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Office of Human Services Policy (HSP)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Topic Areas:

Reports

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Report

Improving Outcomes for American Indian/Alaska Native People Returning to the Community from Incarceration: A Resource Guide for Service Providers

October 20, 2021
This resource guide for providers working with American Indian/Alaska Native people reentering their communities from incarceration, contains a compilation of federal resources, research, examples, and helpful considerations for facilitating a successful reentry.
ASPE Issue Brief

Engaging Training and Technical Assistance Recipients: Lessons from the Field

October 20, 2021
Based on interviews with 12 individuals with experience designing, providing, and receiving training and technical assistance (TA), this brief outlines six elements necessary for creating engaging training and TA, summarizes how designers and providers might measure recipients’ engagement, and presents concrete strategies for providers to make training and TA engaging.
ASPE Issue Brief

Developing Equitable Training and Technical Assistance

October 20, 2021
Based on interviews with 12 individuals with experience designing, providing, and receiving training and technical assistance (TA), this two page document summarizes four questions and related strategies for training and TA designers to consider to improve the likelihood that training and TA will engage potential recipients and their communities equitably.
ASPE Issue Brief

Practice Guide: Centering Fathers in Human Services Programming to Increase Participation

October 11, 2021
Human services programs can implement recruitment and retention strategies to increase father engagement and participation in services to promote child and family well-being. When included in programming, fathers have the opportunity to expand their valuable role in their families and help generate positive child and family outcomes.
ASPE Issue Brief

Program Snapshot: Engaging Fathers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

October 11, 2021
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many human services organizations, including fatherhood programs, adapted their engagement approaches as the needs of the people they serve changed.

Fact Sheet: Approaches for engaging fathers in child support programs

October 11, 2021
Child support payments are associated with increased parent-child engagement, which can lead not only to better academic and social outcomes for children but also to better parent-child and parent-parent relationships. Moreover, child support payments lifted nearly three-quarters of a million families out of poverty in 2017.
ASPE Issue Brief

Child and Adolescent Mental Health During COVID-19: Considerations for Schools and Early Childhood Providers

September 24, 2021
COVID-19 pandemic’s social restrictions have prompted a surge in the mental health needs of children of all ages. Nationwide 4.3 million children/adolescents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of August 2021, and many of them have returned to early childhood and school settings. Schools and early childhood programs have long been essential settings for delivery of mental health services.
Research Brief

The Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Children and Youth (Birth to 24 years)

September 21, 2021
This brief provides a high level overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the development, emotional and behavioral health, social, and economic well-being of children and youth (ages birth to 24).
Research Brief

The Impact of the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Recession on Families With Low Incomes

September 20, 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has disparately harmed low-income households. Across the United States, systemic inequalities in employment, wage-earning, health, and well-being have been strained for sub-populations facing poverty or near-poverty conditions.
ASPE Data Point

Infographic: A Framework for Father Engagement in Services

September 16, 2021
This infographic visualizes a framework for father engagement in human services, detailing key approaches and strategies used by programs, organizations, and systems.  Related Products: