Feasibility Study for the Evaluation of DHHS Programs Operated under Tribal Self-Governance. 4.4 - Availability, Accessibility, and Quality of Data on Non-Health DHHS Programs


In general, information collected during the site visits indicated that all sites currently managing the programs have persons or information available that would help evaluators to  better understand the process that led to Tribal management of these programs.  Moreover, each site indicated to us that they are currently completing all required Federal reporting forms for each program and that these would be available through hard copy or disk from each Tribe for the time period since the Tribe began managing the program. Some Tribes indicated that they were collecting additional information which would also be available.  All Tribes indicated that accounting records were available for these programs beginning with Tribal management.

Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Two of the six Tribes either manage this program or are preparing to manage this program.  Both Tribes indicated that individuals and documentation are available that can provide information on how the Tribe came to manage this program and Tribal goals for this management.  One Tribe uses their overall database of social programs to record client and service information.  This database is by-person and records all services received for that person within the center in which the program is housed. This database can also be used to track outcomes.

Currently, Tribes managing this program are required to provide the standard Federal financial reporting form SF269[8] and electronic submission (preferred) of family-level and individual-level data elements for families receiving TTANF. (Some Tribes may qualify to sample the caseloads on which they report these data.) For the family, these data elements include funding stream, number of family members, type of family for work participation, receiving subsidized housing, receiving medial assistance, receiving food stamps and amount, receiving subsidized child care and amount, child support, and family cash resources. At the individual level, Tribes are required to submit characteristics such as adult and minor child head-of-household characteristic such as date for birth, ethnicity, gender, receipt of disability benefits, marital status, relationship to head of household, parent with minor child in the family, needs of pregnant women, educational level, citizenship, cooperation with child support, employment status, and work participation status. The child characteristics submitted by TTANF grantees include family affiliation, race/ethnicity, gender, receiving disability benefits, relationship to head of household, educational level, amount of unearned income,

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Three of the six Tribes manage this program.  Levels of record keeping ranged from brief records of services to extensive, very detailed records.  Types of data generally available in varying levels of detail included: number of households assisted, amount of assistance, purpose of assistance. Also, poverty status and age of recipient were available from one site.

Currently, Tribes managing this program are required to provide the Household Service Report—Short Format or a letter containing similar information.  This information includes number of household receiving the following types of assistance: heating, cooling, winter/year round crisis, summer crisis, or weatherization.  Tribes are also required to file the SF269.

Community Services Block Grant

Two of the six Tribes visited receive Community Services Block Grants.  At both Tribes, records of services included name of recipient, amount, service, and circumstances of needed service.  Currently, there is no specific Federal required reporting form beyond the SF269.

Child Care and Development Fund

All six of the Tribes manage this program. Most of the Tribes reported that they used computer software to track the following information: children and families served, hours of childcare, providers, payment to providers, and parent payments.

Standard Child Care and Development Fund Annual reporting requires the following information: number of families and children receiving services, age breakdown for children receiving services, reasons for needing childcare (e.g., working, in school), number of hours services provided, amount of CCDF subsidy, amount of parent co-payment, poverty status of families receiving services, and financial reporting (SF269).

Native Employment Works

None of the six Tribes manage this program. Current Federal reporting requirements include the SF269 and a Program Report that includes a narrative section that compares achievements for the year to their plan for the year.  It also summarizes significant barriers to implementation, provides explanations for variances with the plan, and describes actions taken.  Grantees must also summarize plans for unobligated funds.  The Program Report also includes a statistical report that provides the following information: number of clients served characteristics of clients served (e.g., age, sex, TANF recipients), number of clients participating in types of NEW activities and services (e.g., classroom training, on-the-job training, counseling), and number of clients with selected outcomes (e.g., GED, unsubsidized employment).

Head Start

Four of the six Tribes manage this program.  Most of the Tribes visited use computerized by-child records as the basis for their Head Start reports though a few must retrieve all data for reports from hard copy files for each child.  These by-child records are then used to generate summary reports required by Head Start.  Summary reports also require staff and center information that must be retrieved from other records.  Copies of these reports were provided.  Hardcopy or disk copies of these reports could be provided on an on-going basis. 

The standard Head Start reports includes information in the broad categories of children enrolled by demographics, staff information by demographics, information on classes/ groups/ centers, volunteer information, and services provided.

Head Start currently has a requirement for extensive outcome measurement.  All Tribes indicated awareness of this and efforts at participation in it. These data would be available for each child.

Child Welfare Services

Four of the six Tribes manage these programs.  While a few Tribes maintained computerized databases by child, most indicated that their For other Tribes, records are hard copy.  Reports and the data in them for these programs varied widely across the Tribes.  Narrative reports generally listed the number of children served and services provided.

Wide variations in data reported by each Tribe are, at least in part, a result of the Federal mandate for reporting.  As reported to us, there are no specific reporting requirements.  Each grantee must report how they are progressing toward their 5-year plan.  Tribes are required to file the SF269 also.

Promoting Safe and Stable Families

Only one Tribe managed this program. This Tribe maintains a child registry database for all children served by the center where this program is managed.  This database will be used to track outcomes as well as services. 

Like other Child Welfare programs, we are aware of no specific reporting requirements beyond reporting concerning progress toward planned activities and the SF269.

Family Violence Prevention: Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters

Four of the six Tribes receive these grants.  For most Tribes hard copy reports were available.  (One Tribe maintains a child registry database for all children served by the center where this program is managed.)   The content of these hard copy reports varied widely.  Narrative or summary reports generally listed the number of clients served and the services provided.  Current Federal reporting requirements include the SF269.

Administration on Aging Grants for Native Americans

Four of the six Tribes receive these grants.   These Tribes all prepare a standard report twice a year for AoA that includes full-time/part-time staff; program resources and expenditures including sources of income other than grants; unduplicated numbers of Indians who receive support services, congregate meals, home-delivered meals; total numbers of congregate and home-delivered meals; units of supportive services, legal services, at-home services, ombudsmen services, and others.  In addition, they must submit the SF269.

SAMHSA Targeted Capacity Expansion Grants

Only one Tribe visited manages this program and services were provided through the Health Center.  Current Federal reporting requirements include the SF269 and a quarterly report and specificed GPRA measures.  The quarterly and GPRA reports include the following information: grantee information; staffing information; data including number of new clients, services provided, and individual-level information on the clients as required by GPRA[9]; and narrative information about the project such as challenges and successes over the past quarter.

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