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 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.
Pretesting a Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems
This report summarizes findings from a study to develop and pre-test a human trafficking screening tool with 617 youth in runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and child welfare (CW) settings. The tool was found to be accessible, easy to administer, and effective in identifying trafficked youth in these settings, though additional research is needed.
This brief aims to arm service providers with information regarding available evidence about interventions to prevent or reduce prolonged youth homelessness, in order to support providers in using their resources as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Organizations can use their resources more efficiently to reduce and end prolonged youth homelessness if they know who they are trying to serve, and the issues that these youth face.This brief aims to summarize factors associated with prolonged episodes of homelessness among youth.
Research about adults experiencing chronic homelessness shows a relationship with serious mental illness. This brief aims to explore whether this same intersection between prolonged homelessness and serious mental illness exists among youth. Generally we found that not much is known about the relationship between serious mental illness and prolonged youth homelessness. However, this brief concludes that:
This report provides welfare indicators through 2014 for most indicators and through 2015 for some indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.
New analysis of data from HUD's Family Options Study finds that about 30 percent of sheltered homeless families reported a separation from at least one family member. Family transitions continued in the following 20 months, with 10 percent of families experiencing new child separations and 8 percent reporting reunification with children who had not been with the family in shelter. Formal out-of-home placements were rare for children while families stayed in emergency shelter but grew over time.
Impact of Couples-Based Family Strengthening Services for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners
This brief summarizes 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.