[USC02] 42 USC 629e: Evaluations; research; technical assistance
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42 USC 629e: Evaluations; research; technical assistance Text contains those laws in effect on December 10, 2019
From Title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 7-SOCIAL SECURITYSUBCHAPTER IV-GRANTS TO STATES FOR AID AND SERVICES TO NEEDY FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AND FOR CHILD-WELFARE SERVICESPart B-Child and Family Servicessubpart 2-promoting safe and stable families

§629e. Evaluations; research; technical assistance

(a) Evaluations

(1) In general

The Secretary shall evaluate and report to the Congress biennially on the effectiveness of the programs carried out pursuant to this subpart in accomplishing the purposes of this subpart, and may evaluate any other Federal, State, or local program, regardless of whether federally assisted, that is designed to achieve the same purposes as the program under this subpart, in accordance with criteria established in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) Criteria to be used

In developing the criteria to be used in evaluations under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with appropriate parties, such as-

(A) State agencies administering programs under this part and part E;

(B) persons administering child and family services programs (including family preservation and family support programs) for private, nonprofit organizations with an interest in child welfare; and

(C) other persons with recognized expertise in the evaluation of child and family services programs (including family preservation and family support programs) or other related programs.

(3) Timing of report

Beginning in 2003, the Secretary shall submit the biennial report required by this subsection not later than April 1 of every other year, and shall include in each such report the funding level, the status of ongoing evaluations, findings to date, and the nature of any technical assistance provided to States under subsection (d).

(b) Coordination of evaluations

The Secretary shall develop procedures to coordinate evaluations under this section, to the extent feasible, with evaluations by the States of the effectiveness of programs under this subpart.

(c) Evaluation, research, and technical assistance with respect to targeted program resources

Of the amount reserved under section 629f(b)(1) of this title for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use not less than-

(1) $1,000,000 for evaluations, research, and providing technical assistance with respect to supporting monthly caseworker visits with children who are in foster care under the responsibility of the State, in accordance with section 629f(b)(4)(B)(i) of this title; and

(2) $1,000,000 for evaluations, research, and providing technical assistance with respect to grants under section 629g(f) of this title.

(d) Technical assistance

To the extent funds are available therefor, the Secretary shall provide technical assistance that helps States and Indian tribes or tribal consortia to-

(1) develop research-based protocols for identifying families at risk of abuse and neglect of use in the field;

(2) develop treatment models that address the needs of families at risk, particularly families with substance abuse issues;

(3) implement programs with well-articulated theories of how the intervention will result in desired changes among families at risk;

(4) establish mechanisms to ensure that service provision matches the treatment model; and

(5) establish mechanisms to ensure that postadoption services meet the needs of the individual families and develop models to reduce the disruption rates of adoption.

(e) Family recovery and reunification program replication project

(1) Purpose

The purpose of this subsection is to provide resources to the Secretary to support the conduct and evaluation of a family recovery and reunification program replication project (referred to in this subsection as the "project") and to determine the extent to which such programs may be appropriate for use at different intervention points (such as when a child is at risk of entering foster care or when a child is living with a guardian while a parent is in treatment). The family recovery and reunification program conducted under the project shall use a recovery coach model that is designed to help reunify families and protect children by working with parents or guardians with a substance use disorder who have temporarily lost custody of their children.

(2) Program components

The family recovery and reunification program conducted under the project shall adhere closely to the elements and protocol determined to be most effective in other recovery coaching programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to increase family reunification and protect children and, consistent with such elements and protocol, shall provide such items and services as-

(A) assessments to evaluate the needs of the parent or guardian;

(B) assistance in receiving the appropriate benefits to aid the parent or guardian in recovery;

(C) services to assist the parent or guardian in prioritizing issues identified in assessments, establishing goals for resolving such issues that are consistent with the goals of the treatment provider, child welfare agency, courts, and other agencies involved with the parent or guardian or their children, and making a coordinated plan for achieving such goals;

(D) home visiting services coordinated with the child welfare agency and treatment provider involved with the parent or guardian or their children;

(E) case management services to remove barriers for the parent or guardian to participate and continue in treatment, as well as to re-engage a parent or guardian who is not participating or progressing in treatment;

(F) access to services needed to monitor the parent's or guardian's compliance with program requirements;

(G) frequent reporting between the treatment provider, child welfare agency, courts, and other agencies involved with the parent or guardian or their children to ensure appropriate information on the parent's or guardian's status is available to inform decision-making; and

(H) assessments and recommendations provided by a recovery coach to the child welfare caseworker responsible for documenting the parent's or guardian's progress in treatment and recovery as well as the status of other areas identified in the treatment plan for the parent or guardian, including a recommendation regarding the expected safety of the child if the child is returned to the custody of the parent or guardian that can be used by the caseworker and a court to make permanency decisions regarding the child.

(3) Responsibilities of the Secretary

(A) In general

The Secretary shall, through a grant or contract with 1 or more entities, conduct and evaluate the family recovery and reunification program under the project.

