Using Vouchers to Deliver Social Services:

Learning from the Goals, Uses, and Key Elements of Existing Federal Voucher Programs

March 30, 2007

Andrew Burwick and Gretchen Kirby
Mathematica Policy Research (MPR)

Submitted to:
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation

Project Officer:
Alana Landey

Contract: HHS-233-020086, TO#5

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  1. Introduction
  2. Why Use Vouchers to Deliver Social Services?
    1. Goals of Voucher Use
    2. Legal and Policy Context
      1. Charitable Choice and the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiative
      2. The Establishment Clause and Distinctions Between Direct and Indirect Funding
      3. State-Level Policy and Blaine Amendments
  3. How are Vouchers Currently Used in Federal Programs?
    1. Voucher Use in HHS Programs
    2. Key Characteristics of Federal Voucher Programs
  4. What Are Key Implementation Experiences Among Voucher Programs?
    1. Vouchers and Child Care Assistance
      1. Assessing the "Fit" of Vouchers with Program Goals
      2. The Size and Diversity of the Service Delivery Structure
      3. Provision and Content of Consumer Education
      4. Policies and Procedures
      5. The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Service Delivery
    2. Vouchers in Other Program Areas
      1. Facilitating Provider Participation
      2. Beneficiary Access and Response to Counseling
      3. Managing Payments and Accounts
    3. Outcomes of Voucher Programs
  5. Next Steps in Assessing the Use of Vouchers to Deliver Social Services


How to Obtain a Printed Copy

To obtain a printed copy of this report, send the title and your mailing information to:

Human Services Policy, Room 404E
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Fax:  (202) 690-6562

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Home Pages:
Human Services Policy (HSP)
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Last revised:  04/04/07