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Institute Announces Funding, Release Date for Expanded Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard & Calculator
Updated January 4, 2016 7:01 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Institute for Working Families (Institute) announced that it has been awarded grant funding for an update to the Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard & Calculator, to include expanded data and a new Economic Security Pathways feature, which will be released publicly on January 12.

With generous grant funding from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Duke Energy Foundation, the Vectren Foundation, EmployIndy, the Region 4 Workforce Board, and the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Board. The updated Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard will calculate how much income a family must earn to meet basic needs, with the amount varying by family composition and where they live, covering 472 different family compositions in all 92 Indiana counties. The Standard defines the amount of income necessary to meet basic needs (including taxes) without public subsidies (e.g., public housing, food stamps, Medicaid or child care) and without private/informal assistance (e.g., free babysitting by a relative or friend, food provided by churches or local food banks, or shared housing). The family types for which a Standard is calculated range from one adult with no children, to one adult with one infant, one adult with one preschooler, and so forth, up to households with four adults and six or more children. The Standard is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways-by clients of workforce and training programs seeking paths to self-sufficiency, by program managers to evaluate program effectiveness, and by policymakers and legislators seeking to create programs and pathways that lead to self-sufficiency for working families.

Indiana's new Standard & Calculator will also include for the first time Economic Security Pathways (ESPs), which details the costs of taking the next steps towards economic security, including the asset-building and savings needed for postsecondary education, more secure housing, and retirement.

"Because the Standard & Calculator was last updated for Indiana in 2009, this 2016 update will provide insight into how basic costs for working families have changed in each county since the beginning of the Great Recession, and to what extent incomes have tracked the change in expenses," said Jessica Fraser, the Institute's Program Manager.

This is a proven tool that helps families and those assisting them assess needs and plan for self-sufficiency," said Dawn Horth, who coordinates Duke Energy's Indiana foundation. "It's a way for us to reach some of those with the greatest need in our state."

As with all Self-Sufficiency Standard reports, The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Indiana 2016 was authored by Dr. Diana M. Pearce and produced by the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington on behalf of the Indiana Institute for Working Families.

The new 2016 Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard & Calculator, as well as Economic Security Pathways will be released online on January 12, 2012 at

About the Indiana Institute for Working Families

The Indiana Institute for Working Families - a program of the Indiana Community Action Association (INCAA) - conducts research and promotes public policies to help Hoosier families achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency. The Institute is the only statewide program in Indiana that combines research and policy analysis on federal and state legislation, public policies, and programs impacting low-income working families. The Institute achieves its work through advocacy and education, and through national, statewide, and community partnerships. The Institute was founded in 2004. To learn more about the Institute, please visit:

About the Indiana Community Action Association

The Indiana Community Action Association, Inc. (IN-CAA) is a statewide not-for-profit membership corporation, incorporated in the State of Indiana in 1970. IN-CAA's members are comprised of Indiana's 22 Community Action Agencies (CAAs), which serve all of Indiana's 92 counties. IN-CAA envisions a state with limited or no poverty, where its residents have decent, safe, and sanitary living conditions, and where resources are available to help low-income individuals attain self-sufficiency. IN-CAA serves as an advocate and facilitator of policy, planning and programs to create solutions and share responsibility as leaders in the War on Poverty. IN-CAA's mission is to help the state's CAAs address the conditions of poverty through: training and technical assistance; developing models for service delivery; and providing resources to help increase network capacity. For more information about IN-CAA, please visit:

About the Center For Women's Welfare

The Center for Women's Welfare at the University Of Washington School Of Social Work is devoted to furthering the goal of economic justice for women and their families. The main work of the Center focuses on the development of the Self-Sufficiency Standard. Under the direction of Dr. Diana Pearce, the Center partners with a range of government, non-profit, women's, children's, and community-based groups to: research and evaluate public policy related to income adequacy; create tools to assess and establish income adequacy; and develop programs and policies that strengthen public investment in low-income women, children, and families.

For more information about the Center's programs, or work related to the Self-Sufficiency Standard, call (206) 685-5264. This report and more can be viewed at

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