(B) Requirements

In identifying 1 or more entities to conduct the evaluation of the family recovery and reunification program, the Secretary shall-

(i) determine that the area or areas in which the program will be conducted have sufficient substance use disorder treatment providers and other resources (other than those provided with funds made available to carry out the project) to successfully conduct the program;

(ii) determine that the area or areas in which the program will be conducted have enough potential program participants, and will serve a sufficient number of parents or guardians and their children, so as to allow for the formation of a control group, evaluation results to be adequately powered, and preliminary results of the evaluation to be available within 4 years of the program's implementation;

(iii) provide the entity or entities with technical assistance for the program design, including by working with 1 or more entities that are or have been involved in recovery coaching programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to increase family reunification and protect children so as to make sure the program conducted under the project adheres closely to the elements and protocol determined to be most effective in such other recovery coaching programs;

(iv) assist the entity or entities in securing adequate coaching, treatment, child welfare, court, and other resources needed to successfully conduct the family recovery and reunification program under the project; and

(v) ensure the entity or entities will be able to monitor the impacts of the program in the area or areas in which it is conducted for at least 5 years after parents or guardians and their children are randomly assigned to participate in the program or to be part of the program's control group.

(4) Evaluation requirements

(A) In general

The Secretary, in consultation with the entity or entities conducting the family recovery and reunification program under the project, shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether the program has been implemented effectively and resulted in improvements for children and families. The evaluation shall have 3 components: a pilot phase, an impact study, and an implementation study.

(B) Pilot phase

The pilot phase component of the evaluation shall consist of the Secretary providing technical assistance to the entity or entities conducting the family recovery and reunification program under the project to ensure-

(i) the program's implementation adheres closely to the elements and protocol determined to be most effective in other recovery coaching programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to increase family reunification and protect children; and

(ii) random assignment of parents or guardians and their children to be participants in the program or to be part of the program's control group is being carried out.

(C) Impact study

The impact study component of the evaluation shall determine the impacts of the family recovery and reunification program conducted under the project on the parents and guardians and their children participating in the program. The impact study component shall-

(i) be conducted using an experimental design that uses a random assignment research methodology;

(ii) consistent with previous studies of other recovery coaching programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to increase family reunification and protect children, measure outcomes for parents and guardians and their children over multiple time periods, including for a period of 5 years; and

(iii) include measurements of family stability and parent, guardian, and child safety for program participants and the program control group that are consistent with measurements of such factors for participants and control groups from previous studies of other recovery coaching programs so as to allow results of the impact study to be compared with the results of such prior studies, including with respect to comparisons between program participants and the program control group regarding-

(I) safe family reunification;

(II) time to reunification;

(III) permanency (such as through measures of reunification, adoption, or placement with guardians);

(IV) safety (such as through measures of subsequent maltreatment);

(V) parental or guardian treatment persistence and engagement;

(VI) parental or guardian substance use;

(VII) juvenile delinquency;

(VIII) cost; and

(IX) other measurements agreed upon by the Secretary and the entity or entities operating the family recovery and reunification program under the project.

(D) Implementation study

The implementation study component of the evaluation shall be conducted concurrently with the conduct of the impact study component and shall include, in addition to such other information as the Secretary may determine, descriptions and analyses of-

(i) the adherence of the family recovery and reunification program conducted under the project to other recovery coaching programs that have been rigorously evaluated and shown to increase family reunification and protect children; and

(ii) the difference in services received or proposed to be received by the program participants and the program control group.

(E) Report

The Secretary shall publish on an internet website maintained by the Secretary the following information:

(i) A report on the pilot phase component of the evaluation.

(ii) A report on the impact study component of the evaluation.

(iii) A report on the implementation study component of the evaluation.

(iv) A report that includes-

(I) analyses of the extent to which the program has resulted in increased reunifications, increased permanency, case closures, net savings to the State or States involved (taking into account both costs borne by States and the Federal government), or other outcomes, or if the program did not produce such outcomes, an analysis of why the replication of the program did not yield such results;

(II) if, based on such analyses, the Secretary determines the program should be replicated, a replication plan; and

(III) such recommendations for legislation and administrative action as the Secretary determines appropriate.

(5) Appropriation

In addition to any amounts otherwise made available to carry out this subpart, out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2019 to carry out the project, which shall remain available through fiscal year 2026.

(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title IV, §435, as added Pub. L. 103–66, title XIII, §13711(a)(2), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 654 ; amended Pub. L. 107–133, title I, §105, Jan. 17, 2002, 115 Stat. 2415 ; Pub. L. 109–288, §§4(c), 5(b)(3)(C), Sept. 28, 2006, 120 Stat. 1242 , 1243; Pub. L. 115–271, title VIII, §8082(a), Oct. 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 4098 .)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 435 of act Aug. 14, 1935, was classified to section 635 of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–485.

Amendments

2018-Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–271 added subsec. (e).

2006-Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–288, §4(c), amended heading and text of subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) related to topics for research and evaluation.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–288, §5(b)(3)(C), inserted "or tribal consortia" after "Indian tribes" in introductory provisions.

2002-Pub. L. 107–133, §105(1), substituted "Evaluations; research; technical assistance" for "Evaluations" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–133, §105(1), substituted "The Secretary shall evaluate and report to the Congress biennially on" for "The Secretary shall evaluate".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107–133, §105(2), added par. (3).

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 107–133, §105(3), added subsecs. (c) and (d).

Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–288 effective Oct. 1, 2006, and applicable to payments under this part and part E of this subchapter for calendar quarters beginning on or after such date, without regard to whether implementing regulations have been promulgated, and with delay permitted if State legislation is required to meet additional requirements, see section 12(a), (b) of Pub. L. 109–288, set out as a note under section 621 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–133 effective Jan. 17, 2002, with delay permitted if State legislation is required, see section 301 of Pub. L. 107–133, set out as a note under section 629 of this title.