Improving the Quality of Life for Children and Families in the US Virgin Islands Through
Relevant, Culturally Competent Social Services
A significant percentage (28% for the Territory; 31% for St. Croix) of families in
the USVI live in conditions that are deeply impacted by poverty (Virgin Islands Community
Survey, 2008). Funds for a Cooperative Agreement to support research aimed at increasing
the overall quality, delivery and outcomes of human service programs in the Territory
are critical. Currently, there is a paucity of research on the efficacy of Head Start
programs (Giambruno et al., 1997), and no research data on the quality and/or the
impact of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs in the USVI.
Thus, the proposed project seeks to fill critical gaps in the research on the human
service needs and assets, and to identify the most efficacious approaches to improve
the quality of life for residents of the USVI who participate in the Head Start and
TANF Programs. This will be done through the following objectives:
Objective 1: By the end of Year 3, establish an accessible, comprehensive research
infrastructure to support the provision of quality human services programs to clients
in the Head Start and TANF programs in the USVI.
Objective 2: By the end of Year 3, conduct two human services research studies. This objective is a priority for USVI policy makers involved in the delivery of
public assistance programs. Though the specifics of the research studies to be conducted
will be determined by the members of the Research Partnership, based on key informant
interviews with VI Department of Human Services personnel.
Anticipated outcomes include: a redundant, reliable, comprehensive, secure database
of information on public assistance programs and participants; greater collaboration
among USVI policy-makers; data-driven policy recommendation to improve human service
programs; an increase in the cadre of local researchers engaged in human service research;
completion of two empirical studies; dissemination of research findings; and contributions
to the literature on the Early/Head Start and TANF programs in the USVI.
Click Here For: Catalog of Secondary Resources
Click Here For: Human Services Research Partnership Fact Sheet