This report was produced in February 2002 for the Public Policy Department of the Community Action Project of Tulsa County under the direction of David Blatt, then Director of Policy at CAP.
An uncertain economy and major changes in welfare and workforce development policy have given new urgency to the question of self-sufficiency. As many parents leave welfare and enter the labor market, they join a growing number of families who are unable to stretch their wages to meet the costs of basic necessities. Even though many of these families are not poor according to the official poverty measure, their incomes are inadequate. But what is adequate income— and how does this amount vary among different family types and different places? To answer that question we have a new measure of income adequacy, the Self-Sufficiency Standard.