- Office of Population Affairs
The Office of Population Affairs (OPA), a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services within the Office of Public Health and Science, serves as the focal point to advise the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health on a wide range of reproductive health topics, including adolescent pregnancy, family planning, and sterilization, as well as other population issues. Created by an Act of Congress in 1970 (Public Law 91-572, 84 Stat. 1504, Dec. 24. 1970), the Office of Population Affairs, under the direction of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Population Affairs (DASPA), has three component offices responsible for the oversight of program functions: Office of Family Planning, Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, and Office of Research and Evaluation.
Office of Family Planning
The Title X Family Planning program "Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs" (Pub.L. 91-572), was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. The Title X program is designed to provide access to contraceptive services, supplies and information to all who want and need them. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families.
The Title X Family Planning program is administered within the Office of Public Health and Science, Office of Population Affairs (OPA) by the Office of Family Planning (OFP). In fiscal year 2008, Congress appropriated approximately $299 million for family planning activities supported under Title X. At least 90 percent of the appropriation is used for clinical family planning services as described in the statute and regulations (45 CFR Part 59).
In fiscal year 2008, 88 Title X grantees provided family planning services to approximately five million women and men through a network of more than 4,400 community-based clinics that include State and local health departments, tribal organizations, hospitals, university health centers, independent clinics, community health centers, faith-based organizations, and other public and private nonprofit agencies. In approximately 75% of U.S. counties, there is at least one clinic that receives Title X funds and provides services as required under the Title X statute.
Since inception, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals and others. In addition to contraceptive services and related counseling, Title X-supported clinics provide a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. By law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.
The Title X program also supports three key functions, authorized under the Title X statute aimed at improving the quality of family planning services and assisting clinics with responding to client needs. These functions include: (1) training for family planning clinic personnel through ten regional general training programs and three national training programs that focus on clinical training, enhancing quality family planning services for males, and/or coordination of training activities on the national level; (2) data collection and family planning research aimed at improving the delivery of family planning services; and, (3) information dissemination and community based education and outreach activities. These functions help to ensure that family planning services are evidence-based and of high quality. The Title X family planning program is intended to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children. This promotes positive birth outcomes and healthy families. The education, counseling, and medical services available in Title X-funded clinic settings assist couples in achieving these goals.
Adolescent Family Life
The Adolescent Family Life (AFL) Demonstration and Research program, created in 1981 as Title XX of the Public Health Service Act, supports both demonstration and research grants. Within OPA, the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs (OAPP) is responsible for administering the program. In fiscal year 2008, the AFL program was funded at $29.8 million. The AFL program supports demonstration projects to develop, implement and evaluate program interventions to promote abstinence from sexual activity among adolescents and to provide comprehensive health care, education and social services to pregnant and parenting adolescents. The program supports two basic types of demonstration projects: (1) prevention demonstration projects to develop, test, and use curricula that provide education and activities designed to encourage adolescents to postpone sexual activity until marriage, and (2) care demonstration projects to develop interventions with pregnant and parenting teens, their infants, male partners, and family members in an effort to ameliorate the effects of too-early-childbearing for teen parents, their babies and their families. The AFL program also funds grants to support research on the causes and consequences of adolescent premarital sexual relations, adolescent pregnancy and parenting.
The Title XX funds not only help the teens and families they serve directly, but also provide valuable information and evaluation findings that can serve as a basis for future strategies. Every program that receives AFL grant funds is required to include an independent evaluation component. This ensures that the lessons learned by each community will benefit others in the future.
In addition, to ensure that all AFL project staff at the local level have the necessary skills and training to implement these programs, the AFL program conducts numerous technical assistance workshops annually to train front line care and prevention project staff to provide more comprehensive services to their clients.
In 2008, the AFL program supported 66 demonstration projects across the country. These projects consisted of 35 prevention programs and 31 care programs.
Research and Evaluation
Within the Office of Population Affairs (OPA), the Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) oversees research and evaluation activities supported by the Title X Family Planning program and the Title XX Adolescent Family Life program. Each program has legislative authority to conduct research; program implementation and related research in the case of Title X and research on the causes and consequences of adolescent premarital sexual relations and pregnancy in the case of Title XX. The Title XX statute also requires an independent evaluation of all funded demonstration projects and these evaluations are overseen by ORE staff, as are other research and evaluation activities undertaken by OPA in collaboration with other Federal agencies.
Family Planning Program In fiscal year 2008, Congress appropriated approximately $299 million for family planning activities supported under Title X. At least 90 percent of the appropriation is used for clinical family planning services as described in the statute and regulations (45 CFR Part 59).
Adolescent Family Life Program In fiscal year 2008, Congress appropriated $29.8 million for the program. To view the 2008 HHS Budget plan, please visit . For additional HHS budget information, please visit the HHS Office of Budget.
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