ACF is working to help more Americans move toward self-sufficiency

Statement by Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families

April 10, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Statement by Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary,
HHS’ Administration for Children and Families

Today, President Trump signed an executive order on economic mobility reforms that will guide the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) work to help more Americans move toward self-sufficiency.

ACF will engage our partners and stakeholders to develop the best approach to accomplish the direction given by the President.

Strengthening work requirements for welfare recipients is a critical element of moving welfare recipients from dependency to self-sufficiency and providing a foundation to build and promote financial independence, personal responsibility and a better quality of life. More than just a means of income, work creates opportunities for individual growth, instills a sense of personal dignity and leads to improved health.

ACF has already taken significant action to advance welfare reform on behalf of the Administration by revoking an Obama Administration guidance that encouraged state waivers of the work requirements in cash welfare, issuing guidance encouraging states to develop employment programs for non-custodial parents, and disseminating a “Dear Colleague” reminding states about the importance of promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood.

With President Trump’s executive order, we will continue taking aggressive action administratively. In the coming months, ACF will announce new policy guidance and disseminate research that will help states and practitioners lead Americans to economic independence.

Get more information on the executive order Visit disclaimer page .



Quick Facts

  • The President’s FY2019 budget provides details on three bold welfare reform ideas:
  • First, it proposes allowing states to consolidate public assistance programs into welfare-to-work demonstration projects to encourage innovation in growing capacity to reduce dependency.
  • Second, it proposes strengthening cash welfare’s work participation rate and requiring states to invest more in work activities.
  • Third, it proposes allowing states to use federal child support funds for employment programs to help non-custodial parents (mostly fathers) get back to work and support their families.


Administration for Children & Families
Office of Communications
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Phone: (202) 401-9215
Fax: (202) 205-9688