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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: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Many Federal agencies collect and report data on the Nation's most valuable resource: children. Yet policy makers and the general public sometimes have found it difficult to obtain an overview of how children are faring. And while the Government has published occasional reports on various aspects of children's lives, it has never truly coordinated agency efforts to provide the American people with a periodic, easy-to-understand portrait of the well-being of our Nation's children.

    President Clinton's recent Executive Order no. 13045 changes all that. The Executive Order requires the Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a body created to foster greater coordination among Federal agencies that produce data about children, to furnish an annual report - this report - on the most important indicators of the well-being of the Nation's children. (author introduction)

    Many Federal agencies collect and report data on the Nation's most valuable resource: children. Yet policy makers and the general public sometimes have found it difficult to obtain an overview of how children are faring. And while the Government has published occasional reports on various aspects of children's lives, it has never truly coordinated agency efforts to provide the American people with a periodic, easy-to-understand portrait of the well-being of our Nation's children.

    President Clinton's recent Executive Order no. 13045 changes all that. The Executive Order requires the Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a body created to foster greater coordination among Federal agencies that produce data about children, to furnish an annual report - this report - on the most important indicators of the well-being of the Nation's children. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Blank, Susan W.; Blum, Barbara B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    The best known of the nation's welfare programs, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), has from its inception reflected a tension between the desire to support children in poor, lone-parent families and the belief that parents should be held responsible for providing for themselves and their children. Against that backdrop, this article reviews the history of the AFDC program and traces the emergence of policies and programs intended to encourage employment of the parents (almost exclusively mothers) who receive benefits. The article examines in detail the Work Incentive Program (WIN) launched in 1967 and the Family Support Act of 1988, comparing these to each other and to the outlines of welfare reform signed into law in 1996. The article emphasizes the importance of sustained attention to the implementation of policy goals in concrete programs and shows that the merits of those early programs have not been fully tested because they were never funded or implemented at the scale intended. The article also outlines ways in which welfare-to-work programs can be used to...

    The best known of the nation's welfare programs, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), has from its inception reflected a tension between the desire to support children in poor, lone-parent families and the belief that parents should be held responsible for providing for themselves and their children. Against that backdrop, this article reviews the history of the AFDC program and traces the emergence of policies and programs intended to encourage employment of the parents (almost exclusively mothers) who receive benefits. The article examines in detail the Work Incentive Program (WIN) launched in 1967 and the Family Support Act of 1988, comparing these to each other and to the outlines of welfare reform signed into law in 1996. The article emphasizes the importance of sustained attention to the implementation of policy goals in concrete programs and shows that the merits of those early programs have not been fully tested because they were never funded or implemented at the scale intended. The article also outlines ways in which welfare-to-work programs can be used to assist children as well as parents, and urges that children's well-being remain the core purpose of welfare policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ku, Leighton; Coughlin, Teresa A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    When the dust settled in the 104th Congress, the major changes to Medicaid came not from the highly visible proposals to block grant or cap the program, but from welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193). Since attention focused on the ill-fated Medicaid block grant proposal, the welfare reform-related changes came as a surprise to many. While the welfare reform law does not change how Medicaid delivers health care nor alter its entitlement status, it reduces the number of people covered and lowers federal expenditures.

    Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. In 1995, 41 million people were insured by Medicaid at a cost of $151 billion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the new law would lower federal spending on Medicaid by about 1 percent in the year 2002 compared to previous projections, and save a total of $4 billion over six years (1996 to 2002)....

    When the dust settled in the 104th Congress, the major changes to Medicaid came not from the highly visible proposals to block grant or cap the program, but from welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193). Since attention focused on the ill-fated Medicaid block grant proposal, the welfare reform-related changes came as a surprise to many. While the welfare reform law does not change how Medicaid delivers health care nor alter its entitlement status, it reduces the number of people covered and lowers federal expenditures.

    Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. In 1995, 41 million people were insured by Medicaid at a cost of $151 billion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the new law would lower federal spending on Medicaid by about 1 percent in the year 2002 compared to previous projections, and save a total of $4 billion over six years (1996 to 2002).1 These savings will lower the federal deficit and reduce the pressure for further Medicaid spending cuts.

    This policy brief discusses the four principal changes made to Medicaid eligibility by the welfare reform legislation:

    • Decoupling welfare and Medicaid eligibility;
    • Narrowing Medicaid eligibility for disabled children in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program;
    • Terminating access to Medicaid for some legal immigrants because they lose SSI; and
    • Barring most future legal immigrants from Medicaid.

