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
While child support agencies have acknowledged the rise in substance use among noncustodial parents, there is little to no research that has looked specifically at this population with substance use issues and the effects of that use on child support outcomes, including payment patterns and arrears accumulation.
Trauma-Informed Approaches: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice to Build Resilience in Children and Families
Trauma-informed approaches provide a framework for preventing and addressing childhood trauma and building resilience in children and families.
Aligning Federal Performance Indicators Across Programs Promoting Self-Sufficiency: Actionable Steps For Program Design And Practice
This brief outlines actionable steps that program designers at the federal, state, or local level can take to build or use aligned measures across programs in ways that can improve program management and increase service coordination.
Aligning Federal Performance Indicators Across Programs Promoting Self-Sufficiency: Key Considerations For Policymakers
This brief summarizes the current set of federal performance indicators and provides key policy considerations for policymakers and administrators within federal and state agencies who are interested in building a framework for coordinated performance measurement.
This is the first of two briefs about a qualitative study examining lower-income mothers' attachment to work around the time of childbirth and the role of state paid family leave (PFL) programs in supporting their return to employment. Seventy-five mothers who used PFL participated in the study. Over two-thirds returned to work, citing their need for income, desire for financial independence, preference for combining work with caregiving, and supportive workplace practices.
ASPE has contracted with Research Triangle Institute and the University of North Carolina School of Government to understand how local, state, faith-based, and nonprofit human services programs and organizations can create and use social capital to increase employment, reduce poverty, and improve child and family well-being.
For child support programs, the emergence of the gig economy presents a new dimension to the longstanding challenge of establishing and enforcing child support orders for noncustodial parents working outside traditional salaried employment – in jobs that are often temporary, part-time, and contingent. Infographic Infographic Text Version
Aligning Federal Performance Indicators Across Programs Promoting Self-Sufficiency: Local Perspectives
Individuals and families frequently qualify for multiple human services and employment programs that are funded, regulated, and administered by different federal agencies—each with their own eligibility criteria, program requirements, and performance indicators. Although these programs often share similar goals, they differ in the populations served, the services provided, and the implementation of performance measures.
This factsheet provides descriptive information on child care eligibility and receipt. Of the 13.6 million children eligible for child care subsidies under federal rules, 15 percent received subsidies. Of the 8.4 million children eligible for child care subsidies under state rules, 25 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.
Despite broad agreement that the child support program has performed well since the passage of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA) in 1998, questions remain over whether the current measures will continue to drive better performance on outcomes that reflect the child support program’s core mission. To shed light on this issue, this brief discusses differences in state performance across incentive measures, underscoring the diversity of state experiences since CSPIA’s passage 20 years ago.
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, ¡Cuídate! 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, ¡Cuídate! 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 (SSI), 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 SSI, 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 (SSI), 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 SSI, 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.