Administration for Children, Youth, and Families:

Need To Better Use Its Research Results and Clarify Its Role

HRD-77-76: Published: Mar 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1978.

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The efforts of the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), formerly the Office of Child Development, in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), to disseminate child welfare research and demonstration (R&D) results were examined. The ACYF received $61.6 million in appropriations during fiscal years 1971 through 1975 for its R&D program.

Limited use of the results of projects funded by ACYF have been made by state providers of child welfare services and by state and national groups advocating and coordinating improved services to children. Of 20 projects considered to be nationally significant, service providers were using results in 318 of 830 potential opportunities (38 percent of the time), and coordinators/advocates were using the results in 144 of 680 opportunities (21 percent of the time). The biggest problem is lack of awareness. When providers of services received information about 1 of the 20 R&D projects, they used the information 82 percent of the time, and advocates and coordinators used it 84 percent of the time. Dissemination efforts by project officials and by ACYF have been limited, and state agencies are not aware of R&D findings because they do not actively participate in the R&D planning process.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should direct the Commissioner, ACYF, to take actions to increase the dissemination of R&D results to those providing services to children. The following actions are suggested: (1) fund special dissemination and technical assistance efforts for R&D projects that have developed successful results; (2) give potential users of R&D results an influential role in planning the R&D effort; (3) earmark a percentage of the budget for disseminating and achieving use of successful R&D results; and (4) give HEW regional office staff a more influential role in R&D planning and dissemination. Congress should clarify legislation to further define the roles of the Children's Bureau and ACYF.


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