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ERIC Number: ED480620
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Pages: 63
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Child Welfare: Enhanced Federal Oversight of Title IV-B Could Provide States Additional Information To Improve Services. Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
Pietrowiak, Diana; St. Pierre, Michelle; Mink, Melissa; Rasmussen, J. Bryan
Title IV-B of the Social Security Act authorizes federal funding for services to help families address problems leading to child abuse and neglect and prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families. Subpart 1 of Title IV-B provides funds for almost any child welfare activity, but has statutory limits on foster care maintenance and adoption assistance payments, and subpart 2 provides grants for services such as family support services. Responding to congressional interest in the child welfare services states are providing, the General Accounting Office (GAO) used a variety of methods to examine how states use Title IV-B funds, including surveys of state child welfare directors and interviews with state and local officials, service providers, Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) officials, and child welfare experts. Findings revealed that the range of services supported through subparts 1 and 2 and the types of families served overlap significantly. HHS' oversight focused primarily on states' overall child welfare systems and outcomes, with relatively little oversight specific to subpart 1. Little research was available on the effectiveness of services unique to subpart 1. The resulting GAO recommendations include that the Secretary of HHS: provide guidance to ensure that HHS regional offices provide appropriate oversight of subpart 1, consider the feasibility of collecting data on states' use of these funds to facilitate program oversight, and use information gained through enhanced oversight in designing the department's proposed child welfare option, which would allow states to use other federal child welfare funds for services allowed under Title IV-B. In general, HHS agreed with GAO's findings, but did not fully concur with its recommendations. (Three appendices describe the scope and methodology of the study and include comments from HHS and related GAO reports.) (KB)
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street, NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Social Security Act