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HHS Federal Program Inventory

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

 

Budget Authority (in millions of dollars)

 FY 2012FY 2013FY 2014
Discretionary16,31616,54317,780
Mandatory33,43234,01534,176

 

9.1    Payments to States for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs

The Office of Child Support Enforcement partners with federal, state, tribal, and local governments and others to promote parental responsibility so that children receive support from both parents, even when they live in separate households. The national child support program is one of the largest income-support programs for families, contributing money to family budgets to help pay for the basics – shelter, food, child care, transportation, and school clothes. Child support makes a big difference to children.  Families receive services directly from their state, tribal or local child support agency. Either parent, or a grandparent, may apply for services. The agencies locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce support orders, modify orders when appropriate, and collect and pay out child support payments. Each state and tribe operating a child support program has different laws and operates its program a little differently. While child support programs vary from state to state and tribe to tribe, services are available to all who need them, regardless of income, residency, nationality, or gender.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.2    Low Income Home Energy Assistance

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with home heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP provides federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with:  home energy bills, energy crises, and weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.

LIHEAP can help families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.3    Refugee and Entrant Assistance

The Refugee and Entrant Assistance program is designed to help refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Special Immigrant Visa arrivals and trafficking victims to become employed and self-sufficient as quickly as possible. As a result of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the program also is responsible for coordinating and implementing the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children who are in federal custody by reason of immigration status.

Refugee and Entrant Assistance funds seven areas:  transitional and medical services, victims of trafficking, social services, victims of torture, preventive health, targeted assistance, and unaccompanied alien children.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.4    Promoting Safe and Stable Families

The primary goals of Promoting Safe and Stable Families are to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, improve the quality of care and services to children and their families, and ensure permanency for children by reuniting them with their parents, by adoption or by another permanent living arrangement. States are to spend most of the funding for services that address:  family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion and support.

The services are designed to help state child welfare agencies and eligible Indian tribes establish and operate integrated, preventive family preservation services and community-based family support services for families at risk or in crisis. Funds go directly to child welfare agencies and eligible Indian tribes to be used in accordance with their 5-year plans. Other grant funds are set aside for nationally funded evaluation, research, and training and technical assistance projects. In addition, funds are set-aside for court improvement programs.

These funds, along with the Child Welfare Services funds (under Child Abuse and Child Welfare programs) are a small but integral part of state social service systems for children and families who need assistance in order to keep their families together. These funds, often combined with state and local government as well as private funds, support the parenting and healthy marriage classes that increase relationship skills within the family, the home-visiting services for young parents with first babies and other family-based services, respite care for caregivers of children with special needs and numerous other unique and innovative programs and services that local communities rely on for at risk families.

The account also includes two programs funded under the Affordable Care Act:  Personal Responsibility Education Program and Abstinence Education, which educate youth about the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and prepare youth for adulthood.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.5    State Court Improvement Grants

The State Court Improvement Program was created as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1993, Public Law 103-66, which among other things, provided federal funds to state child welfare agencies and tribes for preventive services and services to families at risk or in crisis. OBRA designated a portion of these funds for grants to state court systems to conduct assessments of their foster care and adoption laws and judicial processes, and to develop and implement a plan for system improvement. Awards are made to the highest state courts in states participating in the IV-E program. The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (P.L. 112-34) reauthorized Promoting Safe and Stable Families and Child Welfare Services through FY 2016, including the State Court Improvement Grants.  Nine million dollars of the mandatory appropriation for PSSF and 3.3 percent of any discretionary appropriation for PSSF are to be used for the basic State Court Improvement program grants to assess and improve handling of court proceedings related to foster care and adoption.  An additional $20 million is allocated for grants to improve data collection and collaboration between courts and child welfare agencies, and train judges, attorneys and other legal persons in child welfare cases to extend these activities initially authorized under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171).  Finally, under P.L. 112-34, an additional $1 million in mandatory funding is provided for grants to be awarded on a competitive basis among the highest courts of Indian tribes or tribal consortia. 

