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Administration for Children and Families

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The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, which since 2001 has been Dr. Wade F. Horn. It has a $47 billion budget for 65 programs that target children, youth and families.[1] These programs include assistance with welfare, child support enforcement, adoption assistance, foster care, child care, and child abuse.

Mission statementEdit

"The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides national leadership and creates opportunities for families to lead economically and socially productive lives. ACF's programs are designed to help children to develop into healthy adults and communities to become more prosperous and supportive of their members."[2]

Major GoalsEdit

"ACF is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. ACF programs aim to achieve the following:

  • families and individuals empowered to increase their own economic independence and productivity;
  • strong, healthy, supportive communities that have a positive impact on the quality of life and the development of children;
  • partnerships with individuals, front-line service providers, communities, American Indian tribes, Native communities, states, and Congress that enable solutions which transcend traditional agency boundaries;
  • services planned, reformed, and integrated to improve needed access;
  • a strong commitment to working with people with developmental disabilities, refugees, and migrants to address their needs, strengths, and abilities."[3]

Major ProgramsEdit

Other Initiatives, Clearinghouses and ResourcesEdit

  • Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) [14]
  • Fatherhood Initiative [15]
  • "Insure Kids Now!" Campaign [16]
  • National Adoption Information Clearinghouse [17]
  • National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) [18]
  • National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
  • National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth
  • National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC) [19]
  • Office of Child Support Enforcement Tribal Resources [20]

Abstinence education Edit

For fiscal year 2006, ending September 30, 2006, Congress appropriated $50 million for state grants for abstinence education programs. Such programs teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease, and give no instruction on birth control or safe sex. In October 2006, revised guidelines by ACF specified that states seeking grants are "to identify groups ... most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range." Previous guidelines didn't mention specific ages, and programs focused on preteens and teens.[4]

ACF also administers the Community-Based Abstinence Education Program, which is focused on funding public and private entities that provide abstinence-until-marriage education for adolescents from 12 to 18 years old. For fiscal year 2005, 63 grants were awarded, totaling $104 million to organizations and other entities; in fiscal 2001, grants totaled only $20 million. In October 2006, the Government Accountability Office reported that ACF does not review its grantees’ education materials for scientific accuracy and does not require grantees of either program to review their own materials for scientific accuracy. GAO also reported that most of the efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs included in GAO’s review have not met certain minimum scientific criteria.[5]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

External linksEdit


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