Infórmate August 2014

 

Birthday party featuring balloons, a cake, a boy and a girl.

Feliz Cumpleaños Early Head Start

 

This year marks the Early Head Start program's 20th Anniversary. There is a lot to celebrate! Congress extended Head Start services to expectant families and children from birth to three years of age and their families when Congress reauthorized the Head Start Act of 1994.

This important decision acknowledges how critical the period from prenatal to age three is to children’s development and well-being. Now two decades later, Early Head Start has grown from the original 68 programs to nearly 1,000, which serve more than 150,000 children and families a year.

Within the last 20 years, research has proven that the child’s social and physical environments, beginning in the womb, affect the physical connections created in the brain. Early Head Start works with each family as they create a nurturing and responsive bond with their child. The program also supports the family’s ability to learn and apply daily routines as a learning experience. These ongoing, positive experiences build connections in the brain which, in turn, provide a foundation for healthy social and emotional development and meaningful learning.

We also have learned through longitudinal research that children who participated in Early Head Start performed much better than their peers at the age of three. For example:

  • Early Head Start children generally scored higher on assessments of cognitive development and on receptive language
  • Programs had favorable impacts on several aspects of social and emotional development at age three

The studies also showed how parents were affected:

  • Early Head Start parents were more likely to be emotionally supportive, more likely to read to their children daily, and less likely to engage in negative parenting behaviors
  • Early Head Start programs had some impacts on parents’ progress toward self-sufficiency
  • Early Head Start mothers were less likely to have subsequent births during the first two years after they enrolled
  • Programs had favorable effects in several areas of fathering and father-child interaction

These and other positive impacts have added to Early Head Start’s status as an evidence-based program. In fact, Early Head Start was recognized by the current administration as one of 13 national evidence-based programs by the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.

Early Head Start leads the way in providing quality services that improve outcomes for expectant families, babies and toddlers living in poverty. Let’s all celebrate the success of EHS as it continues to work with the most vulnerable babies and toddlers, and their families!

Written by Angie Godfrey, a Program Specialist for the Office of Head Start.

More on Early Head Start/Head Start:

For the latest ACF information and news, visit The Family Room Blog.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

 

New Fraud Schemes Targeting Families of Unaccompanied Children

The Federal Bureau of Investigation – San Antonio Division, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services–Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection – South Texas Campaign, seek to warn the public about new fraud schemes which attempt to exploit and prey on relatives of the recent influx of unaccompanied children entering the United States. The perpetrators of these schemes have demanded payments from family members, claiming the monetary payments will cover processing and travel expenses needed to allow the children to be reunited with their families. Learn how to report these crimes.


OUTREACH

 

Photo of young child eating at a cafeteria inside a temporary shelter for unaccompanied children.Families Interested in Fostering Unaccompanied Children

ACF is the agency in charge of providing shelter to Unaccompanied Children coming from Central America. We have received inquiries from the general public regarding the possibility of taking care of these children in private homes:

Can I foster or adopt one or more of the unaccompanied children?

Adoption: These children are not available for adoption.

Foster Care: Thank you for your concern for unaccompanied children and your interest in fostering unaccompanied children who are in need of short term, temporary care. We have grantees in various parts of the United States who care for unaccompanied children in foster home settings, and many providers are looking to expand their number of foster parents, particularly ones who are bilingual. ORR requires that all foster care parents be fully licensed by their state. To learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent, please contact your state child welfare agency.


¿Puedo adoptar o servir como familia de crianza temporal para uno o más niño(s) no acompañado(s)?

Adopción: Estos niños no están disponibles para adopción.

Crianza/Temporal: Gracias por su preocupación y su interés en adoptar o servir como familia de crianza/temporal para los niños no acompañados que necesitan hogar temporal, a corto plazo. Tenemos organizaciones en varias partes de Estados Unidos que cuidan a los niños no acompañados en hogares sustitutos/temporales, y muchos proveedores están buscando ampliar su número de padres de crianza, especialmente los que son bilingües. ORR (por sus iníciales en inglés) requiere que todos los padres de crianza temporal estén completamente licenciados por su estado. Para obtener más información sobre cómo convertirse en un padre de crianza con licencia, póngase en contacto con su agencia estatal de bienestar infantil.

Hotline for Parents

The Office of Refugee Resettlement operates a Parent Hotline 7 days per week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, for parents seeking to locate their children in ORR care. The Parent Hotline number is 1-800-203-7001.

La Oficina de Reasentamiento de Refugiados (ORR) opera una línea directa para los padres 7 días a la semana 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. ET, para los padres que tratan de localizar a sus hijos en el cuidado de la ORR. El número de línea directa es 1-800-203-7001.

