Lifting Families Out of Poverty through Evidence-Based Research and Policy
Many programs and policies have been developed to help low-income families build self-sufficiency and gain a foothold in the workforce. The following WSS resources describe several strategies, activities or policy findings that practitioners and policymakers can use to support families, identify and invest in cost-effective interventions or modify family-support policies.
Advancing Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Toolkit on Recognizing and Conducting Opportunistic Experiments in the Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Policy Area. 2015. This toolkit “is designed to help researchers, policymakers, and agency administrators recognize and conduct [Opportunistic Experiments].” The toolkit describes the Opportunistic Experiments as randomized controlled trials of a policy or program an organization already plans to implement. It showcases their advantages over more traditional research experiments and explains their potential value in evaluating human services programs.
Work-Family Supports for Low-Income Families: Key Research Findings and Policy Trends. 2014. This paper summarizes some of the research on the effects, outcomes, distribution, and characteristics of work-family supports for low-income families, while also outlining existing policies and proposals for expansion. The paper states that “it is not a comprehensive review of [existing policies]; rather it highlights findings with particular relevance for federal policy.”
Resources for Connecting TANF Recipients and Other Low-Income Families to Good Jobs. 2015. This resource guide provides detailed information and links to research reports, how-to guides, assessments, data sets, and other workforce development resources that those working with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income families can consult when helping to connect their clients with career paths and jobs. “[The authors] identified three types of resources that TANF administrators and frontline staff could use to help connect TANF recipients and other low-income families with good jobs: (1) career exploration and assessment tools to explore career opportunities that match clients’ skills, abilities, and interests; (2) tools and information on career pathways and sector strategies to create new initiatives; and (3) information on the local economy and job market (labor market information) to identify growing jobs with self-sufficient wages.”