Update: What We’re Learning About the Pandemic-Related Experiences of ACF Programs and the Children and Families they Serve

August 13, 2021
| Nicole Deterding

We immediately switched our fatherhood groups to conference calls, and we found that the fathers were really grateful to continue the connections with the group, and we’ve also noticed a huge increase in participation.”

-Community partner in the Fathers and Continuous Learning (FCL) in Child Welfare project, speaking about shifting strategies during the pandemic to produce positive results

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented challenges to the human services field, bringing with them opportunities for resilient, adaptive responses. OPRE and our research partners have been working to capture information on the pandemic-related experiences of ACF programs and the children and families they serve.

Three overarching questions frame our COVID-19 pandemic-related learning. In OPRE Insights blog posts last summer and this past winter, we shared these three questions, along with OPRE’s commitment to continued learning and the steps we were taking to build knowledge as the pandemic progressed.

We are pleased to announce an updated landing page with links to all of our COVID-related publications and other resources to date. Our previous blog post used OPRE’s learning questions to highlight ongoing projects shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are just a few examples of our published materials addressing these important questions. We encourage you to visit the landing page for more!

1. How does the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery efforts affect ACF programs and service delivery?

2. How do current and potential recipients of ACF services experience the COVID-19 pandemic?

3. How do OPRE technical assistance efforts contribute to evidence building and program improvement during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • With our colleagues at Urban Institute and Mathematica, the webinar Using Child Care Provider Surveys to Inform Policy Responses to COVID-19 shared technical assistance for using child care provider surveys during the pandemic to collect meaningful survey data.
  • This Behavioral Buzz newsletter uses evidence from the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self Sufficiency (BIAS) and Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) projects to provide five key insights about how agencies can reduce burden for clients and staff while they continue delivering vital services.

We encourage you to spend time on this landing page exploring additional resources. The mission of building knowledge to improve human services will remain our guiding principle as this learning continues.

Explore our COVID-19 Research and Resources Landing Page


Nicole Deterding is a Lead Social Science Research Analyst whose work includes efforts to improve the quality, availability and use of data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of ACF programs.

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