Outside entities, attorneys, or other individuals seeking UAC case file information pertaining to a UAC or sponsor must make their request in writing to the ORR/DCS Division Director at Requests.DUCS@acf.hhs.gov. Requesting parties also must file an Authorization for Release of Records (ORR UAC/C-5), downloadable from here, according to the instructions on the form and include all supporting documentation as necessary. Requesting parties should not make a FOIA request for UAC case file information.

For more information about the Unaccompanied Children program, visit the June edition of Infórmate and visit the program page.


NEWS

Acting Assistant Mark Greenberg meets with Head Start mother.Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg meets with a Head Start mother at Rosemount Center in Washington, D.C. ACF has developed training resources and technical assistance protocols for Head Start and child care providers aimed at preventing transportation-related tragedies.National, Local Media Deliver ‘Look Before You Lock’ Message

More than a dozen news outlets attended the child safety press conference hosted by ACF and the Department of Transportation on July 24. ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in pushing the message of “Look Before You Lock,” to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving unattended children in cars. So far this year, 18 children in the United States have died due to heatstroke after being left in cars. For the past two years, ACF has been working with DOT and the nonprofit Safekids to raise the issue among Head Start and child care providers and families. Read more about the effort to keep kids in our programs safe: Children Left in Cars: Preventing Accidental Heatstroke.


SUCCESS STORIES

Image removed.From left to right: Kavin Gray, Denise Cruz and Jesus Garcia participated in the "Changes Lives: Stories from the War on Poverty" discussion on July 17.Personal Stories from the War on Poverty

The year marks the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty, and many current ACF programs were established in 1964 and 1965. ACF marks this historic anniversary special events in our central office for the following reasons:

  • Look back and look forward: Consider the conditions of poverty that were present in 1964 as compared to conditions that are present today, and expected conditions in the next 20-50 years. 
  • Identify what is working: Inform and educate ACF staff on effective, emerging and cutting-edge practices and research that reduces poverty and inequality, and expands opportunities for all Americans.
  • Inspire and engage ACF staff: Honor the service and role of ACF staff over the last 50 years and inspire and engage staff across all offices, both programmatic and administrative.

On July 17, ACF hosted a panel discussion "Changed Lives: Personal Stories from the War on Poverty," which focused on clients who benefited from our programs. Featured on the panel were Kavin Gray, Denise Cruz and Jesus Garcia. Gray spoke about the success he encountered with the Fatherhood Initiative, Cruz shared how her Migrant Head Start program put her on a path to success, and Garcia talked about how the precursor to TANF gave his family a second chance after a major illness ended a two-parent income household. Learn more about "Changed Lives: Personal Stories from the War on Poverty."


PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Photo of Hispanic Children at a Head Start Migrant Center in South Texas.

Migrant Head Start

The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program Visit disclaimer page provides comprehensive early care and education services for children of low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers from birth to age 5.  These center-based programs include health, parent involvement, and social services. Migrant Head Start provides nurturing environments to the country’s most vulnerable infants and toddlers. To qualify for this program families must be engaged in agricultural labor and either engage in seasonal agricultural labor, or have moved from another location in the preceding two year period.  Head Start staff in these Migrant programs ensure that farm workers’ children are safe and cared for while engaging in experiences that make them ready to succeed in school.

ACF recently announced the availability of $22 million in funds to be competitively awarded for the purpose of expanding access to high-quality, comprehensive services to low-income, migrant and seasonal infants and toddlers and their families through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, or through the expansion of Early Head Start services. ACF solicits applications from public entities, including states, or private non-profit organizations, including community-based or faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies that meet eligibility for applying as stated in section 645A of the Head Start Act. For more information, interested applicants should read the Funding Opportunity Announcement or visit http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/grants/ehs-ccp Visit disclaimer page . Deadline to apply is Monday, Oct. 6, 2014.


GRANTS

ACF programs have a variety of funding opportunities available to support social service programming at the state, local and tribal levels. Our grantees include:

  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • For-profit Organizations
  • Government
  • Educational Organizations
  • Public Housing Groups

ACF funds an array of activities that support the economic and social well-being of people throughout the country. Find out which ACF grants are available today: Funding Opportunities. To learn how to apply for a grant, view this guide to resources for community and faith-based organizations. To learn how to become a grant reviewer, view the ACF Grant Review Guide. To learn more about grant and funding opportunities within the individual ACF programs, visit these links:

