Simply being employed does not mean economic self-sufficiency for women in Colorado. In fact, it may actually work against them. Currently in Colorado, public assistance for the working poor isn't designed to allow women the opportunity to incrementally increase their wages to work toward self-sufficiency. In fact, as a family's earnings increase and they rise above the official poverty level, they begin to lose eligibility for tax credits, childcare subsidies, health care coverage and food stamps even though they are not yet self-sufficient. So although parents may be working and earning more, their families can't reach financial security. This is called the Cliff Effect, and it results in many women refusing pay increases, forcing them to live a life of dependence. We conducted groundbreaking research to learn more about the causes of the Cliff Effect and lay the groundwork for solutions.