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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Major Funding Sources

21st Century Community Learning Centers
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program provides expanded learning opportunities for participating children in a safe, drug-free, and supervised environment. The program enables rural and inner-city public schools to stay open longer to provide: a safe place for homework centers, intensive mentoring in basic skills, drug and violence prevention counseling, enrichment in the core academic subjects, as well as opportunities to participate in recreational activities, chorus, band, and the arts, technology education programs, and services for children and youth with disabilities. The program is designed to target funds to high need rural and urban communities that have low achieving students and high rates of juvenile crime, school violence, and student drug abuse, but lack the resources to establish after school centers.

Child Care and Development Block Grant
The Child Care and Development Block Grant assists low-income families receiving temporary public assistance and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work or attend training/education. A minimum of 4% of CCDBG funds must be used to improve the quality of child care and offer additional services to parents, such as resource and referral counseling regarding the selection of appropriate child care providers. An additional set-aside of $50 million was made available to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers. Congress also made available $19 million to improve school-age care and Child Care Resource and Referral Services. CCDBG requires states to: provide state matching funds for a portion of the federal funds, limit assistance to families with incomes below 85% of the state median income, establish minimal health and safety protections for those programs that receive funds that are not required to meet state licensing requirements, spend at least 4% of the funds on activities to improve quality and supply, establish reimbursement rates that allow children receiving assistance to have access to child care comparable to children who are not eligible for such help.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) provides grants to states and to partnerships between colleges and high-poverty middle schools and junior high schools that work with students beginning in 6th or 7th grade to ensure that they receive the support and preparation to succeed in college. There are two components of GEAR UP: Early Intervention and Scholarship Components. Under the Early Intervention component awards may be used to allow schools, colleges and universities, community-based organizations, public and private agencies, philanthropic organizations, and businesses to provide early intervention activities such as outreach, mentoring, and counseling to eligible students in preschool through grade 12. Under the Scholarship Component funds may be used to give federal grant assistance to a student who is less than 22 years old, receives a secondary school diploma or GED on or after January 1, 1993, is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of undergraduate instruction at an institution of higher education, and who participated in the early intervention component.

Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP)
The Juvenile Mentoring Program was authorized to provide support for one-to-one mentoring programs for youth in grades one through twelve who are at risk of failing or dropping out of school. Mentors are adults, 21 years or older, who establish a supportive relationship with the student and provide her/him with academic assistance and exposure to new experiences which enhance the youth's ability to become a responsible citizen. The program has three goals: improved academic performance, reduced school dropout rates, and prevention of delinquent behavior. JUMP mentors are drawn from all walks of life - college students, senior citizens, military personnel, business people, doctors, lawyers, government employees, and teachers.

Safe and Drug Free Schools
The Safe and Drug Free Schools Program consists of grants to states for drug and violence prevention programs, and grants for national programs. State Grants is a formula grant program that provides funds to state and local education agencies, as well as governors, for a wide range of school- and community-based education and prevention activities. National Programs carries out a variety of discretionary initiatives that respond to emerging needs. Among these are direct grants to school districts with severe drug and violence problems, for program evaluation and information dissemination.

Safe Schools/Healthy Students
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative provides communities, schools, and students with comprehensive educational, mental health, social service, law enforcement, and juvenile justice system services that prevent violence and alcohol/drug abuse. Eligible applicants are Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate evidence of an integrated, comprehensive community-wide strategy that at a minimum comprises of six general elements: school safety, alcohol, drug, and violence prevention and early intervention programs, school and community mental health preventive and treatment intervention services, early childhood psychosocial and emotional development programs, educational reform, and safe school policies. The populations of concern for this program are preschool and school-age children and adolescents who are at risk of being involved in violence.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The 1996 welfare reform law replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with a new federal block grant to the states, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). States may use TANF funds three different ways: in the same manner the state was able to use the funds under AFDC, unless otherwise prohibited, transfer up to 30 percent to the state’s Child Care Development Fund or Social Services Block Grant, and any reasonable manner (not otherwise prohibited) to accomplish the purposes of TANF. The four purposes of TANF are:

  1. To provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their homes or in the home of relatives.
  2. End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage.
  3. Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies.
  4. Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.


Minor Funding Sources

Afterschool Snacks (National School Lunch Program/Child & Adult Care Food Program)
The Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provide cash reimbursements for snacks served to children and youth through age 18, in certain after school programs.  To be eligible for reimbursement under NSLP, after school programs must provide children with regularly scheduled activities in an organized, structured, and supervised environment that includes educational or enrichment activities. To be eligible under CACFP, programs must meet the aforementioned criteria, and also be located in a geographical area served by a school in which 50 percent or more of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR)
Through the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) initiative, the Cooperative State Research Extension and Education Services branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture allocates funding to Land Grant University Extension Services (CSREES) for community-based programs for at-risk children and their families. A broad spectrum of educational programs for youth and families are offered. Youth-centered programs are geared towards youth ages 5-19 and encourage the involvement of parents and families. Family-centered programs work directly with families and impact children and youth through their parents. The CYFAR initiative is supported through staff and resources from a variety of disciplines, universities, and states. Universities contribute staff time, educational programs, materials, evaluation services, and research. CSREES provides funding and program and technical staff. Counties and communities share their programs and materials and the expertise of staff and volunteers.

