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Reports and Publications

CWU regularly issues research reports and policy briefs based on its findings, often in collaboration with partner organizations and academic institutions. CWU researchers share their data and outcomes widely by contributing to a variety of publications.

 

Reports

A Plan for Building Skilled Workers and Strong Families through the Massachusetts Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) Program

Massachusetts lags behind other states in preparing unemployed and underemployed adults who participate in the state’s welfare program (TAFDC) to compete in the 21st century labor market. This new paper, authored by CWU Vice President of Public Policy Ruth Liberman, offers Massachusetts legislators and policy leaders a set of recommendations on how to redesign the TAFDC program to effectively promote economic mobility.

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Using Brain Science to Design New Pathways out of Poverty

CWU's newest report explores the impact of factors such as social bias, persistent poverty and trauma on brain development and outlines the connection between how cognitive skills affected by persistent stress impact low-income adults' ability to get ahead.

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Massachusetts Economic Independence Index 2013

What does it really take to make ends meet in Massachusetts?

What does it really take to make ends meet in Massachusetts? The Massachusetts Economic Independence Index (Mass. Index) reports what a family must earn to meet their basic needs in Massachusetts without relying on public or private assistance.

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Hot Jobs 2013

Promoting Economic Independence Through Informed Career Decisions

The “Hot Jobs 2013" report is CWU's triennial survey of the Massachusetts labor market to identify career paths that lead to economic self-sufficiency. “Hot Jobs 2013” defines Hot Jobs as careers that require two years or less of post-secondary education or training, meet the Mass. Index income level for a single-parent family with two children, and currently post high vacancy rates. “Hot Jobs 2013” identifies just 15 jobs in Massachusetts that meet the criteria, along with 50 "Smart Start Jobs," which position individuals, who are not yet qualified for a Hot Job and need to obtain immediate employment, for future career advancement.

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Career Family Opportunity

Making Gains along the Journey to Economic Independence

As a follow-up to the July 2011 report on the initial cohort of Career Family Opportunity (CFO) program participants, this report highlights the FY 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012) comparative outcomes achieved by all CFO program participants.

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Disrupting the Poverty Cycle: Emerging Practices to Achieve Economic Mobility

Conference Report

On May 1, 2012, Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU) hosted its inaugural conference, Disrupting the Poverty Cycle: Emerging Practices to Achieve Economic Mobility. The sold-out conference brought together experts in program delivery, applied research, public policy, philanthropy, and program participants to generate cross-sector dialogue among those invested in seeing low-income families succeed.

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Higher Education in Massachusetts: Smart Choices, Great Futures

Crittenton Women's Union, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation have partnered to produce "Higher Education in Massachusetts: Smart Choices, Great Futures," an informative brochure that helps students make more knowledgeable decisions about post-secondary education.

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Social Networks as an Anti-Poverty Strategy

Read the brief and learn how social networks—a social structure comprised of connections to other individuals, groups, and organizations—affects low-income individual's ability to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

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Mobility Mentoring®

Mobility Mentoring® is defined as the professional practice of partnering with clients so that over time they may acquire the resources, skills, and sustained behavior changes necessary to attain and preserve their economic independence. Crittenton Women’s Union’s work rests on its groundbreaking theory of change, the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency®, which delineates how an individual achieves the transformative journey from poverty to full economic self-sufficiency. Mobility Mentoring is the implementation platform for the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency.

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Career Family Opportunity

Making Gains along the Journey to Economic Independence

Since its inception in June 2009, the CFO program has touched the lives of 46 families through its South Boston and Cambridge sites. Of these 46 families, 13 consider themselves “The Pioneers”, that is, a group of women who enrolled when the program first launched in 2009 and who are still active today. This report details the journey of the “Pioneer” Career Family Organizers (CFOs) during their first two years.

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For-profit Colleges and the CWU Client Experience

The for-profit college industry (also known as proprietary schools) has been described as “marketing machines masquerading as universities.” For-profit colleges are educational institutions that are run by private, profit-seeking companies or organizations. Despite the criticism, the for-profit college industry continues to expand more rapidly than other areas of higher education.

