The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of programs to improve the economic and social well-being of children and families.
OPRE studies ACF programs and the populations they serve through rigorous research and evaluation projects. These include evaluations of existing programs and innovative approaches to helping low-income children and families; research syntheses; and descriptive and exploratory studies. OPRE supports data-driven decision making in ACF programs by increasing the quality, usefulness, sharing, and analysis of data while protecting privacy and confidentiality. OPRE’s work is guided by ACF’s Evaluation Policy, which established five key principles to govern ACF’s planning, conduct, and use of evaluation: rigor, relevance, transparency, independence, and ethics.
How It Is Administered
In collaboration with Administration for Children and Families (ACF) program offices and others, OPRE:
- develops and oversees research and evaluation projects to assess program performance and inform policy and practice
- works to inform ACF, grantee, and researcher capacity to collect, use, and share high quality human services data; and
- coordinates performance management for ACF
OPRE provides guidance, analysis, technical assistance, and oversight to ACF programs on:
- research and evaluation methods;
- statistical, policy, and program analysis;
- the quality, usefulness, sharing, and analysis of data;
- synthesis and dissemination of research and demonstration findings; and
- performance management
OPRE conducts it work primarily through competitively awarded grants and contracts. OPRE includes the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary, the Division of Economic Independence, the Division of Child and Family Development, the Division of Family Strengthening, and the Division of Data and Improvement.
OPRE builds evidence to improve the lives of children and families.
Brief History of the Program
OPRE was established in the Federal Register on August 9, 1995.
Reason it was Formed
OPRE was created to serve as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of programs designed to make measurable improvements in the economic and social well-being of children and families; and to provide guidance, analysis, technical assistance, and oversight to ACF programs.
OPRE administers funds that Congress provides through a number of separate authorities. Most of these are linked to specific ACF programs including Head Start, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child care, Health Profession Opportunity Grants, the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (jointly administered with the Health Resources and Services Administration), pregnancy prevention, sexual risk avoidance, and child welfare programs. OPRE was responsible for $174.50 million in grants and contracts in fiscal year 2020.
Grants & Contracts
Naomi Goldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research, and Evaluation
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
330 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20201
Main Phone Number