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HDFS 448: Child and Family Policy: Government Documents

CRS Reports and ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional

The ProQuest Congressional database searches across many different types of documents from the Legislative Branch of our Federal government.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports are a particularly useful type of document in the database.

After running a search in ProQuest Congressional, use the limiters on the right-hand side of the search results screen to narrow you results by document type. You should see CRS Reports listed as a document type: click on this to limit the search to show only CRS Reports. If you do not see CRS Reports listed, try the More Options link.

Screenshot of ProQuest Congressional search limit options

Michigan Legislature

Searching the web for government documents

  • Google with the command
    Add in the advanced search command after your keywords to limit to the .gov domain, which most government websites are published on.
  • Go to the relevant agency website
    Identify the government agency that oversees your policy area. Browse or search their website for information, reports, statistics, etc. about programs and policies.

Agency Websites

Federal Government Agencies

Please note that this is not a complete list of federal agencies involved in social policy programs and topics.  It is only a selected list of programs that are often of interest to students.  For a complete overview of all U.S. Federal Government agencies refer to the U.S. Government Manual.


  • Department of Health and Human Services
    "The Department of Health and Human Services is the Cabinet-level department of the Federal executive branch most involved with the Nation's human concerns. In one way or another, it touches the lives of more Americans than any other Federal agency. It is a department of people serving people, from newborn infants to persons requiring health services to our most elderly citizens." [U.S. Government Manual]
    • Administration for Children and Families
      "The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families." [Agency website]
    • Administration on Aging
      "In order to serve a growing senior population, AoA envisions ensuring the continuation of a vibrant aging services network at State, Territory, local and Tribal levels through funding of lower-cost, non-medical services and supports that provide the means by which many more seniors can maintain their independence."  Established by the Older Americans Act and has responsibility for provision of home and community care for seniors. [Agency website]
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
      "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration, was created to administer the Medicare, Medicaid, and related Federal medical care programs." [U.S. Government Manual]


  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    "The Department of Housing and Urban Development is the principal Federal agency responsible for programs concerned with the Nation's housing needs, fair housing opportunities, and improvement and development of the Nation's communities." [U.S. Government Manual]


  • Social Security Administration
    "The Social Security Administration manages the Nation's social insurance program--consisting of retirement, survivors, and disability insurance programs--commonly known as Social Security; administers the Supplemental Security Income program for the aged, blind, and disabled; assigns Social Security numbers to U.S. citizens; and maintains earnings records for workers under their Social Security numbers."  [U.S. Government Manual]

Overview of Federal Social Service Programs

  • The Green Book
    "The Green Book is compiled by the staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives from many sources and it provides program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics, including Social Security, employment, earnings, welfare, child support, health insurance, the elderly, families with children, poverty and taxation. It has become a standard reference work for those interested in the direction of social policy in the United States."

Michigan Government Agencies

NB: Unfortunately, there is not a compendium of programs similar to those described for the Federal-level. Rather, you are forced to find programmatic statements on the agency's website.  Selected relevant agencies are listed below, others can be identified by consulting the Michigan Manual or browsing the State of Michigan website.


  • Department of Human Services
    You may still hear people talk about FIA (Family Independence Agency). The agency was renamed but the core mission remains much unchanged. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is Michigan's public assistance, child and family welfare agency. Use the "News, Publications, & Information" link for program reports and plans.


State of Michigan Green Book Report of Key Program Statistics
This monthly report published by the DHS provides summary reports for DHS programs including Family Independence Program reports, State Disability Assistance reports, Food Assistance Program reports, Adult Medical Program and Medicaid reports, State Emergency Relief reports, and Child Development and Care reports.


  • Department of Community Health
    "The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is one of the largest departments within the executive branch, administering over $11.19 billion in fiscal year 2007. The functions of MDCH include development of state health policy and management of the state’s publicly funded health service systems. More than two million Michigan residents receive services annually funded in whole or in part through MDCH." [Michigan Manual]


  • Department of Civil Rights
    "The Department of Civil Rights investigates and resolves discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws." [Agency website]
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