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Fiscal Year 2007 Community Services Block Grant Program Report to Congress

Published: July 20, 2012
Audience:
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Tags:
authority, eligibility, guidelines, participant, uses

Client Ages (Table 7)

Of the 9,876,367 clients for whom their ages were reported, almost 4 million (38 percent) of the individuals who received CSBG assistance were children ages zero to 17.  The second largest group was adults ages 24 to 54, at almost 3.5 million (35 percent).  Seniors 55 and older were the third largest category, at approximately 1.8 million (18 percent).

Level of Family Income as a Percentage of Federal Poverty Guidelines (Table 8)
Of the 4,266,161 clients for whom data on their family income were reported, over 3 million (72 percent) of the clients served by the eligible entities had income levels at or below 100 percent of the HHS poverty guideline.  In FY 2007, the HHS poverty guideline was $17,170 for a family of three and $20,650 for a family of four. 

Housing Status of Families Served (Table 9)

Of the 4,265,182 clients for whom data on their housing status were reported, over 2.5 million clients (59 percent) were renters.  Approximately 1.2 million clients (28 percent) reported they were homeowners.  More than 190,000 clients (over 4 percent) reported they were homeless.  More than 300,000 clients (7 percent) fell into the “other” category.

Sources of Household Income (Table 10)

Families’ sources of household income could have included no income, TANF, disability insurance (SSI), Social Security, pension, general assistance, unemployment insurance, employment and other sources, employment only, or other sources.  Approximately 1.6 million clients (43 percent) of the 3,609,901 clients for whom sources of household income were reported had a household income generated by employment or employment plus other sources.  The next largest income source reported was Social Security, which was received by over 1 million clients (30 percent).

Family Structure (Table 11)

Of the 4,291,969 families for whom data were reported regarding family structure, 2.3 million families (53 percent) lived in a family that included children.  Of these families with children, over 1.3 million (60 percent) were headed by a single, female parent.  Another 1.4 million clients (33 percent) were single with no children.

Education Levels of Adult Participants (Table 12)

Of the 4,348,150 clients for whom education level data were reported, over 1.7 million individuals (40 percent) served did not have a high school diploma.  Almost 1.8 million recipients (44 percent) had a high school diploma or GED.  About 818,000 clients (19 percent) attended some postsecondary education, of which approximately 290,000 completed a two or four year degree.

Ethnicity and Race (Tables 13 and 14)

In FY 2007, the majority of individuals served by the CSBG program were White and not of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.  Of the 8,994,541 individuals for whom ethnicity data were reported, CSBG served 1.6 million (18 percent) Hispanic or Latino clients.  Of the 9,147,255 clients for whom race data were reported, the program served approximately 5.5 million (60 percent) White clients and 2.4 million (26 percent) African American clients.

In FY 2005, the CSBG Information System survey was altered to collect only data on ethnicity and certain race categories in order to simplify the data collection process.  However, after one year of collecting data, the CSBG network decided that this new process only complicated their data collection efforts and did not tell the complete story of the individuals and families served.  As a result, the Asian and Native American race categories were added back into the survey in FY 2006.  These titles were refined further in FY 2007 so that the “Native American” category became “American Indian and Alaska Native” and another category “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” was added.  Due to the timing of these changes, some States and eligible entities were not able to change their forms in time for the report.  Therefore, Table 14 shows that some States did not report information for the Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander categories.

Comparison of the Planned and Actual Uses of Funds by States
States report in their plans submitted to the Secretary the proportion of their block grants that will be distributed to eligible entities 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 eligible entities 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. 

In FY 2007, States reported on their spending plans and actual expenditures.  Actual spending was approximately $609.6 million, about four percent less than the $637.9 million planned. Actual expenditures were lower for all three categories of spending.  In accordance with the provisions of Section 675C(a)(2) of the CSBG Act, the remainder of CSBG funds may be expended in FY 2008.

