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Office of Human Services Policy (HSP)

The Office of Human Services Policy (HSP) conducts policy research, analysis, evaluation, and coordination on various issues across the Department, including but not limited to, poverty and measurement, vulnerable populations, early childhood education and child welfare, family strengthening, economic support for families, and youth development. HSP serves as a liaison with other agencies on broad economic matters and is the Department’s lead on poverty research and analysis.

The Division of Children and Youth Policy focuses on policies related to the well-being of children and youth. Projects range from quick-turnaround policy analyses to large-scale experimental studies, and major policy initiatives. Key areas include early childhood, early care and education, home visiting, youth development and risky behaviors, parenting and family support, child welfare and foster care, linkages with physical and mental health, methods for evaluating what works, and strategies for improving research and data in these areas.

The Division of Family and Community Policy focuses on policies affecting various low-income populations. This includes policy development around major initiatives such as homelessness and reentry. It also includes conducting and coordinating analysis, research, and evaluation on the safety net, economic mobility and opportunity, welfare-to-work issues, strengthening families and responsible fatherhood, child support enforcement, and domestic violence. Other key priorities include place-based initiatives, the role of social capital in human services, human trafficking, benefits coordination.

The Division of Data and Technical Analysis focuses on policies and programs concerning low-income and otherwise disadvantaged populations. The Division provides data analytic capacity for policy development through data collection activities, secondary data analysis, modeling, and cost analyses. The Division focuses on cross-cutting human services policy issues such as income, poverty, cash and non-cash supports for low-income families, employment, fertility, and child welfare. The Division also issues annual updates to the poverty guidelines and reports to Congress on indicators of welfare dependence.

Topic Areas:

Reports

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Child Support Cooperation Requirements in Child Care Subsidy Programs and SNAP: Key Policy Considerations

October 31, 2018
States have the option to require recipients of child care subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to cooperate with child support agencies seeking to establish paternity and support orders; and to enforce child support obligations as a condition of eligibility.

Cost Drivers in the Development and Validation of Biomarkers Used in Drug Development

October 23, 2018
Despite the increasing investment and interest in drug development, the amount of time and resources needed to develop a new drug continues to rise. Biomarkers are an important tool with the potential to decrease the time, cost, and failure rate of drug development.

Linking People with Criminal Records to Employment in the Healthcare Sector: 5 Things to Consider

October 11, 2018
This project explores how the need for workers in healthcare professions can be partially met by hiring individuals with criminal records who do not pose a risk to public safety. The report is organized around the following five things to consider for employing certain individuals with criminal records in the healthcare sector:

Are parents with a child support order more likely to be eligible for both SNAP and subsidized child care?

October 8, 2018
This analysis builds on the ASPE publication on child support cooperation requirements to determine the overlap in the populations of custodial and noncustodial parents with and without formal child support orders, that are eligible for both Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and subsidized child care (CCDF).  The data used in the infographic are based on TRIM3 analysis of the 201

Building the Next Generation of Child Support Policy Research

September 13, 2018
This project brought together policymakers, practitioners and evaluators in October 2017 to identify key policy research questions in the child support program.  The discussions, coupled with a series of informant interviews from 2016, led to the development of the research agenda.  It is a framework for the broader child support community to collectively answer pressing policy questions over t

Child Care Subsidy Duration and Caseload Dynamics: A Multi-State Examination from 2004-2014

July 16, 2018
This Brief provides an examination of the amount of time that low-income families from 32 states received child care subsidies.  These families began receiving government-funded child care subsidies during Fiscal Year 2012, prior to the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act.  In general, families utilized child care subsidy programs for short time periods, us

How many families might be newly reached by child support cooperation requirements in SNAP and subsidized child care, and what are their characteristics?

July 12, 2018
States have flexibility to require a person that receives SNAP or subsidized child care to cooperate with the child support program.  This infographic introduces the child support cooperation policy variation across the states and then presents characteristic information about the custodial and noncustodial parents that may be subject to cooperation requirements in SNAP and subsidized child car

Economic Opportunity and the Opioid Crisis: Geographic and Economic Trends

June 28, 2018
This study examines relationships between indicators of economic opportunity and the prevalence of prescription opioids and substance use in the United States. We have three primary findings:

Cross-Domain Instability in Families with Some College Education

June 28, 2018
This brief examines instability across key areas of family life for children and their households, and the characteristics of those most likely to experience instability.

Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic and the Child Welfare Caseloads: Methodological Details from a Mixed Methods Study

June 10, 2018
This brief describes the research methods used to produce the findings in Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic, and Child Welfare Caseloads: A Mixed Methods Study. It is a part of a series of briefs that discuss different aspects and issues surrounding the relationship between substance use disorders and the child welfare system.