United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Health, Education, and Human Services Division B282366 March 30,1999 The Honorable Jeff Sessions Chairman, Subcommittee on Youth Violence Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Subject: At-Risk and Delinquent Youths: Fiscal Year 1998 Programs Dear Mr. Chairman: Over the years, the Congress has passed legislation creating numerous federal programs to address the needs of at-risk and delinquent youths as well as other populations.’ These programs provide such diverse services as substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, and job training, and they target a wide range of youths, including abused and neglected youths, drug and alcohol abusers, delinquents, victims of crime, and runaway and homeless youths? In 1997 testimony, we reported that 15 federal departments and agencies administered 127 programs targeted to at-risk and delinquent youths with appropriations that we estimated to total more than $4.3 billion in fiscal year 1996.3 To follow up our 1997 testimony, you asked us for updated information on (1) the number of federal programs that served at-risk or delinquent youths in fiscal year 1998, (2) the amount of fiscal year 1998 appropriations dedicated toward youths in these programs, and (3) the services these programs provided. To mer your request, we contacted officials at various federal agencies to obtain fiscal year 1998 program and appropriations data for programs that served at- risk or delinquent youths. As agreed with your office, we did not verify the agency officials estimates of the number of programs, the fiscal year 1998 appropriations, and the type of services the programs provided. ‘The term ‘at risk” can have different meaningsin different contexts. We are using the term in a broad senseto refer to youths who, becauseof certain characteristics dr experiences,are in the future statistic.aUymore likely than other youths to encounter legal, social, financial, educational,emotional, and health problems. 2Fordefinitions of program servicesand activities discussedin this correspondence,see enclosure II. Enclosure I describes the federal programs for at-risk and delinquent youths funded in fiscal year 1998. ‘See At-Risk and Delinwnt Youth Mlaltiple Prws Lack Coor&&ted Federal Effort (GAOR-HEHS 9838, Nov. 5,1997). Also see At Risk and Delinauent Youth: Fiscal Year 1996Frm (GAOIHEHS- 97-21lR, Sept. 2, 1997). GAO/HEHSQ9-SSRAt-Risk and Delinquent Youths B-282366 In summary, we found that the number of programs decreased from 127 in fiscal year 1996 to 117 in fiscal year 1998. Between the two tical years, several programs were eliminated and others were established. Of the programs eliminated, some were not funded after fiscal year 1996 or were demonstration programs whose specific authorized period expired. The agency officials were unable to provide complete information for components in the programs that targeted youths and could not always identify the portion of funding dedicated to at-risk and delinquent youths. Nevertheless, the officials estimated that the appropriations available to serve these youths increased slightly from about $4.3 billion to more than $4.4 billion in Cscal year 1998. LE PROGRAMS SERVED AT-RISK AND DELINQUENT YOUTHS The federal government continues to fund many programs that provide services to at-risk and delinquent youths. According to agency officials, in fiscal year 1998,117 programs admin&eret by 15 federal departments and agencies received funding for their at-risk or delinquent youth components. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justic and the Department of Labor admmistered 85, or 73 percent, of these programs. (See fig. 1.) me 1: 117 Programs in 15 Deoartments and Agencies That Served At-Risk and Delinm Youths in Fiscal Year 1998 Other Department of Health and Human Services 2 GAO/HEHS9488R At-Risk and Delinquent Youths B-282366 AT-RISK AND DELINQIJEWI’ YOUTH PROGRAMS TOTALED $4.4 BILLION IN 1998 The agency officials estimated that the portion of appropriated funds available for the 117 programs for at-risk and delinquent youth services in fiscal year 1998 totaled more than $4.4 ‘billion. Labor and the Department of Education received the most funds-$2.3 billion and more than $904 mUion, respectively. (See fig. 2.) The agency officials could not, however, estimate the amount of funds dedicated to at-risk and delinquent youths for 42 of the 117 programs. Department of Justice $239.9M Department of Labor Health and Human Services S699.4M c ED SIMILAR SERVI Many programs appeared to fund similar services. According to the agency officiais, in fiscal year 1998,62 programs provided training and technical assistance, 46 provided mentoring services, and 53 provided violence prevention services. In some cases, a single agency administered several programs that provided similar services. For example, 30 of HHSs programs provided counseling services and 31 provided support services. The services most often made available under the 117 programs included training and technical a&stance, counseling, and parental and family intervention. (See fig. 3.) 