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CSBG Report to Congress FY 2004

Community Services Block Grant Program Report to Congress Fiscal Year 2004

Published: August 29, 2012
Audience:
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Category:
Publications/Reports, Report to Congress
Tags:
authority, guidelines, participant

Community Services Block Grant
Program

Report to Congress

Fiscal Year 2004

This report is submitted to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate, in accordance with provisions of Public Law 105-285, the Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998. 

The report complies with sections of the Act that require the Secretary to prepare each fiscal year a report on performance and a report on compliance with the goals of the Community Services Block Grant program (CSBG), and to submit those reports together to the committees.  This report provides the information requested for fiscal year 2004.

Introduction

The information contained in the report is taken from various evaluations by the Office of Community Services (OCS) on the implementation, performance, compliance, and outcomes of CSBG programs.  OCS, with the support of the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP): 1) maintains a statistical database of information regarding the program; 2) assists States in complying with the Results-Oriented Management and Accountability program or a similar system to measure performance; 3) assesses the implementation of the States’ programs; and 4) provides technical assistance and training where appropriate.  Below is a summary of the required reports.

Summary of Statistical Evaluation Report

The Coats Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998 at Section 678E(b)(2) requires the Office of Community Services to provide certain statistical information regarding the implementation of the program.  This section also requires reporting on the performance and compliance of the States with an evaluative system such as the Secretary’s model performance initiative, the Results-Oriented Management and Accountability program.  The statistical database is maintained by the Office of Community Services and the National Association for State Community Services Programs.  The report describes services and programs funded by States for Community Services Programs and extracted from the statistical database.  The report also includes an accounting of funds spent by entities in the delivery of services with funds under CSBG and the number and characteristics of individuals and families served through CSBG to address the needs of low-income people and their communities. 

Summary of State Performance Report

The Community Services Block Grant Reauthorization Act of 1998 at Section 678B(c) requires the Office of Community Services to conduct an evaluation of State compliance with the goals set forth in the Act.  The Office of Community Services is required to submit to the Congress an annual report detailing the findings of the evaluation of States’ compliance.  Beginning in FY 2001, the statute required that States report to the Secretary on the implementation of performance measurement practices.  To complete this report, OCS conducted evaluations of State compliance among all 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia during the reporting period through: 1) a State-by-State survey and assessment and 2) reviews of several State CSBG agencies.  The results of the States’ CSBG implementation are provided in the Performance Measurement Reports.

Community Services Block Grant
FY 2004

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program provides assistance to States and local communities, working through a network of community action agencies (CAAs) and other neighborhood-based organizations, for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals to become fully self-sufficient.  CSBG-funded programs create, coordinate, and deliver a broad array of programs and services to low-income Americans.  The grant’s purpose is to fund initiatives to change conditions that perpetuate poverty, especially unemployment, inadequate housing, poor nutrition, and lack of educational opportunity.

The fiscal year (FY) 2004 program data was gathered by the Community Services Block Grant Information System (CSBG/IS) survey, administered by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). Fifty States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico provided information about the level and uses of CSBG funds, their activities, and the number and characteristics of families and individuals participating in CSBG programs.

The CSBG Act at Section 678E and 678B require the Office of Community Services to report:

  • A summary of the planned use of funds by each State and the eligible entities in the State;
  • A description of how funds were actually spent by the State and eligible entities:
    • A breakdown of funds spent on administrative costs; and
    • On the direct delivery of local services by eligible entities;
  • Information on the number of entities eligible for funds:
  • Number of low-income persons served and
  • Demographic data on low-income populations served by eligible entities;
  • A comparison of the planned uses of funds by each State and the actual uses of the funds;
  • A summary of each State’s performance results and the results for the eligible entities as collected and submitted by the States including:
    • An accounting of the outcomes achieved by the State and the eligible entities in the State;
    • Any information collected by the State relating to performance measurement and outcomes achieved;
    • Accounting of the expenditure of funds received through the CSBG program;
    • Accounting of funds spent on administrative costs by State and eligible entities;
    • Funds spent by eligible entities on direct delivery of local services;
    • Number and characteristics of clients served based on data collected from the eligible entity; and
    • A summary describing training and technical assistance offered by the State to help correct deficiencies during the year covered by the report;
  • Definitions of direct and administrative costs used for the Community Services Block Grant program.

Summary of the Planned Use of Funds by Each State and the Eligible Entities in Each State

In FY 2004, States planned to use CSBG funds to provide resources for direct services or assistance to individuals and families participating in eligible entities’ programs.  In most instances, the largest categories of CSBG expenditures were emergency services and self-sufficiency programs.  Uses of CSBG funds are reflected in the data tables contained in this report and identified as “State Uses of All CSBG Funds.”

