HHS Launches $1.5 Million Research Center to Investigate Needs of Poor Hispanics
As part of the Biden administration’s push for governmentwide racial equity, a new research center dedicated to supporting and investigating the needs of low-income Hispanics will be launched with a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The goal is to develop promising approaches to promote social and economic well-being among poor Hispanics and to assess current government policies and practices that contribute to disparities in access to public services, a recently published grant announcement states.
The new center will bring together a diverse, interdisciplinary team of academic, organizational and community-based partners, according to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the HHS division doling out the money. Under Biden’s monstrous COVID-19 stimulus measure ACF received $47.5 billion in supplemental funding to help children and families impacted by the pandemic, which the agency asserts exacerbated historic racial injustices. ACF is also dedicated to addressing the needs of refugees and migrants. Its new center will provide leadership with culturally competent research that can inform policies concerning poor Hispanic families and educate regarding the needs and experiences of the diverse Hispanic populations throughout the nation.
The grant document offers more details: “Through a combination of research, research capacity building, and communication activities, this Center will address a range of relevant issues including, but not limited to: a) definition and measurement of significant characteristics and experiences of Hispanic individuals, families, and communities; b) identification of barriers and facilitators of service utilization by Hispanic populations; c) examination of strategies to promote the social and economic well-being of Hispanic children and families and to strengthen Hispanic families; d) evaluation of promising approaches to serving Hispanic populations.” It continues to say that the new facility will develop data and resources to execute a comprehensive communication plan that aims to improve understanding of Hispanic populations to inform policy development and programmatic responses. Childcare and early education as well as services to support self-sufficiency and economic mobility for poor Hispanic families will receive a broad focus.
Another HHS offshoot called Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) already supports a National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families to better serve low-income Hispanics that receive taxpayer-funded benefits from ACF. That government conglomerate investigates the needs of poor Hispanics and focuses on poverty reduction and economic self-sufficiency, fatherhood, family structure, and family dynamics as well as early care and education. Publicly funded research materials available on the center’s website include “Understanding and Measuring Latino Racial and Ethnic Identity,” the strengths and resilience of “Latinx Families,” the costly work adjustments made by “Latino and Black Households” to accommodate childcare disruptions during the pandemic, and the Mexican heritage of most Hispanic children in the U.S. One report claims that the Biden administration’s federal stimulus “kept more than 2 million Latino and Black children out of poverty” during the pandemic. Yet another body of research conducted by the Hispanic center says that “Latino child poverty rose during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among children in immigrant families.”
With all this valuable information already available at a government agency, American taxpayers may wonder why the administration is spending $1.5 million to launch a similar center that conducts the same type of research. Only government bureaucrats can provide the answer, but it appears that the new center will focus on identifying policies that contribute to disparities in access to services and the reduction of those disparities. One thing seems certain, the investment is part of the president’s broad effort to advance racial equity and support for underserved populations through taxpayer-funded programs, a governmentwide initiative he launched on his first day in office.