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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: Faucetta, Kristen ; Michalopoulos, Charles ; Portilla, Ximena A. ; Qiang, Ashley ; Lee, Helen ; Millenky, Megan ; Somers, Marie-Andrée
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2021

    Children develop fastest in their earliest years, and the skills and abilities they develop in those years help lay the foundation for future success. Early negative experiences can contribute to poor social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes both in early childhood and in later life. One approach that has helped parents and their young children is home visiting, which provides individually tailored support, resources, and information to expectant parents and families with young children. Many early childhood home visiting programs work with low-income families to help ensure the healthy development and well-being of their children.

    In 2010, Congress authorized the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program by enacting section 511 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 711, which also appropriated funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Subsequently enacted laws extended funding for the program through fiscal year 2022. The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in collaboration...

    Children develop fastest in their earliest years, and the skills and abilities they develop in those years help lay the foundation for future success. Early negative experiences can contribute to poor social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes both in early childhood and in later life. One approach that has helped parents and their young children is home visiting, which provides individually tailored support, resources, and information to expectant parents and families with young children. Many early childhood home visiting programs work with low-income families to help ensure the healthy development and well-being of their children.

    In 2010, Congress authorized the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program by enacting section 511 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 711, which also appropriated funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Subsequently enacted laws extended funding for the program through fiscal year 2022. The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The initiation of the MIECHV Program began a major expansion of evidence-based home visiting programs for families living in at-risk communities. The legislation authorizing MIECHV recognized that there was considerable evidence about the effectiveness of home visiting, but also required an evaluation of MIECHV in its early years. That evaluation became the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE). The overarching goal of MIHOPE is to learn whether families and children benefit from MIECHV-funded early childhood home visiting programs, and if so, how. MIHOPE includes the four evidence-based home visiting models that 10 or more states chose in their fiscal year 2010-2011 plans for MIECHV funding: Early Head Start – Home-based option, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers. From October 2012 to October 2015, a total of 4,229 families entered the study.

    Given the positive effects found in previous long-term studies of home visiting and previous findings that the benefits of home visiting outweigh the costs only after children enter elementary school, ACF and HRSA initiated plans to design long-term follow-ups with the families who are participating in MIHOPE. MDRC is conducting this work in partnership with Columbia University and Mathematica Policy Research. ACF and HRSA were interested in ensuring that any additional follow-up build on information from the earlier waves of data collection to the greatest extent possible, and that any proposed follow-up points build on one another. This long-term follow-up phase is called MIHOPE-LT. This report presents the proposed design for potential long-term follow-ups with MIHOPE families through the time when their children are in high school. The report also presents the detailed design for the follow-up that is occurring when children are in kindergarten. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grossman, Jean ; Duchesneau, Nancy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2021

    In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States. Every part of America has been affected while its existing inequities have been both highlighted and worsened. Without minimizing the damage this pandemic has inflicted on many families, this brief from MDRC, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the Education Trust reminds educational leaders that many students have also grown tremendously from the events they have experienced. As schools prepare to welcome some or all students back to in-person learning, educators are focused on helping young people rebound as fast as possible. Educational leaders now have the opportunity and the federal resources (from the American Rescue Plan) to make schools more healing and empowering spaces, and to commit to supporting their students socially, emotionally, and academically. In addition to addressing the harms of the past year through interventions, educators can use this opportunity to improve educational systems, shifting deficit-based structures and practices to strength-based approaches. Research has shown that...

    In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States. Every part of America has been affected while its existing inequities have been both highlighted and worsened. Without minimizing the damage this pandemic has inflicted on many families, this brief from MDRC, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the Education Trust reminds educational leaders that many students have also grown tremendously from the events they have experienced. As schools prepare to welcome some or all students back to in-person learning, educators are focused on helping young people rebound as fast as possible. Educational leaders now have the opportunity and the federal resources (from the American Rescue Plan) to make schools more healing and empowering spaces, and to commit to supporting their students socially, emotionally, and academically. In addition to addressing the harms of the past year through interventions, educators can use this opportunity to improve educational systems, shifting deficit-based structures and practices to strength-based approaches. Research has shown that academic success is entwined with social and emotional learning and well-being, and that students are far more likely to engage fully in activities when they call on and develop their strengths, rather than focus on their deficits.

    Service learning is one such strength-based strategy that warrants serious attention from today’s educators. Educator Heather Wolpert-Gawron defines it simply as one where “students learn educational standards through tackling real-life problems in their communities,” of which there are now more, and of which students are now likely to be more aware. Service-learning projects address real community problems using the skills students have and those they are taught, while also intentionally deepening students’ academic, social, and emotional skills. The engagement with their communities also enhances their civic awareness. Thus, service learning is an opportunity to foster the strengths and assets students have built over the past year, and, as presented in this brief, it provides proven social, emotional, and academic benefits to students. Yet service learning has not been given much attention in the current discussion of the postlockdown school environment.

