Resources for program administrators and researchers looking to use data for family self-sufficiency research.
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Family Self-Sufficiency Data Resources

This repository has been created as a way to share resources for program administrators and researchers looking to use data for family self-sufficiency research.

About the Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center

The Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center (FSSDC) was established to support states to better use data and to increase the amount and quality of data available for research related to family self-sufficiency (FSS). This includes administrative datasets for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance programs, workforce development and training programs, early care and education, and health insurance. This repository is dedicated to sharing public, open-source tools to improve the use of FSS data by program administrators and researchers.

This work is supported by the Family Self-Sufficiency Research Consortium, Grant Number #90PD0272, funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this repository are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn more about the FSSDC here.

Available Resources

Current resources on this repository include:

  • Samples of a basic TANF data model and an R script to explore and present that data;
  • Resources and sample scripts describing the creation of spells files from point-in-time data.

To Use and Contribute to this Repository

This repository is publically accessible. All code is provided under the MIT license.

Reading the Files

The simplest way for administrators and researchers to use these resources is to browse this website and download files of interest. Reading sample code and looking at examples of what data may look like can provide new ideas and guide discussion.

Running the Files

The script files can also be run on your own data if the general format of your data matches the fake data provided or you can modify the code to be more applicable to your own data. We have provided sample code files in several languages. You can tell a file is a code file and what language it is in by looking at its extension. For example, SAS files end in .sas and Python files end in .py.

To run the code you will need the relevant programming languages installed and knowledge of how to use them. Many of these programs are open source and do not require funding to install. Others require a license that your organization may already have. For a quick course in how to use these programs please see the tutorial section.

Changing the Files on This Website

We also welcome contributions. You can use this website to make your contributions. A guide to getting started with GitHub and Git can be found in the tutorial section. If you are interested in contributing but are struggling to get started, please contact us. Knowing your questions will help us understand what specific barriers to address.

Questions? Comments? Contact us at

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