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Spotlight on Human Services Grantmaking in Ohio provides a brief look at key Ohio funders for human services with selected grants and statistical charts from the Center's database.
Social IMPACT Research Center;
This report aims to support the Illinois Human Services Commission in its effort to fulfill its charge to "undertake a systematic review of human services programs with the goal of ensuring their consistent delivery in the State of Illinois" and to "make recommendations for achieving a system that will provide for the efficient and effective delivery of high quality human service" by outlining basic population and demographic trends that impact human services and by diving deeper into seven human services categories to identify who is in need of services and how current realities and trends may impact the level and type of need going forward. The seven categories of human services were chosen based on their diversity, vulnerability in the state budget, and their potential to be impacted by emerging and likely trends. **More than simply a compendium of data on need, this report demonstrates how relatively simple data can inform program and policy decisions, which are far too often made in information voids. With Illinois human services plagued by increasingly scarce resources, cutbacks in services, and program closures in the last few years, such data-driven decision making is more critical than ever. To that end, the report concludes with a detailed account of how all need estimates in the report were developed and practical recommendations for how the state can incorporate this type of analysis into regular planning.
Social IMPACT Research Center;
This paper examines publicly-funded human services and highlights a body of evidence that speaks to both the social and economic value for society when investments are made into human services. The story that emerges points to the advantages of investments in human services in three distinct ways: Human services provide a lifeline for many of the state's most disadvantaged residents -- seniors, people with disabilities, people who are poor, those experiencing homelessness, children -- thereby honoring concepts of human rights, equality, and the inherent dignity and worth of each and every individual. There are a variety of documented positive impacts of a variety of human services programs including enhanced quality of life and stronger and more economically competitive individuals, families, and communities. Such programs are wise investments, staving off the much larger immediate and/or future costs that would be incurred if the social problems they address were left unchecked.
Open Society Institute;
Based on interviews, examines the legal and policy framework affecting the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Recommends integrating legal aid into HIV services, strategic litigation, legal empowerment, advocacy, and creating support mechanisms.
National Council of Nonprofits;
Multiple government reports, news accounts from across the country, and now hard data from the first comprehensive nationwide survey of problems nonprofits experience through government contracts all point to one inescapable conclusion: while governments rely extensively on nonprofits to deliver human services to their most vulnerable residents, governments do so using a contracting "system" that is so woefully broken that it now jeopardizes public health and safety.
The decisions to rely on nonprofits to provide services have sound policy, economic, and administrative justifications. Yet the convoluted, disjointed, and patch-worked laws and practices by which governments contract with nonprofits have led to nonpayment, underpayments, and late payments to nonprofits, in part because contracting and reporting processes have become excessively complex and irrational (through continual "complexification" as opposed to simplification).
The Urban Institute's new in-depth study, Human Service Nonprofits and Government Collaboration: Findings from the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants ("Urban Institute Study"), provides the results of the first national survey documenting the serious and widespread problems experienced by nonprofit human service providers under contract with governments at the local, state, and federal levels.1
Human service nonprofits include groups that provide essential needs such as food assistance, public safety, housing, child care, community and economic development, youth development, and more (but do not include other charitable nonprofits, such as arts and culture, education, or health care).
This related Special Report by the National Council of Nonprofits provides additional context to the Urban Institute's findings. This Report explains how the contracting problems affect everyone in America, not just nonprofits. It also identifies specific practices that contribute to the problems being experienced, and proposes solutions that nonprofits, government officials, funders, and citizens can adopt to improve services, restore value for taxpayers, and benefit communities.
Center for Impact Research;
In a single month, as many as 6,400 to 12,500 people visit each of the busiest of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) local offices. Since welfare reform in 1996, TANF caseloads in Illinois have declined precipitously. In the midst of the current economic recession with its attendant high levels of unemployment, Illinois ranks first in the United States with a reduction in its TANF caseload of 39.5% for period March 2001 to March 2003. 1 However, reductions in TANF caseload do not mean that the number of eligible families in need of assistance is declining.2 Nor do they mean that the workload of local offices has been decreasing at the same rate as TANF caseloads. On the contrary, welfare reform policies have made the management of the remaining TANF caseload a time consuming and labor intensive process. As of August 2003 for the five local offices in this study, caseworker staffing was 23.7% less than the allocated level and supervisor staffing was 28.6% less than allocated. These staff reductions resulting in caseloads in Cook County offices as high as 700 to 1,200 per caseworker negatively impact the kind of service that families encounter when they try to apply for and retain benefits. Commenting on the critical shortage of staff, one Cook County Local Office Administrator said, "I've been around a long time and it's very bad now. There are long lines and long waits. The volume is very detrimental to providing efficient services." Over the past two years, members of community-based organizations and advocacy groups have expressed concern about the increasing number of reports of problems facing people who go to Chicago area IDHS offices for public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, and TANF. For example, the volume of calls to the Public Benefits Hotline has increased from 7,054 calls for the period August 2001 through July 2002 to 8,418 calls for the period of August 2002 through July 2003. During 2003, call volume has continued to expand, with 43% more calls in August 2003 than in January 2003. In response to the need for current data about customer service in IDHS offices, CIR collaborated with community human services agencies and advocacy organizations in conducting a one-day survey to document the experiences of customers in five of the busiest local IDHS offices in Cook County. IDHS assisted with logistics, instructing local offices to allow CIR to conduct the survey in the waiting areas. Working group members conferred on research design and survey development, attended training in survey administration, and participated in administering the survey. Working group members also participated in discussions to interpret research findings and develop policy recommendations. Although the scope of the survey is limited -- information about 199 customers in 5 offices on one day in July 2003 -- the findings offer important indicators of strengths and weaknesses in service delivery. These findings are being used to inform stakeholders such as elected officials, state agencies, community leaders and organizations, and the media about the quality of service delivery.
Spotlight on Human Services Grantmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area provides a brief look at key Bay Area funders for human services with selected grants and statistical charts from the Center's database.
Boston Foundation, The;
Outlines recommendations to standardize service delivery areas and consolidate area offices of the state's seven largest human services agencies, as well as to close antiquated institutions. Projects benefits such as improved accessibility and savings.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Outlines issues that compromise delivery of services in the child welfare, child care, juvenile justice, youth services, and employment and training sectors. Discusses the foundation's role in promoting reform.
Chicago Community Trust;
Looks at how major demographic shifts, policy changes, and funding trends are affecting the performance of individual agencies and Chicago's health and human services sector as a whole, and makes recommendations for improving the sector.
Contains information about the wide-ranging benefits of effective capital projects -- and the obstacles that agencies must overcome -- for nonprofit agencies, their funders, and others who are developing or supporting capital projects.