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EVALUATIONS; RESEARCH; TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Sec435[42 U.S.C. 629e] (a) Evaluations.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall evaluate and report to the Congress biennially on effectiveness of the programs carried out pursuant to this subpart in accomplishing the purposes of this subpart, and may evaluate any other Federal, State, or local program, regardless of whether federally assisted, that is designed to achieve the same purposes as the program under this subpart, in accordance with criteria established in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) Criteria to be used.—In developing the criteria to be used in evaluations under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with appropriate parties, such as—

(A) State agencies administering programs under this part and part E;

(B) persons administering child and family services programs (including family preservation and family support programs) for private, nonprofit organizations with an interest in child welfare; and

(C) other persons with recognized expertise in the evaluation of child and family services programs (including family preservation and family support programs) or other related programs.

(3) Timing of report.—Beginning in 2003, the Secretary shall submit the biennial report required by this subsection not later than April 1 of every other year, and shall include in each such report the funding level, the status of ongoing evaluations, findings to date, and the nature of any technical assistance provided to States under subsection (d).

(b) Coordination of Evaluations.—The Secretary shall develop procedures to coordinate evaluations under this section, to the extent feasible, with evaluations by the States of the effectiveness of programs under this subpart.

(c) Evaluation, Research, and Technical Assistance with Respect to Targeted Program Resources.—Of the amount reserved under section 436(b)(1) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use not less than—

(1) $1,000,000 for evaluations, research, and providing technical assistance with respect to supporting monthly caseworker visits with children who are in foster care under the responsibility of the State, in accordance with section 436(b)(4)(B)(i); and

(2) $1,000,000 for evaluations, research, and providing technical assistance with respect to grants under section 437(f).

(d) Technical Assistance.—To the extent funds are available therefor, the Secretary shall provide technical assistance that helps States and Indian tribes or tribal consortia to—

(1) develop research-based protocols for identifying families at risk of abuse and neglect of use in the field;

(2) develop treatment models that address the needs of families at risk, particularly families with substance abuse issues;

(3) implement programs with well-articulated theories of how the intervention will result in desired changes among families at risk;

(4) establish mechanisms to ensure that service provision matches the treatment model; and

(5) establish mechanisms to ensure that postadoption services meet the needs of the individual families and develop models to reduce the disruption rates of adoption.