Grants

  • Residential Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children: The Office of Refugee Resettlement/Division of Children's Services (ORR/DCS) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will accept cooperative agreements to administer the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program. ORR/DCS provides temporary shelter care and other related services to UACs in ORR custody. Shelter care services begin once ORR accepts a UAC for placement and ends when the minor is released from ORR custody, turns 18 years of age, or the minor’s immigration case results in a final disposition of removal from the United States. Shelter care and other related services are provided by State-licensed residential shelter care programs in the least restrictive setting appropriate for the UAC’s age and special needs. The majority of UAC are expected to remain in ORR custody between 30-35 days, but some will have a longer or shorter length of stay. ORR is announcing this funding opportunity to seek residential care providers. Care providers must be licensed by an appropriate State agency to provide residential, group, or foster care services for dependent children, including a program operating group homes, foster homes, or facilities for special needs minors. Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services: In order to improve both the effectiveness and operations of child support programs, to expand the application of behavioral economics to child support contexts through the development of promising interventions, and to build a culture of regular, rapid-cycle evaluation and critical inquiry in the child support community, the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) will award Behavioral Interventions in Child Support Services grants (BICS). BICS will be funded by Section 1115 funds awarded under cooperative agreements to state IV-D agencies to explore the potential relevance and application of behavioral economics principles to child support services. Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program: The Administration for Families and Children (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families' (ACYF) Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) will be accepting applications for the implementation of the Competitive Abstinence Education (CAE) program. The purpose of the CAE program is to provide funding for additional tools to address the rates of teen pregnancy among adolescent youth who are at greatest risk of sexually transmitted diseases/sexually transmitted infections (STD/STI) and most likely to bear children out of wedlock. Grantees under this program will be expected to develop a targeted and medically accurate approach to reducing teen pregnancies through abstinence education. Abstinence education programming is one intervention in a continuum of services that seeks to prevent teen pregnancy. Program plans will focus on the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by delaying initiation of sexual activity and engaging in healthy relationships. Deadline: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Technical Assistance Support Project: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announces the availability of funds for a National Center for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, hereafter referred to as the “National Center.” Approximately $3 million is available to be competitively awarded through a cooperative agreement for the purpose of supporting all newly awarded Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships grantees. Future funding is dependent upon the availability of funds. The goal of the National Center is to provide training, resources, and materials to federal staff, Office of Head Start (OHS) Regional training and technical assistance (T/TA) providers, State Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) Administrators, and Office of Child Care’s (OCC) Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN), as well as to orientations and state cluster trainings that support and promote implementation of quality services and practices across EHS-CC partnership settings. Deadline: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.
  • Demonstration Grants for Domestic Victims of Severe Forms of Human Trafficking: The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) will award approximately three cooperative agreements for 24 months to implement demonstration that will build and sustain coordinated services in partnership with allied professionals in community-based organizations such as runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking victim services programs. FYSB is particularly interested in applicants with experience serving victims of human trafficking in communities with evidence of high rates of human trafficking. Deadline to apply: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.
  • Early Head Start Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announces the availability of approximately $500 million to be competitively awarded for the purpose of expanding access to high-quality, comprehensive services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families through Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships, or through the expansion of Early Head Start services. ACF solicits applications from public entities, including states, or private non-profit organizations, including community-based or faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies that meet eligibility for applying as stated in section 645A of the Head Start Act. Deadline: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

EMPLOYMENT

Interested in Working with ACF?

ACF is working hard to increase diversity in its workforce and enhance the cultural competency of the agency, its employees and its contractors. One sure way to reach that goal is to hire more people from diverse backgrounds. Please visit www.usajobs.gov and search for vacancies in the Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services.

ACF Job Openings (partial list, for complete list visit usajobs.gov):

  • Field Program Specialist; Visit disclaimer page Office of Refugee Resettlement; GS-12; Salary: $69,497 to $101,866; Locations: Phoenix, AZ, Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Newark, NJ, New York, NY, Corpus Christi, TX, and San Antonio, TX; Deadline: Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.
  • Field Program Specialist; Visit disclaimer page Office of Refugee Resettlement; GS-12; Salary: $69,497 to $106,955; Locations: Tucson, AZ, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Dallas, TX, and Harlingen, TX; Deadline: Friday, Sept. 26, 2014.

HHS Job Openings. Apply here:

Are you a Federal Employee with Status? Apply here:

Are You a Student or Recent Graduate Who Wants to Work in the White House?

Interested in Student or Summer Internships in the Federal Government?


FUTURE EMAILS

Thank you for taking the time to learn about ACF opportunities. For more information, or to sign up a new recipient for Infόrmate, contact Special Assistant Jesus Garcia in the ACF Office of Public Affairs at jesus.garcia@acf.hhs.gov. For past issues, click on this link: Infόrmate.