Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment View all reports on this topic

Topic Overview

This portfolio addresses innovative approaches for increasing economic self-sufficiency and reducing welfare dependency, including rigorous evaluations of promising employment strategies. Studies address a variety of topics including alternative welfare-to-work strategies, career ladders, employment retention and advancement, and strategies to promote work in rural areas. Many studies are designed and implemented in close collaboration with other offices within HHS as well as with other federal agencies such as the Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration.

Projects on this Topic

  • A Descriptive Study of County versus State Administered Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Programs, 2012-2014

    This project was awarded to the Urban Institute and will provide a descriptive study of the dynamics of county versus state administered TANF programs. It will involve gathering information from a sample of county and state administered TANF programs...

  • Advancing Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency Research Project (Follow-On) 2016 - 2018

    The Advancing Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency Research follow-on contract provides timely and flexible research and evaluation support to ACF and its stakeholders and a flexible research and evaluation mechanism for responding to rapidly emerging policy priorities and research opportunities. In particular, the contractor...

  • Assets for Independence Program Experiment, 2011-2018

    From 1998 until 2017, ACF operated the Assets for Independence (AFI) program, a demonstration program that supported an assets-based approach for increasing the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and families with low-incomes through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). In 2011...

  • Behavioral Interventions Scholars, 2017 - 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions Scholars (BIS) grant program supports dissertation research by advanced graduate students who are applying a behavioral science lens to specific research questions relevant to social services programs and policies and other issues facing low-income and vulnerable families in the United States. As part of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency research portfolio...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Capstone Project, 2015 - 2018

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency Capstone project, led by MDRC, will produce a final synthesis report on the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project and conduct related dissemination activities. While several reports will be produced under the BIAS contract, including a report describing findings from the knowledge development phase and a site specific report for each of the eight sites where behavioral interventions are tested...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Next Generation, 2015 - 2022

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program operations and outcomes at relatively low cost. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency-Next Generation (BIAS-NG) project continues ACF’s exploration...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Research Portfolio

    Many human services programs are designed such that individuals must make a series of decisions and take a number of active steps in order to realize a benefit. From deciding which programs to apply for, to completing forms, attending meetings, showing proof of eligibility, and arranging travel and child care, program designers often assume that individuals make decisions about how to proceed based on careful consideration of their options and what is best for them...

  • Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) Evaluation, 2014-2019

    There is great interest in identifying effective strategies that build fathers’ capacity to support their children, both emotionally and financially. Since 2006, Congress has provided funds for discretionary grants to programs aimed at supporting fathers in three core areas....

  • Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes (CPIO) Study, 2014-2019

    The goal of the Career Pathways Intermediate Outcomes Study is to rigorously evaluate the intermediate impact of career pathways program models on the educational progress and self-sufficiency of individuals who participate in the programs. This project...

  • Career Pathways Research Portfolio

    Career pathways programs connect education, training, and related supports in a pathway that leads to employment in a specific sector or occupation or to further training. The approach is gaining attention as a promising strategy to improve...

  • Center For Research on Hispanic Children & Families, 2013-2018

    The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families generates new research and translates research across three priority areas—poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and early care and education—to build knowledge and inform ACF programs and policies to better serve Hispanic children and families. The Center has three primary goals: 1) advance a cutting-edge research agenda; 2) build research capacity; and 3) translate emerging research. Lina Guzman at Child Trends and Michael Lopez at Abt Associates lead the Center, in collaboration with university partners (University of Maryland-College Park; University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and New York University's Institute for Human Development and Social Change). In 2014, the Center launched a Fellowship program supporting emerging scholars studying issues relevant to low-income and vulnerable Hispanic children and families.

  • Employment Sector Analysis for TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Families, 2014-2015

    The Employment Sector Analysis for TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Families will synthesize existing literature and resources for identifying federal, state, and local labor market data in high-growth fields; and analyze labor market information...

  • Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review, 2013-2018

    The Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER), launched in 2013 and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, is a systematic review of the evaluation research on employment and training programs...

  • Evaluation and System Design for Career Pathways Programs: 2nd Generation of HPOG, 2014-2019

    The purpose of this project is to provide recommendations for the design of an evaluation to assess the implementation, outcomes, systems change, and impacts of the second round of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) awarded in September 2015...

