Page images

funds for Head Start transition grants. The increase in training and technical assistance funds are being awarded throughout the year.

Question. What is the amount of FY 1991 quality improvement funds and how will those funds be distributed?

Answer. The amount of 1991 quality improvement funds is $195, 180,000. of that amount, $180, 180,000 will be directly allocated to grantees using the allocation formula contained in the Head Start Act. Grantees that have already received their FY 1991 refunding will receive a supplemental award. Grantees funded later this fiscal year will have the quality improvement increase included in their FY 1991 refunding. The remaining quality improvement funds, $15,000,000, will be awarded competitively to Head Start grantees and will be for three purposes: to fund projects that deal with the various problems associated with substance abuse; to fund projects that address the special needs of families with severe or multiple problems; and to fund projects to address the issue of how Head Start families can better achieve self-sufficiency. These projects will be funded in the latter part of FY 1991.

Question. How many new counties were served with FY 1990 expansion funds, and how many new grantees were established in that year? Please provide the same information for FY 1991.

Answer. In FY 1990 179 new counties were served. Services were initiated in these counties by a combination of the existing grantees that expanded their service areas and 41 newly funded grantees. The expansion planned for FY 1991 has not been completed and, therefore, data are not yet available.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Question. What progress has the Department made in addressing various concerns regarding quality? For example, what progress will be made this year in meeting the recommendation of the Commissioner's Task Force on Social Services that every Head Start program have a social service coordinator and that the family caseload ratio be no more than 35 families for each social services staff person?

Answer. At this time, we are considering the recommendations of the Task Force as they affect all aspects of the Head Start Program. The Head Start Bureau has several initiatives to promote quality within the Social Services Component of the program. For example, in FY 1990, 13 competitive grants were awarded for Head Start grantees to improve their capacity to reduce and prevent substance abuse in Head Start families, to improve the literacy skills of family members and to increase the employability of Head Start parents. In FY 1991, $195, 180,000 will be awarded to maintain or improve the quality of services to current enrolles in Head Start programs. These funds allow salary increases plus a wide variety of other improvements that local Head Start programs may decide upon, including hiring Social Services staff to reduce family caseload ratios and providing training to Social Services staff. of the $198, 180,000, $15,000,000 will be awarded to Head Start grantees through a competitive process for special family support initiatives. These initiatives will address substance abuse issues

and strengthening the capacity of social services staff meet the needs of families with special needs.

In addition, during FY 1990 and FY 1991 all Head Start Social Services staff are being trained in a new social services manual which provides the entry level skills needed to work with families.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Question. Please explain how the Department intends to use the funding increase in FY 1991 and why the Department has chosen not to use part of the increase to adjust for inflation when the law requires precisely that.

[ocr errors]

Answer. The FY 1991 increase for Head Start is $399,800,000. This increase will be used for five purposes: 1) To award Head Start grantees quality improvement funds $195, 180,000; 2) To increase funding for Parent Child Centers $14,229,000; 3) To increase Head Start training and technical assistance $11,436,000; 4) To fund Head Start Transition Projects - $19,518,000 and; 5) To increase enrollment by up to 51,000 children and maintain current service levels - $159,447,000.

Funds from the FY 1991 budget increase will be available for grantees to maintain the current levels of service. Section 105 of PL 101-501 does not mandate a standard cost-of-living increase for all Head Start programs. Instead, it requires that the Secretary shall not increase enrollment in FY 1991 without first assuring that grantees have sufficient funds to maintain FY 1990 service levels. This will be accomplished by allowing grantees to use funds from their FY 1991 allotment for expansion to maintain services before they add new children to their programs. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, since the amount of funds that will needed to maintain service levels will vary depending on each program's particular circumstances. The increase in enrollment that we have projected should be viewed a goal that will be achieved to the extent that funds are available after current services are maintained.


Question. Is it the Department's intent that the quality funds that every grantee will receive this year should substitute for an adjustment to cover inflation's effects on operating costs? If this is the case, then how will the programs ever upgrade their quality if they have to spend their quality funds to pay for heat and rent?

Answer. The quality improvement funds which will be allocated to grantees this year will provide the average grantee a funding increase of 11.5 percent. In addition to quality improvement funds, grantees will also be able to use other increased funds to help maintain current services.

[blocks in formation]

Question. What funding level does the Department believe would be required to increase Head Start enrollment by the 29,500 you propose and meet the requirements for inflation and allow for the funding of the quality reserve?

Answer. We believe the President's budget request of $100 million will enable up to 29,500 more children to be served by Head Start, while assuring that program quality will be maintained. Το the extent that grantees must use a portion of the $100 million increase to maintain services levels, the increase in enrollment may be lower.

[blocks in formation]

Question. The FY 1992 budget requests funds to monitor Head Start programs, which is required under the statute. Does the Department plan to conduct monitoring services from in-house, or will these services be contracted? If contracted, please provide the details of how much of the monitoring will be contracted, estimated cost of such a contract, etc.

