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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: Brown, June
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    We purposefully selected eight States in which to visit at least one urban and one rural office. In total, we visited 26 TANF offices, where we held caseworker focus groups, director interviews, and limited case-file reviews of recently sanctioned cases with individual caseworkers. At 19 of the offices, we conducted client focus groups and also interviewed at least one advocacy group in each State. In addition, we collected sanction policies and notices from each State. Lastly, we reviewed 47 notices issued by the offices that we visited, evaluating each for completeness and clarity.

    The methods we used during this study pose some distinct advantages and disadvantages for the scope of our findings. The purposeful sample allowed us to examine sanction implementation in States with widely varying attributes. We also gained a thorough understanding of our respondents’ relationships with and attitudes towards sanctions. Our methodology precludes us, however, from commenting on the extent to which our findings and observations are representative nationwide. We also cannot...

    We purposefully selected eight States in which to visit at least one urban and one rural office. In total, we visited 26 TANF offices, where we held caseworker focus groups, director interviews, and limited case-file reviews of recently sanctioned cases with individual caseworkers. At 19 of the offices, we conducted client focus groups and also interviewed at least one advocacy group in each State. In addition, we collected sanction policies and notices from each State. Lastly, we reviewed 47 notices issued by the offices that we visited, evaluating each for completeness and clarity.

    The methods we used during this study pose some distinct advantages and disadvantages for the scope of our findings. The purposeful sample allowed us to examine sanction implementation in States with widely varying attributes. We also gained a thorough understanding of our respondents’ relationships with and attitudes towards sanctions. Our methodology precludes us, however, from commenting on the extent to which our findings and observations are representative nationwide. We also cannot evaluate direct outcomes of sanction policies, procedures, and practices on clients and the program.

    Comprehensive and understandable notices can improve the sanction process. A sanction notice with complete information in a clear format can improve client understanding and help alleviate frustration for both clients and caseworkers.

    Sanction notices are deficient in some respects. Although most notices adequately explain some sanction details, many lack instructions on how to cure sanctions and do not reference local legal aid. A few notices contain incorrect information which can mislead clients and create extra work for caseworkers. Confusing wording on notices impedes client understanding, an effect heightened by language barriers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Elliot, Mark; Palubinsky, Beth; Tierny, Joseph
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    Five programs in the Bridges to Work demonstration have functioned as a labor market exchange--with the main services being job matching and transportation coordination--for job-ready inner-city workers and suburban employment. The logistics of transportation have been simple; the basics of employment have been an ongoing challenge. Sites have struggled with recruitment because of strong economic growth, insufficient credibility, and local employment organizations reluctant to work with Bridges. Revised recruitment includes expansion of original neighborhoods and more creative and flexible approaches to outreach. Since most participants were not job-ready, sites have added job readiness training and support for recent placements to boost retention. Four principles to guide planning and implementation of transportation services are the following: flexible, extensive routes and schedules; punctual, reliable service; quick response to unplanned events and emergencies; and no transportation for other purposes. The Bridges program should include the transportation provider early in...

    Five programs in the Bridges to Work demonstration have functioned as a labor market exchange--with the main services being job matching and transportation coordination--for job-ready inner-city workers and suburban employment. The logistics of transportation have been simple; the basics of employment have been an ongoing challenge. Sites have struggled with recruitment because of strong economic growth, insufficient credibility, and local employment organizations reluctant to work with Bridges. Revised recruitment includes expansion of original neighborhoods and more creative and flexible approaches to outreach. Since most participants were not job-ready, sites have added job readiness training and support for recent placements to boost retention. Four principles to guide planning and implementation of transportation services are the following: flexible, extensive routes and schedules; punctual, reliable service; quick response to unplanned events and emergencies; and no transportation for other purposes. The Bridges program should include the transportation provider early in the program planning process, select one with the capacity and vehicles that best fit the program, select firms whose main business is transportation, and avoid changing providers. Bridges' experience shows transportation alone will not connect applicants and jobs. Intensive recruitment, job preparation, and retention services make more effective programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shirk, Martha; Bennett, Neil G.; Aber, J. Lawrence
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1999

    In Lives on the Line, Martha Shirk, Neil G. Bennett, and NCCP Director J. Lawrence Aber meld affecting personal profiles with sophisticated demographic analysis to create a vivid portrait of what life is like for more than 14 million American children growing up below the poverty line. In personal profiles of ten families across the nation, from a Pacific Islander family in Hawaii to a homeless family in a wealthy New York City suburb, award-winning journalist Martha Shirk depicts the realities of life for children below the poverty line. She takes readers deep into the lives of families in poverty—lives sometimes marked by childhood abuse, parental loss, and long-term violence—and with each family explores their prospects for moving above the poverty threshold. Along the way, Shirk finds amazing resilience, resourcefulness, and strength of spirit in many of these poor families.

