Research on Work Support Programs

Improving Access, Cutting Red Tape State Lessons from Work Support Strategies, April 2017
Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP
Access to key benefit programs, like health insurance (Medicaid), nutrition assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) and child care assistance (the Child Care and Development Block Grant, or CCDBG), reduces poverty, supports stability and success at work, helps people meet basic needs, and improves low-income children’s long-term health and economic well-being. But despite the large and growing body of research demonstrating these successful outcomes, disadvantaged families frequently do not receive and keep the full package of benefi ts for which they are eligible.
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Racial Equity Opportunities in the CCDBG Reauthorization to Support Racial Equity in State Child Care Systems, March, 2017
Cemeré James, National Black Child Development Institute, Hannah Matthews, Center for Law and Social Policy
With an explicit focus on ensuring low-income families have the same access to high-quality child care as all other families in the CCDBG Act reauthorization, this policy brief is written to encourage state administrators and advocates to also focus on racial equity in accessing high-quality child care.

Work Support Strategies Initiative 12 Lessons on Program Integration and Innovation, April 2016
Cemere James, CLASP

Cash Assistance: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, January 2017
Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP
This brief provides basic context on TANF benefits, requirements, the services provided to families who receive assistance, and their effectiveness in meeting families' immediate needs and assisting them in achieving long-term economic security.

Young Adults and TANF: Rethinking Work Activities, 2016 
Elizabeth Lower-Basch

While cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant is not commonly thought of as a “youth-serving” program, the reality is that one-quarter of adult recipients of TANF benefits are under age 25. Many states offer targeted services for the 4.5 percent of TANF parents who are teens; however, the larger group of young adult parents is typically treated like all other recipients. This is a missed opportunity to address the educational and developmental needs of young parents and their children. 

The High Cost of Being Poor in the U.S.: Anti-Poverty Programs Help Alleviate Costs, But More Must Be Done to Reduce Burdens, 2016
Census and Poverty National Report, Coalition on Human Needs
Despite recent U.S. Census Bureau data showing reductions in the poverty rate and increases in household median income, millions of Americans still face double jeopardy in today’s economy. They live below the poverty line, and they face high costs in areas such as rent, food, child care and predatory lending.

TANF and the First Year of Life: Making a Difference at a Pivotal Moment, October, 2015
Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Stephanie Schmit, CLASP
Public policies and programs have an important role to play in both reducing the harmful effects of poverty and in providing opportunities for families to escape poverty. But too often, these programs are not provided in a coordinated manner and do not address the needs of the whole family.

TANF 101: TANF in the Great Recession: Weakness in the Safety Net, July 2015
Randi Hall, CLASP
From December 2007 to June 2009, the Great Recession highlighted the weakness of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as a safety net. TANF did not adequately respond to the sharp increase in need. 

Public Work Support Programs: Addressing Barriers To Increase Access, Updated November 2010
Kara Arzamendia, Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota
An overview and comparison of public work support program policies in Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Details the need, barriers and solutions for public work support programs to benefit families and communities.

Household Hardships, Public Programs, and Their Associations with the Health and Development of Very Young Children: Insights from Children's HealthWatch, February 2012
Katherine M. Joyce, Amanda Breen, Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, John T. Cook, & Kathleen W. Barrett
Detailed report citing research from Children's HealthWatch on the positive developmental and health outcomes of children receiving public work support programs compared to potentially eligible children not receiving public programs. Focused particularly on Energy Assistance, housing assistance, SNAP and WIC.

Downward Slide: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2012
Karen Schulman & Helen Blank, National Women’s Law Center
Detailed report identifying state policy decisions that weakened child care assistance programs, including increased wait lists, increased co-payments, decreased provider reimbursement rates and decreased income eligibility guidelines.

The Effect of Child Health Insurance Access on Schooling: Evidence from Public Insurance Expansions 
Sarah Cohodes, Samuel Keleiner, Michael F. Lovenheim, and Daniel Grossman, National Bureau of Economic Research
Report details the positive of effects of public insurance expansion and health care access on children's schooling. Findings include that Medicaid is correlated with lower high school drop out rates, increased college attendance and more bachelor's degrees. 

Rent Burden, Housing Subsidies and the Well-Being of Children and Youth
Yakimo Aratani, Michelle Chau, Vanessa R. Wight, and Sophia Addy, National Center for Children in Poverty
Report details the high rates of rent burden and minimal access to housing subsidies across the country and how it affects social, health and academic outcomes for children.

The Economic Consequences of Cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, March 2012
Jeffrey Thompson & Heidi Garrett-Peltier, Center for American Progress
Report details the impact of cutting SNAP benefits on the economic recovery, job creation and program recipients. Findings include a 10 percent reduction in SNAP would cause more than 96,000 job losses.

Making America Stronger: The U.S. Food Stamp Program
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
This brief video released for the 30th anniversary of the of the reforms achieved by the Food Stamp Act of 1977 tells how the food stamp program has and continues to reduce hunger and stimulate the economy.

The SNAP Vaccine, February 2012
Children's HealthWatch
Report shows that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduces household food insecurity, and, in turn, decreases child health risks associated with food insecurity. Children in families receiving SNAP compared to children in families who did not receive SNAP but were likely eligible were less likely to be underweight or at risk for developmental delay, according to this report.

WIC Improves Child Health and School Readiness, February 2011
Children's HealthWatch
Research shows that every $1 spent on WIC generates a savings of between $1.77 and $3.13 in health care costs in the first 60 days after an infant's birth due to the program's correlation with reduced rates of low birth weight and higher rates of immunization. The program received the highest rating possible from the Office of Management and Budget's Program Assessment Rating Tool because research shows children on the program have a lower risk for poor health outcomes and developmental delays.

Too Many Hurdles: Barriers to Receiving SNAP Put Children's Health at Risk, March 2011
Children's HealthWatch
Barriers such as lack of awareness, complex application process, reporting deadlines, and immigration concerns are barriers to families with children receiving SNAP, which is proven to improve health and developmental outcomes.

Earning More, Receiving Less: Loss of Benefits and Child Hunger, February 2011
Children's HealthWatch
As earnings increase and public program participation decreases, it causes a "cliff effect" where families have less to spend on basic needs at certain higher incomes. This report demonstrates how public programs protect children from the effects of food insecurity and shows that when families exit these programs they often experience food insecurity and its effect because parents, while they aren't eligible for benefits, still often don't earn enough to provide adequate nutrition for their children.

LIHEAP Stabilizes Family Housing and Protects Children's Health, February 2011
Children's HealthWatch
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) makes families more energy secure and when families are more energy secure their children are less likely to be food insecure, be in poor health, be at risk for developmental delays, be hospitalized since birth, and have moved two or more times in the past year.