    This brief discusses how schools can put in place service learning to build on the skills and heightened community awareness students have developed through the difficulties of the past year. The next section describes the types of life skills students developed over this turbulent year. The following section describes what service learning is, how it builds on students’ strengths, and how it can enhance equity. The next two sections present evidence about service learning’s prevalence and effects, followed by the main implementation challenges and facilitating factors. The brief ends with a brief conclusion arguing that some of districts’ COVID-19 recovery money should be earmarked now to build the infrastructure to provide this equity-promoting, evidence-based educational strategy. (author abstract)

  • 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: Bateman, Nicole ; Ross, Martha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2021

    The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic announced itself in spring 2020 with head-spinning job losses: 22 million lost jobs within two months, a shock that is hard to overstate.

    But aside from a brief winter setback due to surging COVID-19 cases, the U.S. economy has, fortunately, gained jobs each month since this initial hemorrhage. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the economy added an expectations-beating 850,000 jobs in June, and wages also rose. This is unreservedly good news, but the economy is still down 7 million jobs, long-term unemployment is up, and many workers and families continue to struggle. (author abstract)

    The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic announced itself in spring 2020 with head-spinning job losses: 22 million lost jobs within two months, a shock that is hard to overstate.

    But aside from a brief winter setback due to surging COVID-19 cases, the U.S. economy has, fortunately, gained jobs each month since this initial hemorrhage. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the economy added an expectations-beating 850,000 jobs in June, and wages also rose. This is unreservedly good news, but the economy is still down 7 million jobs, long-term unemployment is up, and many workers and families continue to struggle. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wheaton, Laura ; Giannarelli, Linda ; Dehry, Ilham
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2021

    In an earlier brief, we estimated that the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March 2021, would reduce the 2021 annual poverty rate to 8.7 percent (Wheaton et al. 2021). We now project a 2021 poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2021. The revised projection accounts for improvements in the economy, incorporates updated state-level information on pandemic-related policies, and improves the method for weighting the data to reflect 2021. Both the earlier poverty projections and these updated projections use the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which allows a more comprehensive assessment of families’ economic well-being than the official poverty measure. The projections, developed using the Urban Institute’s Analysis of Transfers, Taxes, and Income Security model, take into account expected levels of employment and income in 2021, safety-net benefits, taxes and tax credits, state “back to work” bonuses, and federal and state stimulus checks. Key findings include the following:

    • Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the annual poverty rate projection for 2021 of 7.7 percent is...

    In an earlier brief, we estimated that the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March 2021, would reduce the 2021 annual poverty rate to 8.7 percent (Wheaton et al. 2021). We now project a 2021 poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2021. The revised projection accounts for improvements in the economy, incorporates updated state-level information on pandemic-related policies, and improves the method for weighting the data to reflect 2021. Both the earlier poverty projections and these updated projections use the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which allows a more comprehensive assessment of families’ economic well-being than the official poverty measure. The projections, developed using the Urban Institute’s Analysis of Transfers, Taxes, and Income Security model, take into account expected levels of employment and income in 2021, safety-net benefits, taxes and tax credits, state “back to work” bonuses, and federal and state stimulus checks. Key findings include the following:

    • Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the annual poverty rate projection for 2021 of 7.7 percent is well below the rate of 13.9 percent that we estimate for 2018.
    • The projected poverty rate for children is 5.6 percent, for adults ages 18 to 64 it is 8.1 percent, and for people age 65 and older it is 9.2 percent.
    • The 2021 poverty rate is projected to be higher for Black, non-Hispanic people (9.2 percent), for Hispanic people (11.8 percent), and for non-Hispanic Asian American and Pacific Islanders (10.8 percent) than for white, non-Hispanic people (5.8 percent).
    • The federal stimulus checks have a larger antipoverty impact than any of the other programs; if all other programs were in place but the stimulus checks had not been paid, we project 12.4 million more people would be in poverty in 2021. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program alone keeps 7.9 million people out of poverty in 2021, and unemployment insurance benefits lower the number in poverty by 6.7 million (assuming all other programs are in place).
    • The combined benefits have the largest impact on children, reducing their projected 2021 poverty rate 81 percent relative to what it would be without any benefits (from 30.1 percent to 5.6 percent).
    • The benefits have the largest impact on Black non-Hispanic people (reducing their 2021 projected poverty rate 74 percent) and the smallest impact on non-Hispanic Asian American and Pacific Islanders (reducing their 2021 projected poverty rate 54 percent).

    (author abstract)

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