This compendium is an effort to understand and document the data collected by ACF that is or could be used for evidence-building purposes. It includes summaries of twelve major ACF administrative data sources and seven surveys. Each entry in the Compendium includes: an overview of the data source; data ownership and funding source; basic content (topical areas covered); major publications, websites, and documentation; available datasets (public and restricted); data quality; statutory and regulatory restrictions on access and use; capacity to link with other data sources; and examples of prior research using linked data. To be included, a dataset had to: 1) include person or case-level data; 2) relate directly to an ACF program; 3) have the potential to be used for analytical or evaluation purposes to improve program operations; and 4) be an administrative database with national scope or a nationally representative survey.
There are two main limitations to the Compendium that should be kept in mind. First, while it captures the majority of primary administrative and survey datasets related to ACF programs, it does not include every dataset that could meet our criterion at some point. The second limitation is that the information in this Compendium is likely to change over time. This all means that the Compendium as it stands should be considered a snapshot at a specific time.
The compendium is a joint product of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in ACF, and the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
More information on administrative and survey data resources from the Administration for Children and Families can be found on our page on Leveraging ACF Administrative Data for Evidence and Research.