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Latino Daily News

Saturday October 27, 2012

Latino Group Claims Federal Agency Neglecting to Provide Record of Serving Latino Families

Latino Group Claims Federal Agency Neglecting to Provide Record of Serving Latino Families

Photo: Administration for Children and Families

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At the conclusion of National Hispanic Heritage Month, members of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families (NAHF) are calling on leaders of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to quantify the work the agency has undertaken in the last year to better serve Latinos. 

In spite of its good-faith attempt, the agency’s focus on evidence-based efforts seems to have fallen short of providing the necessary details to support a theme of strong progress toward serving the needs of Latino families and children.

Exactly a year ago, NAHF leaders provided ACF with budget-neutral recommendations that would have a tangible impact on the Agency’s service to Latino children and families.  While highlighting a few anecdotal examples, the Agency has not provided quantifiable information to measure progress across numerous key indicators, including those that ensure a fair and focused allocation of resources to meet the core needs of underserved communities.  These indicators include:

    1.  Lack of baseline data from which to measure progress and ensure that organizations that have a history of serving Latino populations have applied and been awarded any of ACF’s $16 Billion in grants.
    2.  No method for capturing the percentage of reviewers or review panels for all of ACF grant programs that were Hispanic during grant reviews in the 2011-2012 cycle, much less for any baseline period.
    3.  No method for capturing increases in, if any, the number and dollars of investments for research specific to Hispanic populations.  Again, no information on baseline period or relative comparison data.
    4.  No quantifiable data on how the Hispanic Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is being strengthened, how many dollars are allocated to serve the initiative, how many dollars have been awarded to organizations who have evidence of successfully serving Hispanic populations, or what the baseline is to conclude the program has been “strengthened.”
    5.  There is no clarity about the meaningful changes and improvements in ACF’s policies and investment in Hispanic families that have been generated as a result of the Administration’s commitment to the Latino community.
    6.  No information on how many jobs have been filled in the agency and what percentage of those has been filled with Hispanics.  No ability to compare this rate to previous periods.
    7.  No data that reflects the improvements ACF has made to identify and alleviate the impact of restrictive immigration laws on public benefit programs and social services.