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.6    Child Care Development Fund

The Child Care and Development Fund is the primary federal program specifically devoted to child care services and quality. It enables low-income parents and parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to work or to participate in the educational or training programs they need in order to work. Funds may also be used to serve children in protective services. In addition, a portion of CCDF funds must be used to enhance child care quality and availability.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.7    Social Services Block Grant

The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) enables each state or territory to meet the needs of its residents through locally relevant social services. SSBG supports programs that allow communities to achieve or maintain economic self-sufficiency to prevent, reduce or eliminate dependency on social services.  SSBG funds a variety of initiatives for children and adults including:  child care, protective services, special services to persons with disabilities, adoption services, case management, transportation, housing, and foster care, among other services.

Each state determines which services to provide and who is eligible to receive these services. SSBG funds are distributed to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.8    Health Profession Opportunity Grants

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants program provides funding for training in the health care field that is intended both to meet growing employer demand for skilled health care workers and to expand the opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals to obtain health care jobs. The program conducts demonstration projects that provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. This program is an important federal effort to improve the labor market opportunities of disadvantaged populations within the health care field.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.9    Head Start

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.  Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children's growth in:  language and literacy, cognition and general knowledge, physical development and health, social and emotional development, and approaches to learning.  Many Head Start programs also provide Early Head Start, which serves infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families who have incomes below the federal poverty level.

Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.

Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start programs build relationships with families that support:  family well-being and positive parent-child relationships, families as learners and lifelong educators, family engagement in transitions, family connections to peers and community, and families as advocates and leaders.

Approximately a million children are served by Head Start programs every year, including children in every U.S. state and territory and in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. Since 1965, nearly 30 million low-income children and their families have received these comprehensive services to increase their school readiness.

Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community.  Children and families who receive home-based services gather periodically with other enrolled families for a group learning experience facilitated by Head Start staff.

The program awards grants to public and private agencies on a competitive basis to provide these comprehensive services to specific communities. Head Start grantees provide the services as described in the Head Start Performance Standards and in accordance with the Head Start Act of 2007. The Office of Head Start is responsible for oversight of these grantees, to ensure the performance standards are met and the best quality of care is provided to the enrolled children. In addition, some cities, states and federal programs offer funding to expand Head Start and Early Head Start to additional children within their jurisdiction.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.10  Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs

Each year, thousands of U.S. youth run away from home are asked to leave their homes or become homeless.  The Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs support street outreach, emergency shelters and longer-term transitional living and maternity group home programs to serve and protect these young people.  Youth are provided up to 21 days of shelter, food and clothing, counseling, crisis intervention, and recreation programs.  Additional services, such as include a stable living environment, life skills building, GED preparation, job attainment assistance, and mental and physical health care, are provided for older homeless youth.  Maternity group homes provide living accommodations, health care, parenting education, affordable child care, GED preparation and money management.  Street based outreach, access to emergency shelter, survival aid, counseling, crisis intervention, and follow-up support is provided to homeless, runaway and street youth.   The program also makes grants available to nonprofit agencies for the purpose of providing street-based services to runaway, homeless and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, prostitution, or sexual exploitation.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.11  Child Abuse and Child Welfare

The Child Abuse and Child Welfare programs assist states in improving:  intake, assessment, screening and investigation of child abuse and neglect reports; risk and safety assessment protocols; training for child protective services workers and mandated reporters; programs and procedures for the identification, prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect; development and implementation of procedures for collaboration among child protection services, domestic violence, and other agencies; and services to disabled infants with life-threatening conditions and their families. In addition, under these programs, states perform a range of prevention activities including addressing the needs of infants born with prenatal drug exposure, referring children not at risk of imminent harm to community services, implementing criminal record checks for prospective foster and adoptive parents and other adults in their homes, training child protective services workers, protecting the legal rights of families, and supporting Citizen Review Panels.  Child Abuse and Child Welfare programs include:   CAPTA State Grants; Child Abuse Discretionary Activities; Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention; Child Welfare Services; Child Welfare Research, Training, and Demonstration; Adoption Opportunities; Abandoned Infants Assistance Program; Chafee Education and Training Vouchers; and Adoption Incentives.    