A Description of How Funds Were Actually Spent by the State and Eligible Entities

The following table is a breakdown summary of program services category narrative details each State’s expenditures of the Community Services Block Grant for that particular category.
 

Employment Programs

In FY 2004, States reported spending $59.5 million in CSBG funding to support a range of services designed to assist low-income individuals in obtaining and maintaining employment. These services include:

  • Support for TANF recipients who are preparing to transition to self-sufficiency or for former TANF recipients who need additional support to find or maintain employment;
  • Support for job retention, including counseling, training, and supportive services, such as transportation, child care, and the purchase of uniforms or work clothing;
  • Skills training, job application assistance, resume writing, and job placement;
  • On-the-job training and opportunities for work;
  • Job development, including finding employers willing to recruit through the agency, facilitating interviews, creating job banks and providing counseling to employees, and developing new employment opportunities in the community;
  • Vocational training for high school students and the creation of internships and summer jobs; and
  • Other specialized adult employment training.

Education Programs

In FY 2004, States reported spending $65.9 million in CSBG funds to provide education services such as:

  • Adult education, including courses in ESL and GED preparation with flexible scheduling for working students;
  • Supplemental support to improve the educational quality of Head Start programs;
  • Child care classes, providing both child development instruction and support for working parents or for home child care providers;
  • Alternative opportunities for school dropouts and those at risk of dropping out;
  • Scholarships for college or technical school;
  • Guidance about adult education opportunities in the community;
  • Programs to enhance academic achievement of students in grades K–12, while combating drug or alcohol use and preventing violence; and
  • Computer-based courses to help train participants for the modern-day workforce.

Housing Programs

In FY 2004, States reported spending $49.7 million for CSBG-coordinated housing programs to improve living environment of low-income individuals and families. CSBG-funded activities may include:

  • Homeownership counseling and loan assistance;
  • Affordable housing development and construction;
  • Counseling and advocacy about landlord/tenant relations and fair housing concerns;
  • Assistance in locating affordable housing and applying for rent subsidies and other housing assistance;
  • Transitional shelters and services for the homeless;
  • Home repair and rehabilitation services;
  • Support for management of group homes; and
  • Rural housing and infrastructure development.

Emergency Services Programs

In FY 2004, States reported spending $100.4 million for emergency services to combat many kinds of crisis. Crisis management services may include:

  • Emergency temporary housing;
  • Rental or mortgage assistance, intervention with landlords;
  • Cash assistance/short term loans;
  • Energy crisis assistance and utility shut-off prevention;
  • Emergency food, clothing, and furniture;
  • Crisis intervention in response to child or spousal abuse;
  • Emergency heating system repair;
  • Crisis intervention telephone hotlines;
  • Linkages with other services and organizations to assemble a combination of short-term resources and longer-term support; and/or
  • Natural disaster response and assistance.

Nutrition Programs

States reported spending $48.4 million in CSBG funds to support nutrition programs.  Services provided may include:

  • Organizing and operating food banks;
  • Supporting food banks of faith-based and civic organization partners with food supplies and/or management support;
  • Counseling regarding family and children’s nutrition and food preparation;
  • Distributing surplus USDA commodities and other food supplies;
  • Administering the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program;
  • Preparing and delivering meals, especially to the homebound elderly;
  • Providing meals in group settings; and/or
  • Initiating self-help projects, such as community gardens, community canneries, and food buying groups.

Self-Sufficiency Programs

States reported spending $93 million in FY 2004 on self-sufficiency programs. Self-sufficiency programs offer a continuum of services to assist families in becoming more financially independent.  Such programs generally include:

  • An assessment of the issues facing the family or family members and the resources the family brings to address these issues;
  • A written plan for becoming more financially independent and self-supporting; and
  • Services that are selected to help the participant implement the plan (i.e. clothing, bus passes, emergency food assistance, career counseling, family guidance counseling, referrals to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits, assistance with locating possible jobs, assistance in finding long-term housing, etc.).

