Information from the Welfare Peer TA Network
Call for Presentations: Putting the Pieces Together: Using Research and Analysis to Improve Program Effectiveness and Reduce Poverty, February 2014
The National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) has put out a Call for Presentations for the 54th annual workshop to be held on August 17-20, 2014. The theme of this year's workshop is "Putting the Pieces Together: Using Research and Analysis to Improve Program Effectiveness and Reduce Poverty." Researchers and practitioners from the public, private, and non-profit sector will have the opportunity to come together to share their ideas at this year's NAWRS Workshop.
For more information, please see: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1104796466705-11/NAWRS+2014++Call+for+Presentations+-+Final2.pdf
Family Strengthening Research Scholars Grant Program, February 2014
The Family Strengthening Research Scholars grant program is a HHS, ACF, OPRE opportunity created in an effort to support dissertation research on healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood policy issues affecting underserved/understudied populations, such as low-income families and minority populations. Designed to inform policy decisions, program administration solutions, and future intervention research, this grant opportunity is also an effort to encourage the mentoring of exceptional doctoral students.
For more information, please: click here.
TANF Contingency Awards by State and Federal Fiscal Year, January 2014
The Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families recently released a table that outlines the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Contingency Awards by State for each Federal fiscal year. New York received the largest total award since fiscal year (FY) 2006, and also received the largest award in FY2013.
For more information, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/resource/tanf-contingency-awards For more information, please see
FY2013 Portfolio of Research in Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency, October 2013
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families released a report outlining their portfolio of research related to welfare and family self-sufficiency projects for the fiscal year 2013. OPRE's research focuses on four major areas: TANF and the Safety Net, Employment and the Labor Market, Education and Training, and other relevant cross-cutting research.
For more information, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/opre_ar_fy_13_final_eversion.pdf
Domestic Violence 101 e-Learning Course, March 2013
The Administration for Children and Families Family Violence Prevention and Services Program is pleased to announce the launch of Domestic Violence: Understanding the Basics, an online learning tool. This one-hour interactive eLearning module describes the dynamics and common tactics that characterize domestic violence, provides an overview of the scope and impact on individuals and society, explores the underlying factors that allow domestic violence to exist, offers insight into the various risks and choices that survivors face, and shares how to be part of the solution.
To view this online tool, please see: http://www.vawnet.org/elearning/DVBasics/player.html
Research and Resources from the Field
Funding Opportunity: DOL Announces $150 Million for Ready to Work Grants, February 2014
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced $150 million in new Ready to Work Partnership grants to fund programs that prepare and place those facing long-term unemployment into good jobs. The news comes on the heels of President Obama's Executive Office Report focused on Addressing the Negative Cycle of Long-Term Unemployment that highlighted subsidized employment and transitional jobs programs as strategies to help the long-term unemployed find work. Ready to Work Grants may be especially appropriate for subsidized employment programs that have a proven track record of helping to connect job seekers to employment opportunities and for subsidized employment participants who may benefit from additional wage-paid, work-based employment, and training opportunities in order to move into high growth jobs. The application deadline is June 19, 2014.
For more information, please see: http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=251554
Identifying and Serving LGBTQ Youth: Case Studies of Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Grantees, February 2014
The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report that presents findings on four topics: (1) agencies' collection and use of data on clients' sexual orientation and gender identity, (2) providers' assessment and perceptions of needs and capacities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY), (3) providers' approaches to serving LGBTQ RHY, and (4) providers' perceptions of research gaps and data needs related to services for LGBTQ RHY. The purpose of the study was to learn about programs' strategies for identifying and serving LGBTQ RHY, the challenges programs face in understanding and addressing the needs of this population, and potential areas for future research.
For more information, please see: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/14/lgbt-rhy/rpt_lgbtq%20rhy.cfm
SNAP Policy Brief: College Student Eligibility, February 2014
The Center for Law and Social Policy released a policy brief detailing certain additions to the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill that reauthorized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under the updated legislation, low-income college students are eligible for SNAP benefits. Even after accounting for all financial aid, many low-income college students have thousands of dollars of unmet need, even when they attend low-cost institutions such as community colleges. This need often leads students to drop out of college, or to work so many hours that it interferes with their attendance and success in classes. SNAP benefits will now help low-income college students meet their basic needs so they can afford and focus on their education.
New Findings on New York City's Conditional Cash Transfer Program, Institute for Research on Poverty, December 2013
The Institute for Research on Poverty released an article discussing a new policy being tested in New York City that adopts the conditional cash transfer principle and that is extended to a broader set of family efforts to build human capital. Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards seeks to boost family income in the short-term while building families' capacity to avoid poverty in the long-term without increasing their reliance on government assistance. In this article, a summary of the results of a published random assignment evaluation is provided, showing that the program had more modest effects than had been anticipated.
For more information, please see: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/fastfocus/pdfs/FF18-2013.pdf
Savings and Personal Discount Rates in a Matched Savings Program for Low-Income Families, December 2013
The West Coast Poverty Center released a short summary about a study that explores matched savings programs and low-income people's ability to accumulate assets depending on individual desires to save and ability to act on those preferences. The paper defines "time preference," a concept that describes how present- or future-oriented a person may be, and discusses the ways in which variations in time preferences are important for understanding individual financial outcomes. The researchers used data from a 2002-2009 matched savings program to conduct factor analysis, and found that persons with lower future orientation had significantly lower average savings deposit amounts in their first year in the matched savings program.
For more information, please see: http://depts.washington.edu/wcpc/sites/default/files/Flash/PFLASH.Klawitter2013.1.pdf
Can Post-Employment Services Combined with Financial Incentives Improve Employment Retention for Welfare Recipients? Evidence from the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement Evaluation, April 2013
The National Institute for Research on Poverty released a discussion paper that presents a rigorous analysis of employment entry and exit effects using a fully-specified dynamic model of employment duration. The model accounts for non-random sorting into employment statuses through flexible specifications for duration dependence and unobserved heterogeneity. The paper outlined results that indicate that for the Corpus Christi site, short-term effects were due to both employment retention and employment entry. However, over time (as the program ceased operation), the retention effects faded out even though employment entry effects persisted and grew. The paper also discloses that, for the Fort Worth site, there were smaller effects overall and less evidence of impacts that lasted much beyond the program operation period.
For more information, please see: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp141313.pdf
Connecting the Disconnected: Improving Education and Employment Outcomes among Disadvantaged Youth, Institute for Research on Poverty, April 2013
The National Institute for Research on Poverty released a discussion paper that briefly reviews recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market. The paper explores why these trends have occurred, and then reviews a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These reviewed policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected, as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). The paper also considers policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in an effort to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.
For more information, please see: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp141213.pdf
Community College Contributions, January 2013
The American Association of Community Colleges released a report that outlines a framework and data to detail some of the public and private benefits to community colleges. According to the authors, in order to continue to provide these benefits, public investments in the education and training that community colleges provide need to equalize and stabilize, if not increase.
For more information, please see: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Publications/Briefs/Documents/2013PB_01.pdf
Protecting the Safety Net in Tough Times: Lessons from States, April 2012
The National Center for Children in Poverty released a policy report offering a summary of the various approaches States are taking or propose to take to balance their budget. The report highlights revenue and spending side approaches that are protective of low-income families and endeavor to identify some best practices that other States might adopt. The report closes by drawing some lessons in fiscal management that may help States better weather future downturns without putting their most vulnerable populations at risk.
For more information, please see: http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_1061.pdf