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tion program and related social services programs funded by the AOA. In addition, staff of many of the Area Agencies on Aging serve on the advisory committees of Older Americans Volunteer Programs projects.
The same statutory authority has provided opportunities for ACTION to coordinate Older Americans Volunteer Programs activities with other agencies and organizations with which we have initiated contact in an effort to expand and improve the role of older Americans as Volunteers.
A good example of this is the recently concluded agreement between ACTION and the Assistant Secretary for Human Development, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on Project Headstart to implement a national effort to place RSVP Volunteers in Headstart classrooms. This is a most promising development, Mr. Chairman, and with your permission I will provide a copy for the record.
Building on this effort in cooperation with the U.S. Office of Education, the National Education Association and other interested groups, ACTION is planning a national effort to enable RSVP Volunteers to bring to the education of our youth in elementary and secondary classrooms the experiences of a lifetime. This effort will be part of ACTION's observance of the nation's bicentennial in keeping with the Bicentennial theme, “A Past to Remember, A Future to Mold." It is important to note that this is not a new and costly program but simply an important variant on the opportunities for service currently provided older Americans by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks. My staff and I will be happy to respond to any questions you and the Committee may have about ACTION's Older Americans Volunteer Programs.
Mr. BALZANO. I would just like to summarize a few observations I have made concerning ACTION and its administration of the older Americans volunteer programs.
The older Americans volunteer programs have fared very very well in ACTION. I think there are a number of reasons for this.
Primarily ACTION is a volunteer agency. As a volunteer agency, voluntarism is our business. Recruitment, training, technical assistance, innovative ideas and volunteer support are what we do best.
Second, a system of in-house training for all ACTION full-time volunteers, project sponsors and directors has now been developed and has been decentralized to the regions. At the present time our field people are being trained in techniques of fundraising and the generation of other resources designed to give better volunteer and program support closer at the local community level.
Third, better cooperation has been accomplished aniong ACTION programs at the local level. There seems to be some misunderstanding about this concept. In a sense there is a double benefit from it. On the one hand senior citizens in ACTION's older Americans volunteer programs are now able to interchange and interact very positively with young people in other ACTION programs—something that was lacking when our programs were totally separated.
It has been good for American youth in the ACTION programs to have this positive interaction. Local cooperation, however, has another positive benefit in that it presents the community with a mix of programs so that the best part of each program can have a greater impact on the community.
În ACTION, the cenior citizens' programs enjoy prominence. They are a top priority. As a matter of fact last year, there was discussion as to whether or not the OEO community action programs should be placed in HEW or placed in ACTION.
It is interesting to note the argument that was used by the advocates of placing the OEO programs in ACTION. The argument was, and we agree, that ACTION was a small agency and as such the community action programs could achieve a greater prominence than in a larger agency where community action entorts would somehow be less visible.
The ACTION agency really came alive about a year ago. We received our appropriations under our own authorization for the first time since the agency was created. That added a sense of identity to an already positive image in the community, an image which has made our agency a popular agency.
The older Americans programs have fared well with ACTION because the programs are still in an early stage of development. At this stage' these programs can be easily monitored and evaluated by both Congress and ACTION.
Still another reason that the programs have been successful and have received wide popular support is because of the impact of a newly resurging spirit of volunteerism in America. There is no question about it, the ACTION agency has been a focal point and there has been a great deal of discussion about this new Federal role in volunteer programs.
We have had a great deal of positive change in the last year in the agency as a whole. We have a new decentralized field operation with ACTION State offices for all States. These offices are being properly staffed. We have initiated a new training program-brand new—which provides preservice and ongoing training for our staff, project supervisors, sponsors and volunteers in program administration and related subjects of interest—such as problems of the aging for our OAVP project directors and sponsors.
In short, our effort has been to reorganize our program delivery system so that we can put our resources closer to the community, thereby allowing for the maximum input of both the community and local leaders.
