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Preparing for a "Next Generation" Evaluation of Independent Living Programs for Youth in Foster Care (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Mark Courtney, Mike Pergamit, Christopher Lowenstein

Policymakers have long been concerned about the poor outcomes experienced by youth in foster care transitioning to adulthood. Experimental evaluations of independent living programs conducted under the John H Chafee Independence Act found the programs studied showed limited evidence of effectiveness; however, the evaluation made important observations about independent living programs overall and provided guidance for ongoing efforts to improve services for transition-age youth in foster care. This brief presents a conceptual framework, typology, and central conclusions from current planning efforts to develop an agenda for future evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 1: Education Programs (Research Brief)
Amy Dworsky, Cheryl Smithgall, Mark Courtney

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why education services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 3: Employment Programs (Research Brief)
Sara Edelstein, Christopher Lowenstein

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why employment services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

Supporting Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care, Issue Brief 2: Financial Literacy and Asset Building Programs (Research Brief)
Sara Edelstein, Christopher Lowenstein

This issue brief is one of three that focus on programs providing services to youth transitioning out of foster care in three common service domains: education, employment, and financial literacy and asset building. This brief highlights why financial literacy and asset building services are important to youth currently or formerly in foster care, what we know about the current types of programs and services offered in this service area, and the effectiveness of these services. Drawing on a review of existing research and convenings conducted with researchers, program managers, and federal staff, this brief address remaining research gaps and how the available evidence should inform future planning for evaluation activities.

Posted to Web: March 03, 2015Publication Date: March 03, 2015

The Implications of King v. Burwell: Highlights from Three Analyses of the Consequences of Eliminating ACA Tax Credits in 34 States (Policy Briefs)
Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan

This one page summary highlights finding from three recent analyses of the implications of a Supreme Court finding for the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on March 4, 2015.

Posted to Web: March 02, 2015Publication Date: March 02, 2015

Federal Tax Policy Uncertainty and State Revenue Estimates (Research Brief)
Norton Francis, Sarah Gault

April is the most important month of the year for individuals who owe federal and state income taxes and for governments that rely on income taxes as a major source of revenue. Because personal income tax receipts account for about 45 percent of federal government receipts and more than 33 percent of state tax revenue, what happens in April has a major impact on these governments’ fiscal positions and their ability to provide services through the end of the year. While the final payments are always a surprise, the past two Aprils produced even larger surprises than usual. A confluence of events in 2012 compounded the normal uncertainty in 2013 and 2014. This brief examines how timing of events like the fiscal cliff affects state budget outlooks and how state economists grapple with uncertain federal policy affecting income tax revenue.

Posted to Web: March 02, 2015Publication Date: March 02, 2015

Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Testimony)
Gregory B. Mills

In this testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Greg Mills presents research findings on participant churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) including the rates, causes and costs of participant churn in SNAP, which occurs when households receiving SNAP exit the program and then re-enter within several months. Findings include that churn rates across the six states that were studied range from 17 to 28 percent for FY 2011 and that the causes of churn are due primarily to procedural difficulties experienced by participants rather than fluctuations in the earnings of SNAP recipients.

Posted to Web: February 26, 2015Publication Date: February 26, 2015

Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex (Research Report)
Meredith Dank, Jennifer Yahner, Kuniko Madden, Isela Banuelos, Lilly Yu, Andrea Ritchie, Mitchyll Mora, Brendan Conner

Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.

Posted to Web: February 25, 2015Publication Date: February 25, 2015

Special Enrollment Periods in 2014: A Study of Select States (Research Report)
Jane B. Wishner, Sandy Ahn, Kevin Lucia, Sarah Gadsden

Analysis of Marketplace enrollment has focused primarily on the initial 2014 open enrollment period. But as the second open enrollment period ends—and as open enrollment periods shorten in future years—special enrollment periods (SEPs) will warrant increasing attention. This paper analyzes the legal framework, limited enrollment data, and first year special enrollment experiences in five State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) and finds that Marketplace systems and consumer outreach and enrollment efforts did not yet match the significant potential for SEP enrollment. The paper identifies several themes that may help policymakers improve SEP enrollment systems in 2015 and beyond.

Posted to Web: February 25, 2015Publication Date: February 25, 2015

Response to the Heritage Foundation's Criticisms of the Urban Institute's King v. Burwell Analyses (Research Brief)
Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan

In January and February 2015, Urban Institute researchers released three papers analyzing the implications of a Supreme Court ruling for the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell. A finding for the plaintiffs would eliminate the premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions currently being provided under the Affordable Care Act in the states where the federal government is playing a role in operating the new nongroup insurance marketplaces established under the law. The Heritage Foundation criticized the validity of some of these estimates, as well as related analyses released by other researchers. Here the UI researchers respond to each of these criticisms.

Posted to Web: February 24, 2015Publication Date: February 24, 2015

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