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.12  Native American Programs

The programs, authorized under the Native American Programs Act of 1974, promotes cultural preservation and economic self-sufficiency by serving Native Americans, including 562 federally‑recognized tribes, 60 state-recognized tribes and Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian communities, and native populations throughout the Pacific Basin. Native American programs assist tribal and village governments, Native American institutions and organizations in their efforts to support and develop stable, diversified local economies. Tribes and non-profit organizations use funds to develop and implement sustainable community-based social and economic programs and services to reduce dependency on public funds.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.13  Social Services Research and Demonstration

Social Services Research and Demonstration funds support research and evaluation efforts that address the goals of increased stability and economic independence for American families and services that are more effective, cost less, and respond better to customer needs. Projects are conducted through contracts, cooperative agreements and grants. Evaluation results and data from projects are disseminated to other federal agencies, states, Congress, researchers and others through publications, the internet, conferences, and workshops. As examples, topics of recent projects include employment retention and advancement; welfare-to-work strategies for the hard-to-employ; subsidized and transitional jobs; career pathways; and approaches to improving program enrollment, engagement, and completion through the use of insights from behavioral economics and psychology.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance scientific knowledge and innovation
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Increase our understanding of what works in public health and human services

9.14  Federal Administration

The Federal Administration account includes funding for salaries and benefits and associated expenses of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), as well as the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiatives, necessary to effectively administer federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. ACF conducts operations at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the ten regional offices of the Department of Health and Human Services, eleven audit offices of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, and ten field offices for the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program in various locations throughout the country.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.15  Disaster Human Services Case Management

This program was designed in consultation with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as collaboration between the three organizations consistent with the command structure and reporting requirements in the National Incident Management Plan (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF). Drawing upon existing human services and disaster management networks and expertise, the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) assists states in establishing the capacity to coordinate and provide case management services in the event of a presidentially declared disaster for which individual assistance is approved.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:   Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.16  Community Services Programs

The Community Services Block Grant provides grants to states, territories and tribes to provide services and activities to reduce poverty, including services to address employment, education, housing assistance, nutrition, energy, emergency services, health, and substance abuse. Each state submits an annual application and certifies that the state agrees to provide:  (1) a range of services and activities having a measurable and potentially major impact on causes of poverty in communities where poverty is an acute problem; and (2) activities designed to assist low-income participants, including the elderly, in becoming self-sufficient.

The Community Services Discretionary Activities grants provided to private, locally-initiated community development corporations which sponsor enterprises providing employment, training, and business development opportunities for low-income residents.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.17  Family Violence Prevention and Services

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) program provides grants to states and Indian tribes to support programs and projects that work to prevent incidents of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence and to provide immediate shelter and supportive services for adult and youth victims (and their dependents).

The Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24 hour national toll-free hotline to provide information and assistance to adult and youth victims of family, domestic or dating violence as well as their family and household members and others affected by violence in an effort to build healthy, safe and supportive communities.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.18  Payments to States for Foster Care and Permanency

Payments for Foster Care and Permanency is an entitlement program, which assists states with the costs of maintaining eligible children in foster care, preparing children for living on their own, assisting relatives with legal guardianship of eligible children, and finding and supporting adoptive homes for children with special needs who are unable to return home. Administrative and training costs also are supported.

The programs are designed to enhance the capacity of families to raise children in a nurturing, safe environment; protect children who have been, or are at risk of being, abused or neglected; provide

safe, stable, family-like settings consistent with the needs of each child when remaining at home is not in the best interest of the child; reunite children with their biological families when appropriate; improve child and family functioning and well-being; and secure adoptive homes or other permanent living arrangements for children whose families are not able to care for them. Ensuring the health and safety of the child always is of primary importance when a child is identified as potentially in need of any child welfare service.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote the safety, well-being, resilience, and healthy development of children and youth

9.19  Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides funding for state programs designed to:  (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or the homes of relatives; (2) end dependence of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.  Under TANF, states have great flexibility in designing programs designed to achieve these goals.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families and communities

9.20  Children’s Research and Technical Assistance

The program provides funds for welfare research, training and technical assistance to support the dissemination of information, technical assistance to the states on child support enforcement activities, and the operation of the Federal Parent Locator Service which assists states in locating non-custodial parents.

  • Supported Strategic Goal:  Advance scientific knowledge and innovation
  • Supported Strategic Objective:  Increase our understanding of what works in public health and human services

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