With that, I will answer any questions you may have.
Mr. Balzano, how many volunteers are there operating under ACTION all told of all kinds?
Mr. BALZANO. Well, the number changes by the month because it keeps going up. About 160,000 at the present time.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Of those, how many would be older Americans volunteers associated with the program?
Mr. BALZANO. We estimate about 117,000 in the RSVP program.
Mr. BRADEMAS. About 117,000? What percentage, to look at the matter anther way, of total volunteer time under ACTION programs would be represented by older American volunteers?
Mr. BALZANO. I am not quite sure I understand the question. The time?
Mr. BRADEMAS. Yes, I don't know how you calculate, I don't know how you reckon these figures.
Mr. Balzano. We have three approaches. The first kind of volunteer is a fully stipended full-time volunteer as a Vista volunteer or Peace Corps volunteer. We have some variations of that model, but essentially they are the same.
We have half-time volunteers such as foster grandparents and senior companions, who serve 4 hours a day 5 days a week. Finally, we have part-time volunteers including those in the retired senior vounteer program.
Mr. BRADEMAS. What we might do is put some questions to you in writing to get it as clearly as possible.
Mr. Balzano. I will be very happy to answer them.
Mr. BRADEMAS. That is on the investment of ACTION in the older Americans volunteers program.
Mr. BALZ INO. Yes.
Mr. BRADEMAS. How many employees at ACTION are now working full time on foster grandparent, senior companion and RSVP programs?
Mr. GANLEY. About 450, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BRADEMAS. 450 ACTION employees are now working fulltime on foster grandparents, senior companion and RSVP?
Mr. GANLEY. All of the domestic programs.
Mr. BRADEMAS. That, of course, was not my question. My question, to state it again, is, how many employees at ACTION are now working full time on foster grandparents, senior companion and RSVP programs?
Mr. BALZANO. We will have to submit it for the record and have to break it down.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Yes; because in all candor I was startled by your response because my information is it is many, many, many, many times fewer than the response of 450 that was suggested.
Mr. GANLEY. That is right. What we were thinking of was the number in our total field organization which deals with all ACTION programs.
Mr. BALZANO. I might interject that might have been the case when ACTION first became an agency, but it is not today because we have our own field structure so it multiplies many times.
Mr. BRADEMAS. What do you mean by the pronoun "that” what do you mean “that is not the case ???
Mr. BALZANO. When ACTION was first set up, there was a Washington headquarters staff and coordinators in the field who had responsibility for overseeing the older Americans programs. I took the position this staffing was insufficient. What we did, therefore, was to increase the number of staff with responsibility for the older Americans volunteer programs in the field from one program coordinator in the regional office to all of the program officers located in State ACTION offices.
Mr. BRADEMAS. It sounds like the metaphysics of revenue-sharing to me and I have been through that enough to be very dubious about the validity of that kind of proposition. If I am hearing what you tell me, you can't answer my question because you are telling me that everybody cares about the old folks in ACTION?
Mr. Balzano. That is right.
Mr. BRADEMAS. My obvious answer is when everybody does, then nobody does. You mean you are therefore not in a position to answer the question how many ACTION employees are currently working full time on these three programs I have just indicated?
Mr. GANLEY. The answer, Mr. Chairman, is, there are 16 people who are working fulltime, who have no other duties.
Mr. BRADEMAS. What is the total number of employees of ACTION, at ACTION headquarters rather and in the field?
Mr. GANLEY. In ACTION headquarters, there are 77, and in the field, there are 357, in domestic operations.
Mr. BRADEMAS. What were those figures again?
Mr. Ganley. At ACTION headquarters, there are 77; and in the field, there are 357.
Mr. BRADEMAS. So about 400 you are saying?
Mr. BRADEMAS. And 16 are devoting their time only to these three programs?
Mr. GANLEY. Mr. Chairman, 16 are working full time on those programs.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Well, tell me, how many full-time employees do you have at ACTION headquarters and in the field, “to marry apples and apples.”
