Why OIG Did This Review. The Office of Head Start (OHS) - part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - oversees Head Start grant recipients to ensure their compliance with program standards, including standards addressing children’s safety. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated this review to determine the extent to which recipients received adverse findings from ACF for violating program standards that prohibit child abuse, leaving a child unsupervised (lack of supervision), or releasing a child to an unauthorized person (unauthorized release); assess ACF’s oversight of how recipients identify, address, and prevent such incidents; and identify opportunities to better protect children. How OIG Did This Review. We reviewed data from ACF monitoring of Head Start grant recipients to identify adverse findings for child abuse, lack of supervision, unauthorized release, and failure to report significant incidents. We also reviewed narratives from ACF monitoring reports to determine the number and nature of incidents associated with each adverse finding. Additionally, we obtained data from child care licensing agencies and child protective services agencies in Florida and Texas to determine whether ACF was aware of all incidents that those State agencies had identified. Finally, we interviewed OHS staff and reviewed internal and public documents to better understand ACF’s processes and criteria for monitoring, incident response, and adverse finding determinations related to child abuse, lack of supervision, and unauthorized release.
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