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 Family and Community Policy
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.
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 Mobility and Employment
+Place-Based Initiatives and Community/Faith-Based Partnerships
+Social Services Delivery and Implementation
+Poverty and Measurement
Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic offered rich information about how well virtual service delivery worked for different types of participants.
Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic provided great insight into the tradeoffs and relative advantages of choosing virtual platforms to administer services from.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many human services programs rapidly shifted their service delivery from primarily or exclusively in person to mostly or entirely virtual (via phone, video call, text, email, etc.) with varying degrees of perceived success.
Interviews with program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic provided key takeaways to help promote effective, accessible, and equitable virtual service delivery.
This report to Congress analyzed 10 years of data to look at trends in emergency department utilization at the national and state levels.
This report provides welfare dependence indicators through 2016 for most indicators and through 2017 for some indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.
The annual recipiency rate reflects the percentage of the total population who received or lived with a family member who received a cash benefit from TANF, SNAP, and/or SSI any time during the year. In 2017, the annual recipiency rate was 20.9 percent, an annual decrease of 1.1 percentage points compared with 2016.
This project examines the initial effects of policy changes required by the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program as well as the subsequent CCDF final rule published in September 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
This brief uses a literature review and interviews with TA providers and recipients to explore strategies for assessing recipients' needs for training and technical assistance (TA).
Improving the Design, Targeting, and Effectiveness of Training and Technical Assistance: A Learning Agenda
This learning agenda explores several potential topics for further learning about training and TA outcomes and approaches.
Many parents owing child support may struggle with housing instability, though little research has documented the extent of this phenomenon.
Buprenorphine treatment has been found to be an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Child welfare systems have been partnering with treatment providers to increase access, yet little is known about its role in improving outcomes related to child maltreatment.
The Multiethnic Placement Act, as amended, enacted in 1994 and known as MEPA (or MEPA/IEP to acknowledge amendments passed in 1996), prohibits child welfare agencies that receive federal funding from delaying or denying foster or adoptive placements because of a child or prospective foster or adoptive parent’s race, color or national origin and from using those factors as a basis for denying approval of a potential foster or adoptive parent.
This brief discusses two primary approaches for providing employment-related services to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and public housing program participants to help them meet work-related requirements. The findings are based on discussions with state and local administrators and workforce development partners in three states. Related Products
This factsheet provides descriptive information on child care eligibility and receipt.
Understanding Substance Use Coercion as a Barrier to Economic Stability for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Policy Implications
Substance use coercion occurs when perpetrators of intimate partner violence undermine and control their partners through substance-use related tactics and actively keep them from meeting treatment and recovery goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the slowdown in economic activity have impacted the well-being of many U.S. families.
This handbook is a go-to resource for human services providers looking for practical ways to implement social capital building practices to improve participant outcomes.
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.
Recent focus on evidence-based decision-making has led to multiple federal efforts to determine the evidence behind various programs, particularly those seeking federal funding. This has led to the development of multiple evidence-based registries, most of which are based on “model programs”.
Douglas County Community Mental Health Center fosters relationships for incarcerated and reentering individuals recovering from substance use in Douglas County, Nebraska through coffee chats and connections with staff.
Strategies Rural Communities Use to Address Substance Misuse among Families in the Child Welfare System
This research summary and brief describe nine programs and highlight ways they have addressed challenges to serving child welfare-involved parents with substance use issues, with a particular focus on their applicability to rural communities. These programs offered various types of services, including parent mentoring, case management, home visiting, treatment for opioid use disorders, or an array of substance use disorder treatment and family services. These programs implemented strategies that could address challenges in rural and non-rural communities.
This is the third ASPE brief 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. This brief focuses on the role of PFL in facilitating child care arrangements of a sample of mothers. Highlights are:
Children under age five are about as likely to participate in nonparental care arrangements as they were in the mid-1990s. Children in nonparental care are now more likely to participate in center programs and less likely to receive care from family child care providers. Children in families with income both above and below 200 percent of the poverty threshold experienced a decline in family child care. Children are less likely to be in care arrangements that require out-of-pocket financial contributions from their families than they were two decades ago.