Health Programs

In FY 2004, States reported spending $24.1 million on CSBG-funded health initiatives that are designed to identify and combat a variety of health problems in the community served.  CSBG funds may be used to address gaps in the care and coverage available in the community.  Eligible entities may use CSBG funds for health initiatives that include: 

  • Recruitment of uninsured children to a State insurance group or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP);
  • Recruitment of volunteer medical personnel to assist uninsured low-income families;
  • Prenatal care, maternal health and infant health screening;
  • Assistance with pharmaceutical donation programs;
  • Health-related information for all ages, including Medicare/Medicaid enrollment and claims filing;
  • Immunization;
  • Periodic screening for serious health problems, such as tuberculosis, breast cancer, and HIV infection, and for mental health disorders;
  • Health screening of all children;
  • Treatment for substance abuse;
  • Other health services including dental care, health insurance advocacy, CPR training, and education about wellness, obesity, and first-aid; and/or
  • Transportation to health care facilities and medical appointments.
Income Management Programs
States reported spending $28 million on income management programs in FY 2004 using CSBG grant funds.  Services supported include:
  • Development of household assets, including savings;
  • Assistance with budgeting techniques;
  • Consumer credit counseling;
  • Business development support;
  • Homeownership assistance;
  • Energy conservation and energy consumer education programs, including weatherization;
  • Tax counseling and tax preparation assistance; and
  • Assistance for the elderly with claims for medical and other benefits.
Linkages:
In FY 2004, States reported spending $93.5 million on Linkage initiatives. Linkage programs can involve any or all of a variety of local activities which CSBG supports because of the block grant's statutory mandate to mobilize and coordinate community responses to poverty. These include:
  • Coordination among programs, facilities, and shared resources through information systems, communications systems, and shared procedures;
  • Community needs assessments, followed by community planning, organization, and advocacy to meet these needs;
  • Creation of coalitions for community changes, such as, reducing crime or partnering businesses into partnership with low-income neighborhoods in order to plan long-term development;
  • Efforts to establish links between resources, such as transportation and medical care or other needed services, programs that bring services to the participants, such as mobile clinics or recreational programs, and management of continuum-of-care initiatives;
  • The removal of the barriers such as transportation problems, that keep the poor from jobs or from vital everyday activities; and

Finally, support for other groups of low-income community residents who are working for the same goals as the CAA.

Programs for Youth and Seniors
States and eligible entities reported spending $41.8 million on programs serving seniors, and $45.9 million on programs serving youth.  Services noted under these categories were targeted exclusively to children and youth from ages 6–17 or persons over 55 years of age.

Seniors’ programs help seniors to avoid or ameliorate illness, incapacity, or absence of a caretaker or relative, prevent abuse and neglect, and promote wellness.  They include:
  • Home-based services, including household or personal care activities that improve or maintain well-being;
  • Assistance in locating or obtaining alternative living arrangements;
  • In-home emergency services or day care;
  • Group meals and recreational activities;
  • Special arrangements for transportation and coordination with other resources;
  • Case management and family support coordination; and
  • Home delivery of meals to insure adequate nutrition.
Youth programs in many cases include such services as:
  • Recreational facilities and programs;
  • Educational services;
  • Health services and prevention of risky behavior;
  • Delinquency prevention; and
  • Employment and mentoring projects.
For states where no data is listed, no data was submitted.

 Definition of Direct and Administrative Costs Used for the CSBG Program
The CSBG reauthorization requires that HHS detail the use of CSBG funds by grantees by expenditures on "direct" and "administrative" functions, along with the definition used by the program in discerning the application of these terms.  The Office of Community Services (OCS) offers guidance to grantees on direct and administrative costs to help ensure consistency among grantees in assigning costs to these categories.  The operational definitions provided by OCS include:

Direct Program Costs for CSBG Reporting: Direct program costs can be identified with delivery of a particular project, service, or activity intended to achieve an objective of the grant award.  For the CSBG award, those purposes and eligible activities are specified in the authorizing statute and reflected in the national ROMA performance measures. Direct program costs are incurred for the service delivery and management components within a particular program or project. Therefore, direct costs include expenditures on some activities with administrative qualities, including salaries and benefits of program staff and managers, equipment, training, conferences, travel, and contracts, as long as those expenses relate specifically to a particular program or activity, not to the general administration of the organization. 

Administrative Costs for CSBG Reporting: In the context of CSBG statutory reporting requirements, administrative costs are equivalent to typical indirect costs or overhead. As distinguished from program administration or management expenditures that qualify as direct costs, administrative costs refer to central executive functions that do not directly support a specific project or service. Incurred for common objectives that benefit multiple programs administered by the grantee organization, or the organization as a whole, administrative costs are not readily assignable to a particular program funding stream. Rather, administrative costs relate to the general management of the grantee organization, such as strategic direction, Board development, Executive Director function, accounting, budgeting, personnel, procurement, and legal services.

