Infórmate - January 2013

Acting Assistant Secretary George SheldonActing Assistant Secretary George Sheldon gets his flu shot at Health and Human Services’ Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C.

As you know the nation is in the grips of an early flu season, with elevated activity nationwide.  One of your best protections against the flu is to get the flu vaccine. We encourage our community leaders to help get the word out about getting vaccinated.

While many have received the vaccine this year, many have not.  Please bear in mind that the vaccine not only protects you, it also protects your loved ones and others around you.  So for those of you who are asking, “Is it too late?” The answer is “No, It’s Not Too Late to Vaccinate.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone aged six months and older should get a flu shot in order to decrease their risk of getting sick.  You may need to call around to find the vaccine, since some vaccine providers may have exhausted their supplies, while others may have remaining supplies of vaccine.  However, it is worth the investment of time to do so.  Here is a helpful tool - the Flu Vaccine Finder Visit disclaimer page .

What else can you do to protect yourself and others from the flu? These steps can lower your risk:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

The flu is a serious illness and the season is likely to continue for several more weeks, so it’s important to take continued precautions.  Learn more at Visit disclaimer page

For weekly updates on ACF programs, visit our blog the ACF Family Room.


A black and white photo of a boy standing outside in the middle of a field.Expanding Early Care and Education for Homeless Children

More than 1.6 million children in the United States live on the streets or in homeless shelters. ACF is providing resources for ways to look at how Head Start and child care providers can increase early care and education services for children who are homeless.

Several federal policies and programs are already in place to strengthen the ability of early care and education (ECE) providers to serve young children experiencing homelessness.

Providers have been given the following information to expand access to children experiencing homelessness:

  • Letter from the Administration of Children and Families, the Office of Head Start, and the Office of Child Care
  • Policies and Procedures to Increase Access to ECE Services for Homeless Children and Families
  • Strategies for Increasing ECE Services for Homeless Children
  • Early Childhood and Family Homelessness Resource List

Visit the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) to download additional information.


A photo of Rep. Karen Bass and Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon participating in a press call in a congressional officeFoster Youth School Records Now Accessible to Advocates

U.S. Representative Karen Bass (left), who represents the 33rd District in California’s Los Angeles area joins Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon on a press call to discuss the Uninterrupted Scholars Act.



On Jan. 15, ACF Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon joined Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and a former foster youth at a press conference call touting President Barack Obama’s signing of the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA).

USA allows child welfare agencies access to education records of children within their care.  USA is a common sense, no-cost legislative fix that will have a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of foster children across the country, which includes more than 50,000 Hispanic children according to fiscal year 2011 numbers. The legislation was a bipartisan act of cooperation which puts the needs of children first.

Previously, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) made it difficult for child welfare agencies to obtain education records in a timely fashion, causing many foster youth to have to complete the same coursework multiple times and graduate late. This resulted in too many foster youth choosing to drop out of school.

By granting child welfare agencies access to foster youth school records, USA is providing these youth with additional advocates who will ensure they have what they need to succeed academically while preserving the educational privacy rights granted to students under current federal law.

Read about a foster youth’s experience Visit disclaimer page of not being able to easily transfer from school to school.


Image removed.Early Childhood Development

The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program aims to improve the quality of early learning and development and close the achievement gap for children with high needs.

ACF’s Early Childhood Development office and the Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning Visit disclaimer page work closely to guide and oversee the work of RTT-ELC.

RTT-ELC grants focus on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting each state's efforts to:

  • Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs
  • Design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services
  • Ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council's reports on early childhood

In December, five more states secured grants to improve their work in these areas.

Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin will each receive a share of the 2012 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge $133 million grant fund. The five winners join nine existing state grantees Visit disclaimer page that secured first-round funding last year.

Read more by visiting this link: Five More States Secure Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grants Visit disclaimer page .


ACF programs have a variety of funding opportunities available to support social service programming at the state, local and tribal levels. Our grantees include non-profit and for-profit organizations and government, educational and 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 Visit disclaimer page are available today: Funding Opportunities. To learn how to apply for a grant, view this guide to resources for community and faith-based organizations (PDF) Visit disclaimer page .

To learn more about grant and funding opportunities within the individual ACF programs, visit this links:


Interested in working with ACF?

ACF is working hard to enhance the cultural competence of the agency, its employees and its contractors. One sure way to reach that goal is to hire more people from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to increasing diversity in the ACF workforce. Please visit Visit disclaimer page and search for vacancies in the Administration for Children and Families within the Health and Human Services Department.

Current Vacancies for General Public:

Program Specialist (Health), GS-0301-12/12
Open Period: 1/10/2013 to 1/23/2013
Location: Washington, D.C.
Salary: $74,872.00 - $97,333.00 / Per Year
Series and Grade: GS-0301-12/12
Position Info: Full Time-Permanent
Control Number: 334799100
JOA Number: HHS-ACF-DE-13-817256
Description: As a Program Specialist  in the Division of Refugee Health (DRH), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) you will provide support and assist in developing, implementing, and administerin DRH programs and initiatives, including providing advice based on expertise in planning and managing issues related to improving the quality of medical services.

Auditor, GS-0511-14/14
Open Period: 1/9/2013 to 1/24/2013
Location: Washington DC, District of Columbia
Salary: $47,448.00 - $68,809.00 / Per Year
Series and Grade: GS-0511-14/14
Position Info: Full Time-Permanent
Control Number: 335276000
JOA Number: HHS-ACF-DE-13-821888
Description: As an Auditor within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration (OA), Office of Financial Services (OFS), Division of Financial Integrity (DFI), you will serve as the national expert for ACF’s annual financial statement audit, internal control and other financial management activities.

Supervisory Auditory, GS-0511-14
Open Period: 12/12/2012 to 1/28/2013
Location: Washington, D.C.
Salary: $105,211.00 to $136.771.00/Per Year
Series and Grade: GS-0511-14/14
Position Info: Full Time-Permanent
Control Number: 332543000
JOA Number: HHS-ACF-DE-13-798424
Description: As a Supervisory Auditory in the Administration for Children and Families, you will support a wide range of financial management functions.

Child Care Program Specialist, GS-0101-09/11
Open Period: 1/10/2013 to 1/29/2013
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Salary: $47,448.00 - $68,809.00 / Per Year
Series and Grade: GS-0101-09/11
Position Info: Full Time-Permanent
Control Number: 334734000
JOA Number: HHS-ACF-DE-13-814252
Description: As a Child Care Program Specialist you will develop, collect, maintain, and disseminate information essential to child care or related, education and social service programs.

Already a Federal Worker? See current vacancies for status candidates:

Program Health Specialist, GS-0301-12, Washington, D.C., Deadline Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Auditor, GS-0511-14, Washington, D.C., Deadline Thursday, January 24, 2013

Management & Program Analyst, GS-0343-09, Washington, D.C., Deadline Friday, January 25, 2013

Supervisory Auditor, GS-0511-14, Washington, D.C., Deadline Monday, January 28, 2013



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 Visit disclaimer page .

For past issues of Infόrmate, click on this link.