Table 15:  CSBG Planned and Actual Expenditures, FY 2007

Uses of Funds

Number of States*

Amount of Expenditures***

Planned Actual

Grants to Local Eligible Entities

52

$581.1 million

$561.4 million

State Administrative Costs

52

$29.6 million

$25.6 million

Discretionary Projects

    48**

$27.2 million

$22.6 million

Total

-

$637.9 million

$609.6 million

 

 

* 50 States, DC, Puerto Rico
** Four States did not reserve any of their CSBG funds for discretionary projects.
*** Includes carryover from FY 2006.

Table 16:  State-Level Planned and Actual Expenditures, FY 2007

CSBG Special State Technical Assistance Grant
Under the CSBG program, funds may be used by the Secretary to assist States in carrying out corrective action activities and to conduct monitoring to correct programmatic deficiencies of eligible entities.  When a State determines that an eligible entity has a deficiency, the CSBG Act mandates that the State offer training and technical assistance, if appropriate, to help correct such a deficiency.  In some instances, the problem to be addressed may be of such a complex or pervasive nature that it cannot be addressed adequately with the resources available to the State agency administering the CSBG program.  To enhance State technical assistance efforts and help avoid the need for eligible entity termination hearings and proceedings, OCS awarded a competitive Special State Technical Assistance grant to support a multi-State intervention project:

Massachusetts Association for Community Action, Inc. (MASSCAP)
105 Chauncy Street, Suite 301
Boston, MA  02111

MASSCAP operates the Northeast Institute for Quality Community Action (NIQCA), which was founded in 2005 by a coalition of New England Community Action Associations to strengthen eligible entities’ management practices.  The coalition includes MASSCAP, Connecticut Association for Community Action, Inc., and the Rhode Island Community Action Association.    

In FY 2007, Special State Technical Assistance funds were used to sustain and enhance crisis intervention services for eligible entities in the three coalition States and in the State of New York.  NIQCA developed and provided a range of assessments, training, and consultation services to strengthen governance and management practices.  NIQCA completed Quality Community Action System (QCAS) self-assessments of more than 22 local eligible entities in the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.  NIQCA provided specialized crisis prevention technical assistance to four eligible entities based on the results of QCAS self-assessments and State Lead Agency referrals.  NIQCA worked with these four eligible entities to coordinate activities and implement customized Corrective Action Plans.  NIQCA provided crisis prevention board member training for two eligible entities and identified two additional eligible entities as potential at-risk agencies in need of intervention services.  Each eligible entity was provided training and technical assistance and helped to develop action plans for improvement. 

NIQCA hosted a New England Professional Development Conference for more than 150 eligible entities’ management staff and supervisors.  The theme of the conference was “Building Skills and Creating Futures.”  It addressed system-wide knowledge and skill set needs identified through the NIQCA QCAS self-assessments.  NIQCA met with the State of Massachusetts CSBG officials to develop a plan to more closely coordinate State and NIQCA monitoring and assessment activities.  It plans to continue discussions with the New York State Community Action Association to extend NIQCA services to its 52 member agencies.  NIQCA completed its Strategic Plan which identifies three-year goals.  It also updated its website to continue to provide eligible entities with “best practice” guidance on topics ranging from governance to finance.  Nine people completed reviewer’s certification training, which resulted in NIQCA having a complement of 38 active peer reviewers.  NIQCA also presented three professional development training workshops during the Tri-State Falmouth Community Action Agency Conference.

Program Integrity Initiatives

In addition to the annual CSBG Program Performance Measurement Report, which includes detailed program data on the use of CSBG funds and evaluations of state compliance, HHS developed new initiatives to improve the integrity of the CSBG program during FY2007.