Answer. In FY 1992, as has always been our policy, monitoring reviews of. Head Start programs will be directed by Federal staff and not "contracted out". One-third of all programs will be monitored. Each monitoring team will be led by a Federal staff member. The team will consist of individuals that are paid as consultants. In most instances, the consultants will be Head Start program staff from other States. Consultants may also be individuals that have worked with Head Start in the past and are experts in the area they will be monitoring. A contractor is used only to help arrange travel and to pay for the travel and other costs of non-Federal team members. The contractor identifies the team members, contacts them to verify availability, makes travel and lodging arrangements for the team, pays travel and per diem costs associated with the monitoring review, and an honorarium for their services. The estimated cost of the contract supporting the monitoring effort in FY 1992 is $3.2 million. When monitoring a Head Start Program, the consultants take direction from the Federal team leader and assist the leader by monitoring one or more of the component areas of the Head Start program. At the end of the review, team members provide a written report to the Federal team leader. The official report sent to the Head Start program that has been monitored is from the responsible HHS official.

We have requested additional funds in the FY 1992 Program Direction request for new positions, some of which will be for Head Start monitoring.

[blocks in formation]

Question. Are there any plans underway to conduct a longitudinal study of the effects of Head Start, pursuant to the provisions in last year's reauthorization?

Answer: We are in the process of funding, with FY 1991 funds, a contractor who will assist in implementing the recommendations of the Head Start National Evaluation Advisory Panel. Our strategy involves a series of longitudinal studies, at numerous sites, which would be conducted by a consortium of researchers.

However, while the FY 1991 reauthorizing legislation for Head Start included provisions for a longitudinal study, the FY 1991 appropriation did not include funds to conduct the longitudinal study. The longitudinal evaluation envisioned in the statute cannot proceed until the necessary funds are appropriated.



Question. What kind of activities are being conducted under the new state-level collaboration and coordination projects. In which states are these projects being operated?

Answer. The Head Start-State Collaboration grants were designed in acknowledgement of the mutual Federal-State interest and commitment to understanding changing needs of children and families and the commitment to common goals. The objectives of the grants are to: (1) strengthen the involvement of Head Start in the development of State policies and plans which affect Head Start families and other low-income populations; (2) establish State-level agreements and collaborative structures which in turn will support local community coordination; and (3) highlight a mutual commitment to children and their families.

The twelve States where the Head Start-State Collaboration
grants are being implemented are Maine, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio, Texas,
Nebraska, South Dakota, and Oregon.

The States are working to develop partnerships with Head Start in the area of JOBS by working on state and local partnerships, and transition activities to assist Head Start children and families as they move from Head Start to elementary school. The States are also working to build on the collaborative relationships already developed around services to children with disabilities.


Question: In recent years there has been an increase in the number of Indian tribal organizations making application for nutrition services. How many organizations do you expect to apply in FY 1992? What is the status of the grant for the Native Hawaiian program?

Answer: To date 193 tribal organizations have been awarded grants under Title VI, Part A. We anticipate seven more to make application in FY 1991 and an additional ten in FY 1992.

Concerning the Native Hawaiian (Title VI, Part B) grant, a new director was hired recently, as well as more staff; the staff now includes Native Hawaiian persons. The grant is operating under a no-cost extension. All five sites are functioning well, serving increasing numbers of older persons. Last year at this time, approximately 5,000 meals were served in a three-month period. This year, in a one-month count, over 2,319 meals were served.


Question. What is the percentage and dollar amount of funding transferred from congregate meals into home-delivered meals and into supportive services?

Answer. In FY '90, the percentage of funding transferred from the congregate meals program into the home-delivered meals program was 10.02%. The total amount of funds transferred from the


congregate meals program into the home-delivered meals program was $35, 265,998.

The percentage of funding transferred from the congregate meals program into the supportive services program was 6.6%. The total amount of funds transferred from the congregate meals program into the supportive services program was $23, 200,552.

Question. of the monies transferred to supportive services, how much is used for home and community based services?

Answer. Since AoA does not require States to report this kind of data, we are unable to determine how much of the monies transferred to supportive service is used for home and community based services. It is our impression, however, that a significant portion of such funds are directed toward home and community based services.


What is the status of the White House Conference on

Question: Aging?

Answer: A decision about whether to convene a 1991 White House Conference on Aging is pending within the Executive Branch.


Question: The GAO is currently undertaking a study on the unmet needs of the aging community and the effectiveness of the AOA in meeting these needs. When do you expect that this report will be forthcoming?

Answer: The GAO study is being conducted with the full support and cooperation of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging. AOA senior staff have met with the GAO investigators and have provided a variety of records and other documents which the GAO has requested. All components of the Department stand ready to provide any further assistance which the GAO may need to complete the study successfully. since it is the GAO and not the Department which is responsible for the study, it would be inappropriate for the Department to offer any predictions about when the project will be finished.


Question. It is my understanding that staffing for the Administration on Native Americans programs is down to 25 FTE, and that a substantial number of current employees are ready for retirement or are leaving government service. How many of the positions at ANA are currently filled by Native Americans?

Answer. Currently 5 positions within the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) are filled by Native Americans. One of these is filled by the Commissioner, and is an appointed position.

Question. What action is the Department taking to recruit Native Americans to fill vacant slots?

« PreviousContinue »