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Information from the Welfare Peer TA Network

***Peer TA Webinar: Investing in Youth and the Community: Summer Youth Employment Programs and Partnerships, May 2014

On May 7, 2014 from 2:00pm – 3:30pm EDT, the Peer TA Network will host the Investing in Youth and the Community: Summer Youth Employment Programs and Partnerships Webinar. This facilitated webinar will provide an overview of the various Federal, State, private, and public strategies and services available to engage youth in summer employment. The Webinar will feature:

  • Representatives from the Office of Family Assistance, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Labor;
  • Susan Curnan, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Youth and Communities, Brandeis University;
  • Amy Dworsky, Senior Researcher, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; and
  • Amy Banker, Senior Lead Coordinator, Youth Employment Academy at the Denver Public Housing Authority.

Speakers will discuss a number of summer youth employment program elements, including:

  • Basic program information and participant eligibility;
  • Strategies for establishing partnership;
  • Challenges to implementation;
  • Lessons learned and success stories; as well as
  • Useful tools and resources related to summer youth employment.

The Webinar will also offer TANF-serving organizations and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss how to engage various partners at the Federal, State, and local levels in support of summer youth employment activities. The Webinar will include individual presentations and panel questions, followed by a general Question and Answer session.

Register here.

17th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference, May 2014

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be hosting the 17th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC) on May 28 - 30, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. WREC is a leading forum for researchers, practitioners, program operators, State and local administrators, Federal officials, and policymakers to discuss cutting-edge research on family self-sufficiency and social welfare programs and policies. The conference will focus on programs, policies, and services that support low-income and vulnerable families on the path to economic self-sufficiency and well-being. This conference is free and open to the public. There is no fee to register to attend. The registration deadline for general participants is May 9, 2014.

For more information, please see: http://www.cvent.com/events/17th-annual-welfare-research-and-evaluation-conference/event-summary-ef52a3ff2e2d46a3a530b998189e4fd0.aspx

***SSRC Webinar: Behavioral Economics at Tax Time, April 2014

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) and the Asset Policy Project at the Center for American Progress will co-sponsor a webinar titled "Behavioral Economics at Tax Time."

The webinar will feature:

  • Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building at the Center for American Progress;
  • Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis; and
  • Gayle Hamilton, Senior Fellow in the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC.

These speakers will share findings from the Refund to Savings and SaveUSA projects. Refund to Savings is a collaborative effort among Duke University, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, the makers of TurboTax Free File software. The experiment uses motivational prompts and default savings allocations to heighten low- to moderate-income tax filers' awareness of savings options during the tax return process. It is the largest saving experiment conducted in the U.S. to date, involving an estimated one million participants in the in-product stage of the intervention. The SaveUSA program provides a match of 50 cents on the dollar to low-income tax filers who save a portion of their tax refund directly to a special savings account. MDRC is evaluating the program to see whether short-term incentivized savings can lead to longer-term savings habits, reduce material hardships, and improve the overall financial well-being of participants.

A Question and Answer session will follow the speakers' presentations. Registration is free and open to the public. Register here.

Funding Opportunity: $450M in U.S. Department of Labor Grants Available to Expand Job-Driven Training Partnerships Between Community Colleges and Employers, April 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $450 million in grants under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative. These grants are being implemented in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, and aim to strengthen career pathways and enhance the way employment and education data are used to assess programs across the country. Community colleges and other public, proprietary, or nonprofit educational institutions that offer two-year programs and are accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible to apply. Applications are due by July 7, 2014.

For more information, please see: http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=253993

Funding Opportunity: Approximately $58M in Grants Available to Support Indian and Native American Employment and Training Programs, April 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of approximately $58 million in grant funding through the Workforce Investment Act Section 166 Indian and Native American Program. The purpose of the grants is to improve the academic, occupational, and literacy skills of Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian adults and youth, making them more competitive in the workforce. Approximately 170 grants will be awarded, with approximately $46 million designated for assistance to unemployed and low-income Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian adults, and $12 million designated for Native American youth living on or near Indian reservations. Grant applications are due April 23, 2014.

Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications for Indian and Native American Employment and Training Programs [PDF - 321 KB]

Graduation Day: How Dads' Involvement Impacts Higher Education Success, April 2014

On April 23, 2014 from 12:00pm-1:30pm, the American Enterprise Institute will be hosting a panel presentation to discuss the connection between father involvement and a child's graduation from college. Panelists will outline the impacts of socioeconomic background on paternal involvement, and will explore how public policy and culture can contribute to a child's educational success. Interested participants who are unable to attend the event in Washington, DC may stream the event live from the registration page.

To register for the event, please click: here.

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Research and Resources from the Field

National Child Abuse Prevention Media Toolkit, April 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau recently released a media toolkit that includes materials to spread the message about preventing child maltreatment and to promote well-being. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the toolkit contains several media strategies to help organizations and community partnerships spread the word about events, reach potential supporters, and build relationships. The toolkit contains sample messages for Facebook posts, tweets, press releases, PSAs, and e-mail signatures.

For more information, please see: https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/media-toolkit/

Less-Educated Workers' Unstable Employment: Can the Safety Net Help?, March 2014

The Institute for Research on Poverty recently released a short report that provides an overview of the evidence on employment instability in the United States. The report also includes information about some opportunities and challenges facing policymakers and researchers interested in promoting employment stability in the current economic and political context.

For more information, please see: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/fastfocus/pdfs/FF19-2014.pdf

Preventing and Addressing Tuberculosis among People Experiencing Homelessness, March 2014

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness recently released a fact sheet on preventing and addressing tuberculosis among people experiencing homelessness. According to the authors, ttuberculosis is a serious health concern for people experiencing homelessness and those working with homeless populations. The authors noted that tuberculosis rates are ten times higher for people experiencing homelessness, and of the patients involved in tuberculosis outbreaks investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010 – 2012, over half did not have a place to call home.

For more information, please see: http://usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/TB_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf

The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults, March 2014

The Brookings Institution recently released an interactive tool that takes a comprehensive look at the state of the job market for America's youth in the nation for each of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Users are able to select a city from the dropdown menu and then view data about the specific employment rates, disconnected youth, race/ethnicity, education levels, and poverty status. Interested users are also able to download this information. The report also includes a number of strategies to reduce youth joblessness and labor force underutilization.

For more information, please see: http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/labor-market-metro-areas-teens-young-adults?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=12223980&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--3

Assessing and Serving TANF Recipients with Disabilities, February 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation released a brief that describes different approaches to disability-related needs assessment used by some TANF programs. The TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project aims to bridge gaps between the two programs, support TANF recipients with disabilities as they seek employment, and aid SSI applicants who apply for rewards. The brief also offers options for TANF administrators to consider when choosing assessment approaches, such as a vocational assessment, which enables TANF agencies to focus on what clients can do instead of what they cannot do as a result of their disability, or an in-home assessment, which allows social workers to appropriately evaluate what a client can and cannot do safely in the home.

For more information, please see: https://www.opressrc.org/content/assessing-and-serving-tanf-recipients-disabilities

Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Guide for TANF Staff Members, February 2014

The Administration of Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released a brief that describes the basic SSI disability determination process and compares and contrasts it with several procedures different TANF agencies use to identify recipients who meet TANF work-limitation criteria in States or localities. It goes on to discuss topics including different strategies TANF agencies use to assess which individuals are most likely to qualify for SSI.

For more information, please see: https://www.opressrc.org/content/understanding-supplemental-security-income-ssi-guide-tanf-staff-members

Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities, January 2013

The United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service released a report that examines the effects of disabilities on household food security using newly available data on disabilities among adults from the Current Population Survey. Prior research found that households with adults with work-limiting disabilities were more likely to be food insecure. This report describes food security in two groups of households with working-age (18-64) adults who have disabilities: those with disabilities who are unable to work (not in labor force-disabled) and those with disabilities that are not necessarily work limiting (other reported disabilities). The analysis focused on type of disability and other characteristics of working-age adults with disabilities, such as employment and education, to identify factors that may put households at greater risk for food insecurity. In addition, participation in the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and disability assistance programs was examined to determine the extent to which adults with disabilities accessed these benefits and the programs' role in preventing household food insecurity.

For more information, please see: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err144.aspx

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