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
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).
Psychotropic Medication Use among Children who Are Subjects of Child Protective Services Investigations: Does Court Oversight Matter?
This ASPE Research Brief examines the courts’ role in overseeing psychotropic medication prescriptions for children who were subjects of child maltreatment investigations. The analyses examine associations between the courts’ roles in overseeing these medications for children in the child welfare system and the frequency and patterns with which such medications are used, as well as their associations with subsequent maltreatment reports.
This ASPE Research Brief describes the number and characteristics of children who in 2011 or 2012 lived with someone other than their parents and who had experienced the incarceration of a parent or guardian. The brief compares children in nonparental care as a result of parental incarceration with those who experienced parental incarceration but not as a reason for nonparental care, and those with no experience of parental incarceration.
Antibiotic resistance (AR) poses a significant threat to our Nation’s public health. To coordinate and enhance the public health response to the AR threat, the U.S. Government developed the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB). The CARB Task Force is co-chaired by HHS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Defense. In the past two years, the U.S.
Head Start Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness: Trends, Characteristics, and Program Services
This research brief presents findings on the characteristics of Head Start children and families that experienced homelessness, as well as services Head Start programs reported providing to these vulnerable children and families, using data from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey. Trends in the percentages of Head Start children and families experiencing homelessness from Head Start program year 2006-2007 to 2015-2016 are also presented, using data from the Head Start Program Information Report.
This factsheet provides descriptive information on child care eligibility and receipt. Of the 13.4 million children eligible for child care subsidies under federal rules, 16 percent received subsidies. Of the 8.3 million children eligible for child care subsidies under state rules, 26 percent received subsidies. Poorer children were more likely to receive subsidies than less poor children. Younger children (ages 1-5) were more likely to receive subsidies than older children.
This issue brief presents analysis of Qualified Health Plan (QHP) data in the individual market Exchanges for plan year 2018 for states that use the HealthCare.gov platform. It examines issuer participation, plan options and premiums for individuals enrolling in coverage through the Exchanges.
Studies in a range of disciplines document high levels of instability for many families and the negative effects this insecurity can have on child development, adult well-being, and family self-sufficiency. This study examines the nature and extent of instability for children and their families using nationally representative data on nearly 15,000 children.
About the Public-Use Dataset from the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP)
This document briefly describes the public-use dataset from the Multi-site Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering.
Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering: Program Impacts Technical Report
This report presents findings on the impact of couples-based family strengthening services in four prison-based programs from the Multi-Site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP) and discusses the implications for policy, programs, and future research. In one of the four grantee programs, the low-dosage healthy relationship retreat had sustained positive effects on multiple partnership and parenting relationship outcomes for a low-income, justice-involved population. This evaluation attempted to isolate the impacts of relatively low-dosage couples programming.
The Technical Review Panel on the Medicare Trustees Report was established by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2016 to review the assumptions and methods underlying the Medicare Trust Funds (Hospital Insurance and Supplementary Medical Insurance) annual reports to Congress. The Panel, which has nine members, reviewed the Medicare assumptions, projection methodology, long-range growth assumptions, and related matters used to develop the annual reports. The Panel felt the approach currently used in the Trustees Reports was broadly reasonable.