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.
Division of Children and Youth Policy
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.
Division of Economic Support for Families
The Division of Economic Support for Families 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 support and opportunity, welfare-to-work issues, strengthening families and responsible fatherhood, child support enforcement, and domestic violence. Other key priorities include place-based initiatives, immigration and refugees, human trafficking, benefits access, and various human services programs.
Division of Data and Technical Analysis
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.
+Early Childhood and Child Welfare
+Economic Support and Employment
+Place-Based Initiatives and Community/Faith-Based Partnerships
+Social Services Delivery and Implementation
+Poverty and Measurement
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Child Welfare Context: Challenges and Opportunities
This brief describes four key challenges related to the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in child welfare contexts for parents with opioid use disorder. It draws upon results from a mixed methods study examining how substance use affects child welfare systems across the country. Key challenges discussed include:
This research brief highlights findings from the evaluation of ¡Cuídate!, an HIV/AIDS prevention program that uses an approach culturally tailored to Latino youth. The study examined data from three different replications of ¡Cuídate!, pooling the data to examine the overall program impact. Overall, Reducing the Risk did not have an impact on sexual activity, contraceptive use, or pregnancy at either the 6 month or 18 month follow-up periods. However, exploratory analyses indicated some significant subgroup and site level differences.
This research report highlights findings from the evaluation of ¡Cuídate!, an HIV/AIDS prevention program that uses an approach culturally tailored to Latino youth. The study examined data from three different replications of ¡Cuídate!, pooling the data to examine the overall program impact. Overall, Reducing the Risk did not have an impact on sexual activity, contraceptive use, or pregnancy at either the 6 month or 18 month follow-up periods. However, exploratory analyses indicated some significant subgroup and site level differences.
Reducing the Risk: Impact Findings from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study (Research Brief)
This research brief highlights findings from the evaluation of Reducing the Risk, a sexual health curriculum developed in the early 1990s to help prevent pregnancy and reduce sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescents. The study examined data from three different replications of Reducing the Risk, pooling the data to examine the overall program impact. Overall, Reducing the Risk did not have an impact on sexual activity, contraceptive use, or pregnancy at either the 12 month or 24 month follow-up.
Safer Sex Intervention: Impact Findings from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study (Research Brief)
This research brief highlights the impact findings from the evaluation of three replications of the Safer Sex Intervention, a clinic-based intervention intended to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and increase condom use among high-risk sexually active female adolescents. The study examined data from three different replications of Reducing the Risk, pooling the data to examine the overall program impact.
This research report details the impact findings from the evaluation of three replications of the Safer Sex Intervention, a clinic-based intervention intended to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and increase condom use among high-risk sexually active female adolescents. The study examined data from three different replications of Reducing the Risk, pooling the data to examine the overall program impact.
Child Support Cooperation Requirements in Child Care Subsidy Programs and SNAP: Key Policy Considerations
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. This brief, and one-page summary, examines the current policy landscape and provides context for policy conversations. Infographic
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. Given the role of biomarkers in drug development, it is important to understand how biomarkers are identified, developed, and validated, so that the costs of these activities can be assessed.
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: Growth in the healthcare sector has created a demand for healthcare employees that some individuals with criminal records are qualified to fill safely.
Are parents with a child support order more likely to be eligible for both SNAP and subsidized child care?
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 2016 Current Population Survey Child Support Supplement match file and the 2016 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.
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 the next decade.
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, usually less than a year. However, families that received child care subsidies for a period frequently returned to the subsidy programs after they exited and received subsidies multiple times.
How many families might be newly reached by child support cooperation requirements in SNAP and subsidized child care, and what are their characteristics?
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 care. Infographic Text Version
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: The prevalence of drug overdose deaths and opioid prescriptions has risen unevenly across the county, with rural areas more heavily impacted. Specific geographic areas, such as Appalachia, parts of the West and the Midwest, and New England, have seen higher prevalence than other areas.
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. It explores a finding from an earlier ASPE brief that instability was pronounced among children in households where the highest level of education was “Some College,” and looks more closely at three types of these households—those with Associates’ Degrees; those with credentials from vocational, technical, trade, or business schools; and those in which adults entered college but did not finish with a credential.
Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic and the Child Welfare Caseloads: Methodological Details from a Mixed Methods Study
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.
Predictive Analytics in Child Welfare: Considerations in Contracting Vendors for Predictive Analytics
An increasing number of child welfare agencies are considering using predictive analytics in their work. Typically they do so by contracting with a vendor to develop and maintain a predictive analytics model that is used by the agency to predict risk of a specified outcome. There are significant differences between contracts for these services and other types of contracts child welfare agencies enter into. This document identifies some of those differences and outlines sections for a request for proposals (RFP) suited to procuring predictive analytic capability.
This report provides welfare dependence indicators through 2015 for most indicators and through 2016 for some indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.
Treatment foster care (TFC; sometimes known as therapeutic foster care) is a family-based placement option for children with serious emotional, behavioral, or medical needs who can be served in the community with intensive support. This report describes how TFC is implemented and supported by states. It provides an overview of the key program elements of TFC defined by states and how states differentiate TFC from traditional foster care. The report also provides a description of how states provide adjunct services, such as case management and behavioral health services, to children in TFC.
This research brief describes how select indicators associated with substance use prevalence relate to the changing trend in child welfare caseloads. It is part of a series describing findings of a mixed methods study undertaken to better understand how parental substance use relates to child welfare caseloads, which began rising in 2012 following years of sustained declines.
Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic and the Child Welfare System: Key Findings from a Mixed Methods Study
This study examined the relationship between parental substance misuse and child welfare caseloads, which began rising in 2012 after more than a decade of decline. We examined county level variation in both phenomena and qualitative interviews documented the perspectives and experiences of local professionals in the child welfare agency, substance use disorder treatment programs, family courts, and other community partners in 11 communities across the country.
Providing TA to Local Programs and Communities: Lessons from a Scan of Initiatives Offering TA to Human Services Programs
This scan of public and private technical assistance (TA) initiatives synthesizes lessons, challenges, and best practices for providing federal TA to human services programs working to address poverty and child well-being. The scan, encompassing 18 TA initiatives, is intended to inform decisions about how best to target TA efforts for different situations, audiences, and objectives. To that end, this brief describes considerations for designing and delivering program TA, factors that facilitate and challenges that impede the delivery of TA, and other lessons learned.
Executive Summary and Screening Tools: Pretesting A Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems
This executive summary provides key takeaways from a longer report to a study that developed and pre-tested a Human Trafficking Screening Tool (HTST) with youth in runaway and homeless youth and child welfare settings. This document also includes both the full, 19-item HTST and a shorter, 6-question form of the tool.
Patterns of Foster Care Placement and Family Reunification Following Child Maltreatment Investigations
This research brief identifies characteristics of children and families who reunified with parents or family following the child’s stay in foster care, patterns regarding success or failure of reunification, as well as maltreatment re-reports among children reunified with their families. The analysis is based on data from the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II) which is linked to administrative data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. (NCANDS).