Child Abuse Prevention

Status of the Challenge Grant Program Gao ID: HRD-91-95 May 9, 1991

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect's (NCCAN) Challenge Grant Program, focusing on: (1) the total amount of federal spending on child abuse prevention; (2) sources of revenue for state trust funds for abuse prevention activities; (3) the amount of funding from trust funds and other funding mechanisms used to apply for challenge grants; (4) prevention activities supported by challenge grants; and (5) administrative aspects.

GAO found that: (1) the total amount of federal funds spent on child abuse prevention was unknown; (2) by fiscal year (FY) 1989, 42 states had established child abuse prevention trust funds with revenues ranging from $29,000 to over $3 million, with a median trust fund revenue of about $240,000; (3) public and private mechanisms used to raise revenue for trust funds included state income tax checkoffs, state appropriations, interest income from endowments, surcharges on state licenses, and grants from private licenses; (4) 34 states used $16 million in trust funds in their FY 1989 challenge grant applications, 15 states relied on dedicated line-item appropriations of $9 million, and the other 8 states relied exclusively on child abuse prevention appropriations; (5) funding mechanisms other than trust funds and direct appropriations accounted for $70 million in state funding, and included a broad range of programs; (6) although more than $94 million in state funds were available for child abuse prevention activities, only $40 million were considered for federal matching funds; (7) states relied on challenge grant funds to support community prevention programs and activities that could not be supported with state funds; and (8) other funding mechanisms complicated grant administration.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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