Community Development Block Grants
The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program provides annual grants to local governments to fund activities that promote community and economic revitalization. Each year, every city of over 50,000 in population automatically gets CDBG money, and so does every county with a population of at least 200,000. In addition, each state gets money to distribute to its small towns and rural counties. These activities must: principally benefit low- and moderate-income families, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet other urgent community development needs. The program has two main components: the Entitlement Communities program which provides funds for almost 1,000 of the largest cities and counties, and the state program which provides funds to smaller local governments through states. The programs are commonly used for housing rehabilitation, public improvements, public services, and economic development projects. Entitlement Communities and states receive funds based on a statutory formula that includes population, poverty, overcrowded housing, age of housing, and growth lag. Local governments may administer the entire grant themselves or pass funds to private or public nonprofit or for-profit organizations.

Gang Free Schools and Communities
The primary objective of the Gang Free Schools and Communities program is to prevent and reduce the participation of juveniles in the activities of gangs that commit crimes and to reduce the participation of juveniles in gang activity. The program is designed to address the problems of juveniles convicted of serious drug- and gang-related offenses, to keep juveniles who live in gang-infested areas out of unlawful activities, to help public schools stay safe, to assist juveniles and juvenile gang members to obtain appropriate educational instruction, to expand the availability of prevention and treatment services for substance abuse, to provide services to prevent recidivism among juvenile offenders, and to facilitate coordination and cooperation among agencies and community-based programs.

Local Law Enforcement Block Grants
The purpose of the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program (LLEBG) is to provide funds to local governments to underwrite projects to reduce crime and improve public safety. Awards are made to both states and local governments; the difference remaining between the state and local allocations is awarded to a State Administrative Agency (SAA) designated by the Governor. LLEBG Program funds must be spent in accordance with one or more of the following seven purpose areas: supporting law enforcement, enhancing security measures in and around schools and any other location considered a special risk for incidents of crime, establishing or supporting drug courts, enhancing the adjudication of cases involving violent offenders, establishing a multi-jurisdictional task force composed of law enforcement officials representing units of local government, and defraying the cost of indemnification insurance for law enforcement officers.

Reading Excellence
The purpose of the Reading Excellence program is to award grants to states to prepare children to read when they start school, so that they will be able to read by the third grade, and to improve the teaching skills of educators in elementary schools. Funds are awarded to states, who in turn award two types of grants - local reading improvement grants and tutorial assistance grants for tutoring programs before or after school, on weekends, or during the summer.

Safe Futures
Safe Futures seeks to prevent and control youth crime and victimization through the creation of a continuum of care in communities. Services include family strengthening, after school activities, mentoring, treatment alternatives for juvenile female offenders, mental health services, day treatment, and graduated sanctions for violent and chronic offenders. The program currently operates in six "demonstration cities" - Boston, MA, Seattle, WA, St. Louis, MO, Contra Costa County, CA, Imperial County, CA, and Fort Belknap, MT.

The Social Services Block Grant
The Social Services Block Grant allows states the flexibility to provide or supplement social services at the state and local levels. Grants are determined by a statutory formula based on each state's population. Funds may be used to provide services directed toward one of the following five goals specified in the law:

  1. To prevent, reduce, or eliminate dependency.
  2. To achieve or maintain self-sufficiency.
  3. To prevent neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children and adults.
  4. To prevent or reduce inappropriate institutional care.
  5. To secure admission or referral for institutional care when other forms of care are not appropriate.

States are fully responsible for determining the use of their funds. Programs or services most frequently supported by SSBG include child care, child welfare (foster care, adoption, and protective services), elder care, drug abuse prevention and treatment activities, home based services, employment services, prevention and intervention programs, and services for the disabled.

Star Schools
Star Schools is a program to improve instruction in mathematics, science, and foreign languages, as well as other subjects, such as literacy skills and vocational education. Its target audience is underserved populations, including the disadvantaged, illiterate, limited-English proficient, and individuals with disabilities. Grants are made to telecommunication partnerships for telecommunications facilities and equipment, educational and instructional programming, and technical assistance in the use of such facilities and instructional programming.

Title I
Grants are provided to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to help schools improve the teaching of children who are failing, or at risk of failing, so that they meet state academic standards. Grants are targeted to schools with concentrations of children from low-income families. Schools that have at least a 50 percent poverty rate may choose to operate a school-wide program that allows Title I funds to be combined with other federal, state, and local funds to upgrade the school's overall instructional program. All other participating schools must operate targeted assistance programs and select children deemed most needy for Title I services.

Weed and Seed
Operation Weed and Seed is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to combating violent crime, drug use, and gang activity in high crime neighborhoods. The goal is to "weed out" violence and drug activity in high crime neighborhoods and then to "seed" the sites with a wide range of crime and drug prevention projects, human service programs, and neighborhood restoration activities to prevent crime from reoccurring. The strategy emphasizes the importance of a coordinated approach, bringing together all levels of government, the community, and the private sector to form a partnership to create a safe, drug-free environment. Weed and Seed funding is for state and local law enforcement agencies engaged in the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes and drug offenses in "Weed and Seed" designated communities.

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project