service delivery mechanism, called the one-stop career center, which states have been implementing to deliver employment and training services to all clients. (author abstract)

    For at least 30 years, states’ welfare and workforce development systems have been collaborating at some level to provide employment and training services to welfare clients, but their efforts often focused more on skills training than on getting a job. Over time, federal welfare reform initiatives have given states greater flexibility to design and administer their welfare programs to serve their unique program needs, including greater flexibility in collaborating with workforce development systems. At the same time, the workforce development system has established a new service delivery mechanism, called the one-stop career center, which states have been implementing to deliver employment and training services to all clients. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bos, Johannes M.; Huston, Aletha C.; Granger, Robert C.; Brock, Thomas W.; McLoyd, Vonnie C.; Duncan, Greg J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This is the second report from the evaluation of New Hope, an innovative project developed and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has sought to improve the lives and reduce the poverty of low-income workers and their families. New Hope relied on several components and services to increase the income, financial security, and access to full-time employment of low-income workers in two areas of Milwaukee. In these target areas, all low-income workers (and those not employed, but willing to work full time) were eligible to receive New Hope benefits. New Hope began operating as a demonstration program in 1994, enrolling volunteers during an intake period that lasted through December 1995. (author abstract)

    This is the second report from the evaluation of New Hope, an innovative project developed and operated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has sought to improve the lives and reduce the poverty of low-income workers and their families. New Hope relied on several components and services to increase the income, financial security, and access to full-time employment of low-income workers in two areas of Milwaukee. In these target areas, all low-income workers (and those not employed, but willing to work full time) were eligible to receive New Hope benefits. New Hope began operating as a demonstration program in 1994, enrolling volunteers during an intake period that lasted through December 1995. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brown, June
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This is one of three OIG reports on how States administer client sanctions under TANF. One companion report, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Client Sanctions (OEI-09-98-00290), provides a broad overview of State administration of client sanctions. The other, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families:  Improving Client Sanction Notices (OEI-09-98-00292), reviews State methods for informing clients of sanction decisions via written notices.

    The purpose of this report is to determine how States inform clients about sanction policies under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  We find that:

    - TANF offices explain sanctions to clients repeatedly, using diverse methods

    - Orientation materials commonly lack information about the amount of the sanction and the definition of good cause

    - Most States describe other vital information about sanctions completely and present it in a logical format

    - TANF clients do not fully understand sanctions and, according to caseworkers, are not...

    This is one of three OIG reports on how States administer client sanctions under TANF. One companion report, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Client Sanctions (OEI-09-98-00290), provides a broad overview of State administration of client sanctions. The other, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families:  Improving Client Sanction Notices (OEI-09-98-00292), reviews State methods for informing clients of sanction decisions via written notices.

    The purpose of this report is to determine how States inform clients about sanction policies under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  We find that:

    - TANF offices explain sanctions to clients repeatedly, using diverse methods

    - Orientation materials commonly lack information about the amount of the sanction and the definition of good cause

    - Most States describe other vital information about sanctions completely and present it in a logical format

    - TANF clients do not fully understand sanctions and, according to caseworkers, are not concerned about sanctions until they are imposed

    We recommend that the Administration for Children and Families encourage States to provide complete, correct, and understandable information to clients on: the causes of sanctions; the amounts of sanctions; the duration of sanctions; “good cause” reasons for work exemptions; and client appeal, fair hearing, and, if applicable, conciliation rights. (author abstract)

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