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
Program administrators and frontline workers across a range of human services programs early in the COVID-19 pandemic shared important takeaways around how to better utilize technology to administer virtual services.
This brief documents the increases in the average amount that families have paid for ECE over two decades among children under age five using data from the National Household Education Survey, Early Childhood Program Participation (NHES-ECPP).
Focus groups with a small sample of program participants across a range of human services programs in Fall 2020 captured the perspectives of people served to better understand the perceived strengths and limitations of virtual services.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove a large and rapid transition from in-person human service delivery to virtual approaches.
Measuring the Implementation and Outcomes of Emergency Economic Mobility and Recovery Waivers and Flexibilities: Key Lessons from Demonstration Waivers
Program managers can take clear steps during emergencies to initially assess the extent to which emergency flexibilities or waivers achieve intended outcomes and advance programmatic goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented economic crisis with inequitable effects. Overall employment figures mask the disparate impacts on some communities of color, women, and low-wage workers. These groups were more likely to lose jobs, reduce hours worked, or withdraw from the labor market.
This case study focuses on how a fatherhood program in rural Ohio—ForeverDads—reaches a subpopulation of fathers through partnerships with area substance use disorder treatment programs.
Case Study of Father Engagement in Healthy Start Programs: Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition Fatherhood PRIDE
This case study focuses on how the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition engaged fathers in its programming through the development of a fatherhood program, Fatherhood PRIDE.
This case study focuses on how the nonprofit statewide California WIC Association supports local agencies to involve fathers in programming related to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Improving Programs, Policies and Services to Promote Healthy Development in Middle Childhood in Afterschool Settings
This project was a collaborative effort by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Women’s Health (OWH).
Social capital – or the value that arises from connections, networks, and relationships – can help human services programs improve participant outcomes.
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.