HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. III. Types of Information Disseminated by the Agency to the Public


Given the wide variety of programs administered by the Administration for Children and Families, and the numerous types of information generated by these programs, it is not possible to offer a comprehensive list of all dissemination activities conducted by the agency. Consequently, the following examples have been drawn selectively from a cross-section of ACF programs. However, it should be noted that not all of the information described below is subject to the OMB Guidelines.

  1. Program Information — descriptions of programs such as Head Start, child care, child welfare and youth services, child support enforcement, community services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and low-income family assistance programs; budget and funding information; data on numbers and locales of grantees; types of services supported through agency programs; and other descriptive information. For example, the Children's Bureau makes available a variety of materials relating to basic program information. Fact sheets describing the purpose and funding level of each of the Children's Bureau's programs are available on the ACF web site. The Children's Bureau web site also has information of a general nature relating to child welfare, for instance, information on how to report child abuse and neglect or how to become a foster or adoptive parent.

    Examples of information offered by a typical web site (Administration on Developmental Disabilities) to the public include: a home page; staff directory; calendar of major program events; a fact sheet; links to state-based grantees; updates on various major initiatives; links to national disability organizations and related disability sites; connectivity to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, current regulations, program highlights and outcomes; and a section devoted to frequently asked questions, where the public can search for answers to their questions or email a question to the program staff.

    The Family and Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY) disseminates:

    • The Exchange, a periodical focusing on issues of interest to youth service professionals;
    • FYSB Update, a periodical sharing information about the Bureau's research and demonstration projects;
    • Technical assistance publications, providing guidance about how to address specific policy or operational issues;
    • Publications for young people, parents and community members (developed by FYSB and NCFY); and
    • Publications from all sources on youth issues (including those not developed by FYSB).
  2. Statistical information — information on numbers of sub-populations served through ACF programs supported wholly or in part by Federal dollars (e.g., characteristics and financial circumstances of families served by TANF; information on program recipients' participation in work activities; information on the child support caseload; number and characteristics of children who are victims of child abuse and neglect or who are adopted from public child welfare systems; number of children served in Head Start; percentage of Head Start teachers with a college degree; numbers and characteristics of children served by Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs; number of children in each State receiving a child care subsidy under the Child Care and Development Fund.). Each year, the Children's Bureau publishes a report called "Child Maltreatment," presenting the latest statistics and trends in child abuse and neglect. In addition, the Children's Bureau publishes an annual report on "Outcomes in Child Welfare" with information from each State.
  3. Research and evaluation reports focused on social science research and evaluation pertinent to ACF programs and policy. The web site of each program within ACF makes the most recent reports available to members of the research community and the general public. Examples of research and evaluation reports disseminated include the "1998 National Estimates of the Number of Boarder Babies, Abandoned Infants and Discarded Infants" and the final report of the "Third National Incidence Study on Child Abuse and Neglect."
  4. Reports to the Congress — Several programs submit annual reports to Congress in compliance with legislative provisions authorizing their implementation. For example, the Children's Bureau's report, "Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground: A Report to Congress on Substance Abuse and Child Protection" complies with such a legislative provision. In August 2000, TANF submitted the Third Annual Report to Congress to comply with section 411(b) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. The Family and Youth Services Bureau submits a biennial report to Congress that describes Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) operations and other activities. After release to Congress, this report is made available in the public domain. Annual RHY caseload data from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHYMIS) are included in the Report to Congress and provided on request to grantees, researchers, advocacy organizations, and the general public.