    It also reviews how the new provisions may potentially affect key parties—state and local governments, health care providers, and beneficiaries. Critical decisions will be made by state legislatures and executive agencies in the next several months as they implement the changes in federal rules. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Duncan, Greg; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    One in five American children now live in families with incomes below the poverty line, and their prospects are not bright. Low income is statistically linked with a variety of poor outcomes for children, from low birth weight and poor nutrition in infancy to increased chances of academic failure, emotional distress, and unwed childbirth in adolescence. To address these problems it is not enough to know that money makes a difference; we need to understand how. Consequences of Growing Up Poor is an extensive and illuminating examination of the paths through which economic deprivation damages children at all stages of their development.

    In Consequences of Growing Up Poor, developmental psychologists, economists, and sociologists revisit a large body of studies to answer specific questions about how low income puts children at risk intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Many of their investigations demonstrate that although income clearly creates disadvantages, it does so selectively and in a wide variety of ways. Low-income preschoolers exhibit poorer cognitive and...

    One in five American children now live in families with incomes below the poverty line, and their prospects are not bright. Low income is statistically linked with a variety of poor outcomes for children, from low birth weight and poor nutrition in infancy to increased chances of academic failure, emotional distress, and unwed childbirth in adolescence. To address these problems it is not enough to know that money makes a difference; we need to understand how. Consequences of Growing Up Poor is an extensive and illuminating examination of the paths through which economic deprivation damages children at all stages of their development.

    In Consequences of Growing Up Poor, developmental psychologists, economists, and sociologists revisit a large body of studies to answer specific questions about how low income puts children at risk intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Many of their investigations demonstrate that although income clearly creates disadvantages, it does so selectively and in a wide variety of ways. Low-income preschoolers exhibit poorer cognitive and verbal skills because they are generally exposed to fewer toys, books, and other stimulating experiences in the home. Poor parents also tend to rely on home-based child care, where the quality and amount of attention children receive is inferior to that of professional facilities. In later years, conflict between economically stressed parents increases anxiety and weakens self-esteem in their teenaged children.

    Although they share economic hardships, the home lives of poor children are not homogenous. Consequences of Growing Up Poor investigates whether such family conditions as the marital status, education, and involvement of parents mitigate the ill effects of poverty. Consequences of Growing Up Poor also looks at the importance of timing: Does being poor have a different impact on preschoolers, children, and adolescents? When are children most vulnerable to poverty? Some contributors find that poverty in the prenatal or early childhood years appears to be particularly detrimental to cognitive development and physical health. Others offer evidence that lower income has a stronger negative effect during adolescence than in childhood or adulthood.

    Based on their findings, the editors and contributors to Consequences of Growing Up Poor recommend more sharply focused child welfare policies targeted to specific eras and conditions of poor children's lives. They also weigh the relative need for income supplements, child care subsidies, and home interventions. Consequences of Growing Up Poor describes the extent and causes of hardships for poor children, defines the interaction between income and family, and offers solutions to improve young lives. (author abstract)

    Chapter 1: Poor Families, Poor Outcomes: The Well-Being of Children and Youth - Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Greg Duncan, and Nancy Maritato

    Chapter 2: Poverty Trends - Donald Hernandez 

    Chapter 3: Parent Absence or Poverty: Which Matters More? - Sara McLanahan

    Chapter 4: Trends in the Economic Well-Being and Life Chances of America's Children - Susan Mayer

    Chapter 5: Effects of Long-Term Poverty on Physical Health of Children in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - Sanders Korenman and Jane Miller

    Chapter 6: Poverty and Patterns of Child Care - NICHD Child Care Research Network 

    Chapter 7: Consequences of Living in Poverty for Young Children's Cognitive and Verbal Ability and Early School Achievement - Judith Smith, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, and Pamela Klebanov

    Chapter 8: Economic Resources, Parental Practices, and Children's Well-Being - Thomas Hanson, Sara McLanahan, and Elizabeth Thomson

    Chapter 9: Psychosocial Morbidity among Poor Children in Ontario - Ellen Lipman and David Offord

    Chapter 10: Family Economic Hardship and Adolescent Adjustment: Mediating and Moderating Processes - Rand Conger, Katherine Conger, and Glen Elder Jr.