  • Evaluation of Employment Coaching for TANF and Related Populations, 2016-2021

    Launched in 2016, this project will evaluate three or more interventions that apply coaching practices to promote job entry and retention among TANF populations and other low-income individuals. Coaching-based interventions have been put forth as one way to give people the tools to overcome various barriers in order to build employment-related skills and to secure work. The hypothesis underlying these approaches is that participants’ challenges may be addressed through coaching by specially trained staff who...

  • Ex-Prisoner Reentry Strategies Study, 2011-2017

    The Ex-Prisoner Reentry Strategies Study documented the implementation of six Responsible Fatherhood programs initially funded in 2011 under the Responsible Fatherhood grant program...

  • Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium, 2013-2018

    To fill gaps in family self-sufficiency and stability research and data activities and to complement its ongoing research, OPRE developed and launched a multi-faceted Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium (The Consortium)...

  • Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Scholars Network, 2013-2018

    In 2013, OPRE awarded grants to a network of university-based researchers to investigate critical issues in improving family self-sufficiency and stability. The Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Scholars Network supports...

  • Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center, 2013-2018

    This cooperative agreement, awarded to the University of Chicago in 2013, supports the development, implementation, and ongoing operations of a Data Center to support family self-sufficiency research and activities. This center serves as a hub to support the development of state and institutional capacity for data collection...

  • Family Strengthening Scholars, 2014-2017

    The Family Strengthening Scholars grant program is designed to build research capacity in the healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood field (HM/RF). These grants are to support dissertation research on HM/RF policy issues and are meant to build capacity in the research field to focus research on questions that have direct implications for HM/RF decision-making and program administration...

  • Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation (FaMLE) and Cross-Site Project, 2013-2020

    The purpose of the Fatherhood and Marriage Local Evaluation and Cross-Site Project is to support ACF’s third cohort (2015-2020) of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) grantees through:...

  • Goal-Oriented Adult Learning in Self-Sufficiency (GOALS), 2014-2018

    The purpose of this project is to explore how emerging insights from psychology can strengthen programs aimed at helping families achieve self-sufficiency. In particular, the project will review the implications of existing research on psychological...

  • Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Evaluation Portfolio

    The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG), administered by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was created to provide education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well...

  • Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study, 2011-2018

    The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Impact Study is using an experimental design to examine the short-term impacts of HPOG 1.0 on participants’ educational and economic outcomes at 15 months after random assignment. The study includes 42 local HPOG programs implemented by 23 of the 32 HPOG 1.0 grantees...

  • Health Profession Opportunity Grants University Partnership 2.0 (HPOGUP 2.0) Research Grants, 2016 – 2020

    In 2016, OPRE awarded a second round of Health Profession Opportunity Grants University Partnership Research Grants, referred to as HPOGUP 2.0. These grants augment OPRE’s multi-pronged evaluation strategy for HPOG by funding university research teams that partner with...

  • Hispanic Research Work Group, 2011-2014

    ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

  • Homeless Families Research Briefs, 2014-2018

    This contract will produce a series of research briefs on issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. The briefs will be based on data collected as part of the U.S. Department of...

  • Human Services Research Partnership: U.S. Virgin Islands, 2014-2018

    The Human Services Research Partnership of the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) will explore issues related to social service needs and public welfare systems in the territory. This cooperative agreement will support a partnership among researchers, local...

  • Identifying Issues and Options to Understanding TANF-Compatible Outcome Measures for Employment Services (OUTCOMES), 2016 – 2018

    This project will explore the issues and options related to the development of an employment-related outcome performance measurement system for the TANF program, including potential target groups, performance measures, performance standards, data needs, and accountability approaches. The project...

  • Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security, 2015 - 2018

    ACF launched the Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project in September 2015. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of approaches that intentionally combine intensive, high quality, adult-focused services with intensive, high-quality, child-focused programs. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, this project will provide options for evaluating these emerging models...

     

  • Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation, 2013-2019

    The Job Search Assistance (JSA) Strategies Evaluation features a multi-site, random assignment evaluation to measure the relative impact of specific job search services offered by TANF programs on short-term labor market outcomes such as earnings and time to employment. The evaluation, led by Abt Associates...