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Beyond Financial Aid

2010 Guide To Extra Help for Low-Income Adult Students

Crittenton Women's Union has published the first-ever guide to extra help for low-income adults struggling to pay for tuition, fees, and books and cover their day-to-day living expenses while going to school. (Click the "Read more" link below to access the Spanish translation.)

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Massachusetts Economic Independence Index 2010

The Massachusetts Economic Independence Index (Mass. Index) reports what it takes for a family to make ends meet in Massachusetts without relying on public or private assistance.

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Hot Jobs 2010

The “Hot Jobs 2010” report is CWU's triennial survey of the Massachusetts labor market to identify career paths that lead to economic self-sufficiency. “Hot Jobs 2010” defines Hot Jobs as careers that require two years or less of post-secondary education or training, meet the Mass. Index income level for a single-parent family with two children, and currently post high vacancy rates.

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The Cliff Effect Experience: Voices of Women on the Path to Economic Independence

View and download (1.5 mb) the new report, "The Cliff Effect Experience: Voices of Women on the Path to Economic Independence," that expands on the "Fits & Starts" policy brief.

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Fits & Starts: The Difficult Path for Working Single Parents

View and download (526 kb) the policy brief, "Fits & Starts: The Difficult Path for Working Single Parents," published in partnership with The Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston.

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The Massachusetts Working Poor Families Project Report

View and download (230 kb) "Unlocking the Doors to Higher Education and Training for Massachusetts' Working Poor Families."

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2007 Hot Jobs Report

View and download Hot Jobs, Good Wages: How to Live, Work, and Thrive in Massachusetts (688 kb), our 2007 report on high demand jobs for women that pay self-sufficient wages.

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New Directions In Workforce Development:

Do They Lead to Gains for Women?

Reprinted from New England Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 22, No. 1 and 2.

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The 2006 FESS Reports

View and download the 2006 Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard, a report on the real costs of living in Massachusetts.

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2005 Hot Jobs Report

View and download Which Jobs Help Women Achieve Self-Sufficiency in Massachusetts.

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2003 FESS Report

View and download the 2003 Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard report.

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Publications

Traps, Pitfalls, and Unexpected Cliffs on the Path Out of Poverty

By Mary A. Prenovost, Boston College and Deborah C. Youngblood, Crittenton Women's Union

“A qualitative study was conducted to explore "cliff effects," the overall dip in household resources when working poor families become ineligible for government work supports. The study included a survey of 78 low-income women and 32 social service providers, followed by interviews with smaller subsets of each. We asked how low-income women who are either on the verge of government support loss or who have recently experienced government support loss manage this circumstance and explored the effects on families' well-being. providers, and improving accessibility to higher education for working parents.”

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Your Nonprofit Construction Manager:

Complex solutions need dedicated project managers, as well as the funds to pay them

“Imagine this scenario: A bank wants to build a new flagship headquarters, but the bank’s leaders want to keep costs to a minimum, and so they decide to take a new approach to the project. Instead of hiring a construction manager, they compose an advertisement that says, ‘Wanted: Bank headquarters. Fifty stories tall. Must feature innovative architecture.’ They then send the ad to all the specialty contractors—electricians, architects, plumbers, etc.—they need to build the skyscraper.

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Achieving Breakthrough Performance

Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2008

"Much has been written about what makes a great leader. Although we agree that successful managers must have the attributes of a great leader, by themselves these attributes are not enough. Many great leaders still do not build successful organizations.

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Overcoming tough times

We need to get serious about supporting working families in Massachusetts

"ECONOMIC CRISES ARE social accelerators—things that were abstractly understood as trends are suddenly new and crushing realities. Twenty-five years ago, while the “Massachusetts Miracle” of growth charmed a generation of optimists, some observers of “deindustrialization” warned us about a looming vision of an hourglass economy of un equal incomes and unremitting pressures on single-parent families and those without technical credentials. Since the Great Recession began in 2007, the steady erosion of sustaining jobs for middle-income families has become a flash flood."

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Improving Family Stability and Economic Mobility Outcomes for Low-income Families: Mobility Mentoring™ at Crittenton Women’s Union

Testimony Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America

Four years after the release of the initial recommendations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reconvened an independent, nonpartisan group of commissioners who provided new guidance to improve the health of all Americans. At a public meeting on June 19, a group of experts, including CWU President/CEO Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD, offered testimony on innovative models, programs and key research.

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