    Chapter 11: The Influence of Poverty on Children's Classroom Placement and Behavior Problems - Linda Pagani, Bernard Boulerice, and Richard Tremblay

    Chapter 12: The Role of Family Income and Sources of Income in Adolescent Achievement - H. Elizabeth Peters and Natalie Mullis

    Chapter 13: Poverty During Adolescence and Subsequent Educational Attainment - Jay Teachman, Kathleen Paasch, Randal Day, and Karen Carver

    Chapter 14: Childhood Poverty and Adolescent Schooling and Fertility Outcomes: Reduced-Form and Structural Estimates - Robert Haveman, Barbara Wolfe, and Kathryn Wilson

    Chapter 15: Race, Sex, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty - Mary Corcoran and Terry Adams

    Chapter 16: The Effects of Parents' Income, Wealth, and Attitudes on Children's Completed Schooling and Self-Esteem - William Axinn, Greg Duncan, and Arland Thornton

    Chapter 17: Does Poverty in Adolescence Affect the Life Chances of High School Graduates? - Robert Hauser and Megan Sweeney

    Chapter 18: Income Effects Across the Life Span: Integration and Interpretation - Greg Duncan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

  • Individual Author: Duncan, Greg; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Aber, J. Lawrence
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment.

    This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between...

    Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment.

    This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between children and community. As the essays demonstrate, poverty entails a host of problems that affects the quality of educational, recreational, and child care services. Poor neighborhoods usually share other negative features—particularly racial segregation and a preponderance of single mother families—that may adversely affect children. Yet children are not equally susceptible to the pitfalls of deprived communities. Neighborhood has different effects depending on a child's age, race, and gender, while parenting techniques and a family's degree of community involvement also serve as mitigating factors.

    Volume II incorporates empirical data on neighborhood poverty into discussions of policy and program development. The contributors point to promising community initiatives and suggest methods to strengthen neighborhood-based service programs for children. Several essays analyze the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding the measurement of neighborhood characteristics. These essays focus on the need to expand scientific insight into urban poverty by drawing on broader pools of ethnographic, epidemiological, and quantitative data. Volume II explores the possibilities for a richer and more well-rounded understanding of neighborhood and poverty issues.

    To grasp the human cost of poverty, we must clearly understand how living in distressed neighborhoods impairs children's ability to function at every level. Neighborhood Poverty explores the multiple and complex paths between community, family, and childhood development. These two volumes provide and indispensable guide for social policy and demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary social science to probe complex social issues. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    Introduction - Martha Gephart and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

    Chapter 1: Neighborhoods and Communities as Contexts for Development - Martha Gephart

    Chapter 2: Development in Context: Implications for Studying Neighborhood Effects - J. Lawrence Aber, Martha Gephart, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, and James Connell

    Chapter 3: Neighborhood Models and Measures - Greg Duncan and J. Lawrence Aber

    Chapter 4: Neighborhood and Family Influences on the Intellectual and Behavioral Competence of Preschool and Early School-Age Children - P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Rachel Gordon, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, and Pamela Klebanov

    Chapter 5: Are Neighborhood Effects on Young Children Mediated by Features of the Home Environment? - Pamela Klebanov, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, and Rachel Gordon

    Chapter 6: Neighborhood and Family Factors Predicting Educational Risk and Attainment in African American and White Children and Adolescents - Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, James Connell, Margaret Beale Spencer, J. Lawrence Aber, Greg Duncan, Elizabeth Clifford, Warren Crichlow, Peter Usinger, Steven Cole, LaRue Allen, and Edward Seidman

    Chapter 7: How Neighborhoods Affect Educational Outcomes in Middle Childhood and Adolescence: Conceptual Issues and an Empirical Example - James Connell and Bonnie Halpern-Felsher

    Chapter 8: Neighborhood and Family Influences on Young Urban Adolescents' Behavior Problems: A Multisample, Multisite Analysis - Margaret Beale Spencer, Steven Cole, Stephanie Jones, and Dena Phillips Swanson

    Chapter 9: Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Estimating Casual Effects of Neighborhoods and Family Conditions on Individual Development - Greg Duncan, James Connell, and Pamela Klebanov 

    Chapter 10: Neighborhood Effects and Federal Policy - Jeffrey Lehman and Timothy Smeeding 

    Chapter 11: Lessons Learned and Future Directions for Research on the Neighborhoods in Which Children Live - Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Greg Duncan, Tama Leventhal, and J. Lawrence Aber

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