3 GAO/HEHS!W48R At-Risk and Dehqumt Youth B-282366 Similar Services That Several Dermtment and &encv Promms Funded in F’iscal Yeas 60 50 40 30 20 10 n GAO/?iEHS-%88R At-Risk and Delinquent Youths E&282366 . CHANGES SINCE FISCAL YEAR 1996 Between 1996 and 1998, some programs were added and others were elimUted. The newly established programs were alI administered by HI-IS, while the programs that were eliminated were spread out among various other federal departments and agencies. According to the agency officials’ estimates, the amount appropriated for programs for at-risk and delinquent youths increased from about $4.3 billion to more than $4.4 billion over the 2 years. Education and Justice appropriations for youth programs increased by $124 milbon and $13 million, respectively. However, there were many programs for which the agency officials could not provide estimates of the portion of funds for services for at-risk and delinquent youths. The variety of services provided by the departments and agencies in fiscal year 1998 was generally the same as we reported in 1997. AGENCY COMMENTS We provided each of the 15 departments and agencies an opportunity to verify the program data it provided. Some program officials provided technical comments on the data and we incorporated these as appropriate. As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of this correspondence earlier, we plan no further distribution until 3 days from its date. We will then send copies to the Secretaries and Chairmen of the departments and agencies whose data are included in the correspondence and to others on request. If you have any questions about this information, please caU me or Larry Horinko, Assistant Director, at (202) 512-7014. The major contributor to this correspondence was Ben Jordan. Sincerely yours, Marlene S. Shaul Associate Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues Enclosures - 2 GAO/'HEHSQ948R At-RiskandDelinqwntYouths ENCLOSURE1 FEDERAL PROGRAM FUNDING FOR AT-RISK AND DELINQUENT YOUTHS. FISCAL YEAR 1998 This table describesthe programsand servicesprovided by the federal departmentsand agencies. The abbreviationsfor the types of servicesare counseling(C), clearinghouse(CM), capital improvement (CI), job training assistance(JTA), mentoring (M), parental and family intervention (PFI), planning and programdevelopment(PPD), researchand evaluation (RE), substanceabuseprevention (SAP), substanceabusetreatment(SAT), supportservice(SS), self-sufficiency skills (SSS), tutoring (T), training and technical assistance (TTA), and violence prevention(VP). (Violence preventionincludes conflict resolution, crime and violence intervention, focused activity, and gang intervention.) (SeeenclosureII for definitions of program services.) Agency and program Estimate of funding dedicated to youths Type of service funded ($millions) C CH Cl JTA M PFI PPD RE SAP SAT SS SSS T TTA VP Appafachfan Regfonal Commlsslon (1 program) Area DevelopmentProgram 0.2 X X Subtotal 0.2 Corporation for National Service (6 programs) AmeriCorps N/A X x x x X x x X FosterGrandparentProgram N/A x x x x Learn and Serve America-Higher Education N/A X xxx x x x xxx x Learn and Serve America- N/A X x x x x x x X School and Community Based Programs Retired and Senior Volunteer Program N/A X x x x X X xxxx Volunteers in Service to America 11.4 x x x x X xxxx (AmeriCorps’VISTA) Subtotal 11.4 Department of Agriculture (4 programs) 4-H and Youth Development 61.7 xx x x X X Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk 9.5 x x x x x x x x x x Initiative-Cooperative Extension System Food Stamp Employment and Training Program N/A X X X x x Urban Tree House Research Program 0.12 X Subtotal 71.3 Department of Defense (2 programs) U.S. National Guard-Challenge Youth Program 48 x xxx x x X x x U.S. National Guard-STARBASE 2.9 X x x X xxx x - - : C - - - - - - : C C - - - - - - C C : - - - - - - C C C - - - - - C : - - - - , C . - - - - - C C C - - - - - : C C C - - - - - C - - - - - C C C - - - 2- T - - - - - - C C C - - - - - - - - - - C C - - - - - C C C - - - - - ? c c C : 8 ; t ? i - - - - - x x X - 1 x t x x - - t I-. x x - , x L - - , x . - x - x X : - - x I . . - x x - - X x - - - - - x : % C : - h d s Ei 2 4 3 Y : E 4 c i i : : c : C - - - - - - - - C C : - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - - - < : : - - - - - - - - < C C C C - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - C : C C - - - - - - - - C C - - - - - - - - C C C - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - < : - - - - - - - - < - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - C : C - - - - - - - - c t C t: ‘)- it ; 5 : 5 5 - - - - - - - - - u = 2 f E L 3 ;z iig Is !