    Neil G. Bennett, Director of Demography for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University (NCCP), shatters many commonly held stereotypes by analyzing Census Bureau...

    In Lives on the Line, Martha Shirk, Neil G. Bennett, and NCCP Director J. Lawrence Aber meld affecting personal profiles with sophisticated demographic analysis to create a vivid portrait of what life is like for more than 14 million American children growing up below the poverty line. In personal profiles of ten families across the nation, from a Pacific Islander family in Hawaii to a homeless family in a wealthy New York City suburb, award-winning journalist Martha Shirk depicts the realities of life for children below the poverty line. She takes readers deep into the lives of families in poverty—lives sometimes marked by childhood abuse, parental loss, and long-term violence—and with each family explores their prospects for moving above the poverty threshold. Along the way, Shirk finds amazing resilience, resourcefulness, and strength of spirit in many of these poor families.

    Neil G. Bennett, Director of Demography for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University (NCCP), shatters many commonly held stereotypes by analyzing Census Bureau data to show which American children are most likely to be poor. He reports, for instance, that over 60 percent of poor young children have at least one employed parent, that most poor young children live in suburban or rural areas, and that a parent's graduation from high school is insufficient to insure against poverty. Among his most startling findings are that in the last two decades, the Young Child Poverty Rate grew significantly faster in the suburbs than in urban or rural areas, and that it grew much faster among whites than among blacks.

    J. Lawrence Aber, a nationally recognized expert in child development and social policy, describes the effects of poverty on child development and showcases proven strategies for preventing or reducing child poverty. He also shows us that it is in our national self-interest to address the problem of child poverty by making a smart investment in America's future.

    As a powerful portrait of the effects of poverty on America's children and families, Lives on the Line narrows the gap between “them” and “us.” It will change the way you think about the poor. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, Clifford, M.; Savner, Steve
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    This overview on potential funding sources briefly describes three major federal programs that can provide a financing base for public job creation initiatives serving hard-to-employ welfare recipients and non-custodial parents: the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Welfare-to-Work (WtW) program, and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). These three programs offer the most likely prospects for funding the core costs of such initiatives, including participants' wages as well as payroll taxes, benefits, work-site development, and case management. This overview also identifies several other federal programs that can be used to support some components of a public job creation initiative, with particular emphasis on federal housing and transportation programs. These alternative funding sources, along with WIA, may be especially useful when seeking to develop or expand public job creation initiatives to serve non-welfare populations. (author abstract)

    This overview on potential funding sources briefly describes three major federal programs that can provide a financing base for public job creation initiatives serving hard-to-employ welfare recipients and non-custodial parents: the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Welfare-to-Work (WtW) program, and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). These three programs offer the most likely prospects for funding the core costs of such initiatives, including participants' wages as well as payroll taxes, benefits, work-site development, and case management. This overview also identifies several other federal programs that can be used to support some components of a public job creation initiative, with particular emphasis on federal housing and transportation programs. These alternative funding sources, along with WIA, may be especially useful when seeking to develop or expand public job creation initiatives to serve non-welfare populations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, Earl S.; Levine, Ann; Doolittle, Fred C.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1999

    This book examines the experiences of 32 men participating in Parents' Fair Share (PFS), which was designed to help them get better jobs, pay child support, and become more involved with their children. All participants were low-income, noncustodial fathers who were not paying court mandated child support. Most were African American or Latino and lived in inner city, low-income neighborhoods. Data came from semi-structured interviews, informal conversations, and observations. Participants offered their opinions of and reactions to PFS and discussed whether it helped them become consistent child support payers. They also discussed their lives outside of PFS, articulating obstacles encountered when trying to become more active parents. Eight appendixes present sample data and research methodology; maps; lists and descriptions of peer support sessions; family tree; personal shields; profiles of two participants deciding how to use their money; profiles of selected participants; questions for noncustodial parents in PFS; and profile of interviewees. (author abstract)

    This book examines the experiences of 32 men participating in Parents' Fair Share (PFS), which was designed to help them get better jobs, pay child support, and become more involved with their children. All participants were low-income, noncustodial fathers who were not paying court mandated child support. Most were African American or Latino and lived in inner city, low-income neighborhoods. Data came from semi-structured interviews, informal conversations, and observations. Participants offered their opinions of and reactions to PFS and discussed whether it helped them become consistent child support payers. They also discussed their lives outside of PFS, articulating obstacles encountered when trying to become more active parents. Eight appendixes present sample data and research methodology; maps; lists and descriptions of peer support sessions; family tree; personal shields; profiles of two participants deciding how to use their money; profiles of selected participants; questions for noncustodial parents in PFS; and profile of interviewees. (author abstract)

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