Mr. GANLEY. We have 77 full-time employees in Washington headquarters, and 16 of those are full time on the older American volunteer programs.
Mr. BRADEMAS. How about the corresponding figures for the field?
Mr. GANLEY. In the field, with the way we are organized today, there are no full-time employees.
Mr. BRADEMAS. No full-time employees for ACTION?
Mr. Balzano. Because there are project sponsors and supervisors who work full time on older Americans volunteer programs. Our job is to supervise and provide backup services for them. We have 840 project directors who are full time.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Are you familiar with the history of the Older Americans Act?
Mr. BALZANO. Parts of it, yes.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Are vou familiar with the fact that Congress has had to drag the administration kicking and screaming to understand that Democrats and Republicans in Congress have insisted that AOA have high visibility in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and is not to be buried within its bowels? It seems to me what you are doing, and I am perfectly prepared to be told that my understanding is deficient, is burying the older Americans volunteers programs within the crevices of ACTION by the kind of administrative structure vou just suggested.
If I don't understand what you are telling me, you have every opportunity now to straighten me out.
Mr. BALZANO. Mr. Congressman, the evidence is just the opposite. The older Americans programs have grown many times, just in the last year alone, under ACTION. What we have been doing is not burying the older Americans programs but lifting them up to a state of prominence. We have now reorganized the entire agency to better service those programs by multiplying the number of people in the field who work directly with local projects. For the first time, we are able to address adequately their needs. It has been quite the opposite.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Now, how many of your staff at the regional level are familiar with the three programs of RSVP, foster grandparents, and senior companion programs. You have already said that none of your regional staff is working full time on these programs, but how many of the ACTION regional directors and deputies have had any prior experience or training in the field aging?
Mr. BALZANO. I can provide you with that information. All have been provided training in gerontology by gerontologists from Duke University and Utah State University.
Mr. BRADEMAS. How many of the 50 State directors of ACTION have had prior experience or training in the field of aging?
Mr. BALZANO. I can provide you with that information.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Is there any member of the ACTION National Advisory Council who is identified with expertise in the field of aging?
That you should have to wait so long before answering troubles me,
Mr. BALZANO. Mr. Osinski worked in many programs, volunteer programs in social services in the city of Buffalo and State of New York; and Mr. Haller has done the same thing in the State of Florida.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Social services programs, but that is not the question. We have witnesses here today who are all identified as authorities in the field of aging. Are there such persons on your advisory board?
Mr. BALZANO. No, sir.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I take it you will appreciate from my questions I have some reservations about the degree of commitment insofar as ACTION is concerned to the older Americans programs under its auspices. I am sure you are well aware, Mr. Balzano, there has been a good deal of criticism on these programs remaining under your aegis at ACTION. Certainly the chairman has had a lot of wires and letters charging that these programs have not received sufficient attention under the ACTION program, and ought to be brought back home to AOA. What do you say to that particular kind of proposal!
Mr. BALZANO. First of all, Mr. Brademas, let me say I am not aware of much criticism of the way ACTION has administered its programs. I understand there are a number of State aging office directors who seek to have the older Americans volunteer programs brought under the Administration on Aging. That does not constitute a criticism of ACTION. It is just a different way of being.
In terms of the programs' size, the older Americans programs have multiplied many times since coming under ACTION. I might add, sir, we have received many supportive comments from project sponsors and supervisors in the field who feel exactly opposite of the position you just stated.
Mr. BRADEMAS. What about your budget? Could you comment on the overall budget of ACTION and then the overall percentage of that budget devoted to the programs we have here been discussing, particularly since you have become its Director, Mr. Balzano?
Mr. BALZANO. Perhaps we can give you a statement for the record.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Yes, I do think, and I don't say this critically, but I think that was a fairly fundamental question you might have anticipated we would ask. If you come to testify on older American pro