George Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary
George Sheldon is the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining ACF, George Sheldon served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).
At the Administration for Children and Families, George has championed the cause of early childhood development among low-income families, worked to expand the use of trauma informed care and practices in the foster care system, pushed for better prescribing and monitoring practices within the foster care system for the use of psychotropic medications, and led HHS’s efforts in the fight against human trafficking, focusing on the enhancement of survivor services.
As Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, George co-chaired the state’s Task Force on Human Trafficking along with the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. George currently co-chairs the Federal Victim Services Strategic Planning Committee.
During his time in Florida, George oversaw the state’s child welfare programs, fostering a 36 percent reduction in children in out-of-home care, and integrating mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence services throughout the Department. While at DCF, the agency achieved the highest rate of adoptions among foster children each of the three years of his tenure. Moreover, as DCF Secretary he led the effort reduce that state’s food stamp error rate from among the highest in the nation to the lowest for three consecutive years.
In early 2010, George worked closely with federal partners at HHS and ACF in the aftermath of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake. Together, Florida and ACF met the needs of more than 27,000 American citizens, 700 medical evacuees, and 600 Haitian children moving through the adoption process with American families.
Before his service at DCF, George was Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Services at St. Thomas University School of Law. In addition to more than 12 years as a practicing attorney, George also served as Deputy Attorney General for Central Florida. In 1975, George was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where he built an eight-year record focusing on the environment and children.
Born in Wildwood, New Jersey, George received both his B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University.