Qualitative Social Wor
Self-sufﬁciency (SS) is the epitome of America’s ‘reluctant’welfare state. It is generally accepted in social welfare policycircles as a concept related to independence and ﬁnancialstability. Nevertheless, SS is not a term agreed upon inpractice by policymakers, researchers, or service providersand is frequently used without a clear common deﬁnition.In this sense, the purpose of this study is to explore the extentto which the top-down deﬁnition of ‘economic’ SS as thesocial policy goal is consistent with how the clients of job training programs perceive the term. Using a groundedtheory approach, a bottom-up deﬁnition of SS was derivedfrom a focus group of low-income jobseekers. The focusgroup was transcribed for a content analysis from which a client-centered deﬁnition of SS was drawn. Findings suggestthat SS is a process of developing psychological strength properties and a goal-oriented progression toward realistic ﬁnancial outcomes.Implications for evidence-based community interventions for client empowerment and workforce development are suggested.
Hong, P.Y., Sheriff, A., & Naeger, S. (2009). A bottom-up definition of self-sufficiency: Voices from low-income jobseekers. Qualitative Social Work, 8(3), 357-376 .
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© 2009 Sage Publications
Author Posting © Sage Publishing, 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Sage Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Qualitative Social Work, Volume 8, Issue 3, 2009.