  • Methods Inquiries, 2013-2021

    OPRE plays a central role in advancing understanding and disseminating knowledge about research and evaluation methods and tools that are, or could be, used to enhance knowledge about program and policy effectiveness. The purpose of the Methods Inquiries project is to organize...

  • National Evaluation of the 2nd Generation of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation), 2015-2025

    In 2015, OPRE launched a comprehensive evaluation of the second round of grants awarded under the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program. The HPOG 2.0 National Evaluation will rigorously assess the HPOG programs administered by the non-tribal grantees. The 27 non-tribal grantees operate 38 HPOG programs across 17 states...

  • National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants, 2012-2018

    The National Implementation Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) is assessing program implementation, systems change, and participant outcomes of the 27 non-tribal HPOG 1.0 programs (those awarded in 2010). The evaluation aims...

  • National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), 2010-2015

    The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) documented the nation's utilization and availability of early care and education (including school-age care) in 2012...

  • Parents and Children Together (PACT) Evaluation, 2011-2018

    To learn about the implementation and effects of Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs, ACF awarded a contract in 2011 to Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The evaluation...

  • Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE), 2007-2018

    In 2007, ACF initiated the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education project, a multi-site, random assignment evaluation of promising strategies for increasing employment and self-sufficiency among low-income families. During the project’s development, consensus emerged that the evaluation should...

  • Planning a Next Generation Evaluation Agenda for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, 2011-2019

    The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) was created following the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The program provides assistance to help youth currently and formerly in foster care achieve self-sufficiency by providing grants to States and eligible Tribes that submit an approvable plan. Activities and programs allowable under the CFCIP include help with education, employment financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care. In addition, the FCIA required that funding be set aside for evaluations of promising independent living programs. In response to this statutory requirement, the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) conducted the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs, a rigorous, random assignment evaluation of four programs funded under the CFIP. This study was completed in 2011.

  • Portfolios of Research in Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency

    OPRE’s welfare and family self-sufficiency research includes experimental impact evaluations...

  • Secondary Data Analyses of Strengthening Families Datasets, 2014-2015

    OPRE awarded eight cooperative agreements to fund research to conduct secondary data analysis of archived ACF data, specifically the Building Strong Families (BSF), Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM), and Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI)...

  • State TANF Policies: Welfare Rules Database Expansion, 2013-2021

    For several years, ACF has provided resources to facilitate updating and expanding the State TANF Policies Database. The Urban Institute began developing the database in early 1997, as part of the Assessing New Federalism project...

  • Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED), 2010-2020

    This project will evaluate subsidized and transitional employment approaches for critical low-income populations, potentially including welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial parents. The project will examine subsidized employment strategies designed to address two distinct goals...

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Two Parent Families Study 2014-2016

    The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Two Parent Families Study is a descriptive study that will collect information about two parent families who receive or are eligible to receive TANF. This study will document: 1) the characteristics of...

  • The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, 2013-2018

    The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) is a cooperative agreement awarded to Temple University with a subcontract to the Center for Policy Research in Denver, CO. The FRPN will pursue three goals:..

  • Toxic Stress and Self-Regulation Reports

    OPRE has commissioned a series of four inter-related reports titled Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. The team is also preparing a brief focused on implications of these reports for adolescence and young adulthood. The first report, Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective provides a comprehensive framework for understanding...

  • Tribal Evaluation of the 2nd Generation of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (Tribal HPOG 2.0 Evaluation), 2015-2021

    In 2015, OPRE awarded a contract to Abt Associates, in partnership with MEF Policy Associates, Insight Policy Research, Urban Institute, and NORC at the University of Chicago, to conduct impact, outcome, and implementation studies of the second round of grants awarded under the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program. The five Tribal HPOG grantees are participating in a comprehensive implementation and outcome study led by NORC at the University of Chicago....

  • Understanding Poverty (UP): Childhood and Family Experiences and TANF Office Culture, 2016 - 2019

    The Understanding Poverty study, which is being conducted by MEF Associates in partnership with MDRC, will examine the organizational culture of TANF offices and the perspectives of families and children living in poverty.

  • Understanding the Intersection Between TANF and Refugee Cash Assistance Services, 2014-2018

    In the fall of 2014, ACF launched a descriptive study to document the similarities and differences between Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance and the Refugee Cash Assistance program. ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) administers...