Children's Bureau turns 100

April 9, 2012, marked the 100th anniversary of the Children’s Bureau

Region VIII ACF friends and staff joined the 100th birthday celebration of the Children’s Bureau with snacks, birthday cake and balloons.  The formal ceremony took place in Washington DC but was televised live to all regional offices. 

Joe Bock, Acting Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau emceed the event and speakers included Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, George Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families.  Other featured speakers included Dr. Olivia Golden, Former Assistant Secretary,  Joan E. Ohl, Former Commissioner,  Mary Williams, President, National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators and Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, ACF. 

Speakers reminded the audience that in spite of the outstanding progress made in the health, safety and well being of children over the past 100 years, much work still needs to be done on behalf of the nation’s children.   In 1912, life for many American children was grim. Child labor was as common as infant mortality (one in ten children died before reaching the age of one). With a $25,000 budget and 15 employees, President William Howard Taft created the Children’s Bureau and gave it a mission to lower maternal and infant mortality rates and deal with the issues of child labor and juvenile delinquency. Today, the Children’s Bureau’s 150 employees administer programs totaling $8 billion annually. 

In wrapping up the ceremony, Mr. Samuels stated that “The Children’s Bureau has made a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable Americans.  A hundred years have passed, but the goal remains the same: protect our nation’s children. Today the bureau works with states and tribes to prevent child abuse and neglect. Incidents where abuse or neglect occurs, the Children’s Bureau works with states and tribal communities to ensure foster kids are placed in safe and permanent homes. It is our obligation to make sure our children and families reach their highest potential, and the bureau is committed to protecting our children for the next century as well.”


For more information about the Children’s Bureau centennial, visit