% ?E 2s $5 ;li - I I ; - - - - - - - : - : : - 4 - c! t i C - - - C C - - - - C - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - - ; 3 - - ENCLOSURE II DEFINlTIONS OF PROGRAM SERVICES USED IN OUR CORRESPONDENCE In our review, we focused on 15 types of services and activities that programs could potentially provide to at-risk or delinquent youths. We used the following definitions for them. Canital irnnrovement. Funding the purchase of property, facilities, and equipment used in helping youths. Clearinghouse. Gathering and disseminating research and other information on youths. Counseling. Providing youth counseling services to help resolve problems or difficulties stemming from emotional problems, home or family conflicts, and interpersonal relationships. Job-train& assistance. Helping youths prepare for or find jobs. Job-search assistance includes providing instructions on job-seeking techniques, preparing a job-search plan, obtaining labor market information, and increasing motivation and self-conftdence. Job placement assistance includes identifying job openings in the public or private sector and referring individuals to employers with such openings. On-the-job training is training provided to an employee in occupational or other skills essential to performing a specific job or group of jobs. Such training is generally used for entry-level employment and skill upgrades. Mentor&. Using adult role models to assist youths in career or educational planning and to provide encouragement and motivation. Parental and familv intervention. Improving parenting skills and communication within families or otherwise promoting positive family and home life. Included in this category are activities related to youth pregnancy, youth parenting, and child abuse. Plannine and nrogmrn develoDment. Funding planning and development activities related to youth programs. Research and evaluation. Studying innovative approaches for planning and implementing youth programs or evaluating the effectiveness of such programs. Self-sticiencv skills. Individual or group training in life skills (such as caring for a home, reading a bus schedule, and using a checking account) and remedial or basic skills training in academic subjects (such as mathematics or English, English as a second language, and literacy training). Substance abuse nrevention. Providing services to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Substance abuse treatment. Providing services to treat drug and alcohol abuse. Support service. Assisting individuals in overcoming barriers to participating in programs for at-risk and delinquent youths. Examples may include subsidizing the cost of child care 12 GAO/HEHS-99-88RAt-Risk Youth ENCLOSURE II or transportation or providing financial support or reimbursement for medical expenses incurred by an individual or the individual’s family, thereby facilitating program participation. Trainine and technical assistance. Giving training and technical assistance to people responsible for program management or service delivery. This could include dissemiz&tg information on youth programs. Tutorine. Helping individuals or groups master academic subjects, such as reading or mathematics, including helping them with homework or school projects. Violence urevention. F’roviding conflict resolution, crime and violence intervention, focxtxd activity, and gang intervention. GAO/HEHS-99-88RAt-Risk Yorrttt RELATED GAO PRODUCTS At-Risk and Delinauent Youth: MukiDle Promms Lack Coordinated Federal Effort (GAO/T- HEI-E98-38, Nov. 5,1997). At-Risk and Delinauent Youth: Fiscal Year 1996 Prosmms (GAO/HEHS97-211R, Sept. 2, 1997). At-Risk and Delinauent Youth: M&iDle Federal Promms Raise Efficiencv Questions (GAO/HEHS-9634, Mar. 6,1996). (104962) 14 GAOiHEHS-99-88RAt-Risk Youth Ordering Information The Grst copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. 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At-Risk and Delinquent Youths: Fiscal Year 1998 Programs
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-03-30.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)