A Breakdown of Funds Spent on Administrative Costs

The CSBG statute requires that 90 percent of State block grant funds be allocated to local eligible entities. Of the block grant distributions made to eligible entities in FY 2004, States  allocated on average 92 percent of Community Services Block Grant funds to local eligible entities. The tables that follow identify the categories of State expenditures witha breakdown of funds spent on administrative costs.
States may use as much as five percent of their CSBG funds for their administrative costs. Any remaining funds may be used at the State’s discretion for programs that help accomplish the statutory purposes of the CSBG.  States used about four percent of the CSBG for their administrative expenditures in FY 2004.

Funds Spent on Direct Delivery of Local Services, by Eligible Entities

The local agencies categorize their expenditures of CSBG according to the statutory list of program purposes.  Those are:

  • Securing and maintaining employment;
  • Securing adequate education;
  • Improving income management;
  • Securing adequate housing;
  • Providing emergency services;
  • Improving nutrition;
  • Creating linkages among anti-poverty initiatives;
  • Achieving self-sufficiency; and
  • Obtaining health care.
The Number of Entities Eligible for CSBG Funds

The CSBG statute requires States to provide block grant funds to “eligible entities” that provide services to individuals.  Eligible entities are primarily community-based organizations, of which the majority are Community Action Agencies (CAAs), serving nearly 99 percent of the counties in the nation.  In the chart below is a breakdown of the type of eligible entities serving communities with CSBG funds. 

Demographic Data on Low-Income Populations Served by Eligible Entities
and Number of Low-Income Persons Served

Eligible entities reported serving approximately 15 million individuals in fiscal year 2004.  These individuals were often members of the same households.  More than half of the CSBG program participant families included children younger than 18 years old.  Just over a third of these families had both parents present.  Single mothers headed most of the families with children receiving CSBG-funded assistance. Single fathers headed about five percent of families receiving assistance. Full demographic data for the Fiscal Year is identified in the tables and charts on the following pages.

Age Characteristics of CSBG Clients

In FY 2004, 39 percent of individuals who received assistance under the Community Services Block Grant were children, ages 0-17.  The second largest group, at 26 percent, were adults ages 24-44.  Seniors 55 and older were the third largest category, at 17 percent.

Comparison of the Planned and Actual Uses of Funds by Each State

States report in their plans submitted to the Secretary the proportion of their block grants that will be distributed to Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in the State to provide services at the local level in any given fiscal year.  States also propose in their plan how much of their block grants will be spent for discretionary projects and administrative expenses.  States must pass through to the local entities at least 90 percent of the block grant, using no more than five percent for the States’ administrative expenses.  

States also provide an accounting of CSBG funds used for administrative expenses by their eligible entities.  The “administrative costs” self-reported to the States by CAAs are based upon the Federal grants management requirements for denoting direct and indirect costs.  Federal accounting systems consider indirect costs for grant program activities such as transportation, self-sufficiency mentoring, outreach activities for food banks, and housing repair – services that are central to CSBG-funded programs. 

In fiscal year 2004 actual State spending was about $16 million less than what was planned.
Number and Characteristics of Clients Served in the CSBG Program

The State-by-State tables on the following pages identify each State’s report for the National Information System on the number and characteristics of individuals and families served by the Community Services Block Grant program, as requested in the CSBG law.  On the following pages, these data are detailed, including information on gender, age, race, ethnicity, housing tenure, disability status, health insurance, and education level.

Level of Family Income as a Percentage of Federal Poverty Guidelines

In FY 2004, at least 70 percent of clients served by the eligible entities of the CSBG network had income levels below the HHS poverty guideline for a family of three, which in FY 2004 was $15,670.   

Housing Status of Families Served

Most clients rented their homes in FY 2004. About 2.5 million clients reported they were renters in FY 2004.   A total of 1.2 million clients reported they were homeowners.  Nearly 177,000 clients reported they were homeless. 

Sources of Household Income

Families reported their sources of household income, which could have included employment, disability insurance (SSI), Social Security, pension, TANF benefits, unemployment insurance, general assistance, or no income.  A total of 1.5 million clients reported that they had a household income generated by employment.

Family Structure

Most individuals served by the CSBG network lived in a family that includes children.  Of these families, almost 1.4 million households were headed by a female, single parent. 

Client Education Levels, Adult Participants

In FY 2004, 1.8 million individuals served did not have a high school diploma and about 2.4 million did have one.   

Race and Ethnicity

Most individuals served by the CSBG program were White and not of Hispanic ethnicity.  In FY 2004, the program served approximately 5.3 million White, non-Hispanic clients.