The House Education and Workforce Committee requested an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) monitoring efforts in anticipation of reauthorization of the CSBG statute.  The final GAO report, titled Community Services Block Grant Program: HHS Should Improve Oversight by Focusing Monitoring and Assistance Efforts on Areas of High Risk (GAO 06-627), was issued July 11, 2006.  The report recommended HHS:

  • Conduct a risk-based assessment of State CSBG programs by systematically collecting information.  This information may include monitoring results from other related federal programs obtained through memorandum of understandings;
  • Establish policies and procedures to help ensure that on-site monitoring is focused on States with the highest risk;
  • Issue guidance on State responsibilities to monitor local agencies at least once during each 3-year time period;
  • Establish reporting guidance for training and technical assistance grants that would allow HHS to obtain information on the outcomes of grant-funded activities; and
  • Implement a strategic plan that will focus its training and technical assistance efforts on the areas in which States face the greatest needs.

Based on these recommendations, HHS initiated the first of several initiatives to improve management, accountability and outcomes of State and local agencies in the provision of CSBG services.  During FY 2007, HHS developed three program improvement initiatives designed to strengthen State and local administration of the CSBG program: 1) Financial Management Training and Technical Assistance; 2) Risk-based Monitoring of State CSBG Lead Agencies; and 3) Guidance to States on Statutory Monitoring Responsibilities.

Improved HHS Oversight, Training and Technical Assistance

  • Hired three Federal staff and two contract auditors with expertise in financial management to monitor State programs and provide training and technical assistance (T&TA) to improve State financial oversight of local agencies receiving CSBG funds. 
  • Worked with the Monitoring and Assessment Task Force, a consortium of Federal, State and local officials associated with CSBG programs, to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for providing T&TA to State and local CSBG-funded entities.  The strategic plan focuses on Program Leadership; Program Integrity (administrative and fiscal controls); and Program Accountability (data collection and reporting). 
  • Awarded, and will continue to award, technical assistance (TA) grants to associations with appropriate community services programmatic, administrative and fiscal control experience, to help troubled CSBG grantees improve their allocation and control of funds, oversight of local agencies and compliance with Office of Management and Budget and Internal Revenue Service requirements.

Developed a Risk-Based Triennial Schedule for OCS Monitoring of State Lead Agencies

  • Completed evaluations and issued assessment reports for several States (Arkansas, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Mississippi) since 2006.  Evaluations were conducted using improved assessment methodologies that more thoroughly and clearly examined the administrative, programmatic, and fiscal health of those CSBG programs.
  • Developed a three-year schedule which includes 15 future on-site program and/or fiscal evaluations and 12 “desk reviews” of State programs.
  • Established a methodology that targets monitoring of States using six different types of objective data from Federal, State, and local officials:
    • The Division of State Assistance Agency Status List - Eligible Entities that have been identified by their State as Vulnerable, In Crisis, or Terminated;
    • Distance - the complexity of monitoring compared to the State’s physical size, the total number of eligible entities in the State, and the personnel resources the State allocated to its CSBG program;
    • Poverty - the population living at or below 100% of the poverty level compared to the total number of eligible entities in the State, and the personnel resources the State allocated to CSBG;
    • Client population - the number of people receiving service compared to the total number of eligible entities in the State, and the personnel resources the State allocated to CSBG;
    • Evidence of past problems as reflected by OMB Circular A-133 audit reports; and
    • Timeliness - ranking of States who have been late in the submission of their CSBG State Plans or the National Association for State Community Program’s Information Survey.

Issued Guidance to States on Statutory Monitoring Responsibilities

Issued two Information Memoranda to advise State CSBG authorities of their statutory obligation to monitor local agencies:

  • Encourage States to make special efforts to conduct monitoring and TA among those agencies that are scheduled for initial or follow-up Head Start Program Review Instrument for Systems Monitoring reviews; and
  • Clarify the statutory obligations of State CSBG lead agencies to monitor all local entities receiving CSBG funding within a three-year period. 

HHS is committed to working with States and local agencies in our shared accountability in administering the CSBG program to ensure that these critical resources effectively serve low-income Americans.