Infórmate January 2015

Mark GreenbergDear Friends,

As we begin a New Year, I want to reiterate the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)’s commitment to addressing issues affecting Hispanics and narrowing existing gaps in services and policy.

Last year, I sent a clear message of our commitment to the Latino community by establishing the ACF Hispanic Initiative Work Group with high-level representatives from our programs and support offices. We are developing an agency-wide uniform response to the human and social service needs of the Hispanic population.  We are striving to incorporate lessons learned and best practices into the agency’s culture to inform ACF’s Hispanic Initiative efforts. 

• Addressing the Needs of our Diverse Hispanic Community

Last fall, I reminded principals about the need to include Hispanic and other underserved populations in the upcoming FOAs—to identify priority areas and promising approaches that will address the needs of our diverse Latino population.  Moreover, we have allocated funds to the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families to strengthen the responsiveness and effectiveness of ACF services and programs. The Center is currently researching and developing material regarding cultural competence, a national portrait of Hispanic families in need, small-scale data resources and tools to strengthen our programs’ and grantees’ capacities. 

• Promoting Diversity in Grant Review Panels

In the last few years, we have made efforts to increase the diversity of our grant reviewers through webinars, blogs, email blasts, etc.  We now want to document the effectiveness of these efforts.  Last October, I instructed office heads to include specific language regarding Diversity of Membership of Peer Review Panels in all recruitment material, and prospective candidates are being asked to voluntarily self-identify race/ethnic heritage in their applications.  We are diligently working to improve our agency-wide review panel process, and expect to develop a reliable baseline of the demographic background of our grant reviewers. 

To apply to become a grant reviewer, view the ACF Grant Review Guide (PDF).

• Supporting a Culturally Competent and Diverse Work Force

Appropriate Hispanic representation among ACF staff will enhance cultural awareness and competency among program offices, which in turn will ensure effective outreach and leadership in the delivery of quality human services to Latinos.  In recent years, sequestration and other budget considerations had limited the agency’s ability to seek new outside hires.  In the current fiscal year, however, we have been able to open new positions, and we are actively advertising these job openings among our Hispanic stakeholders. We are also looking to make ACF a better place to work for Hispanics and other underrepresented populations, making available opportunities for professional development.

• Strengthening National and Regional Outreach

We have made important strides, particularly through our Regional Offices, to strengthen the dialogue and engagement with Hispanic stakeholders, advocates and service providers.  We have coordinated site visits to Hispanic-serving organizations; scheduled   “meet and greet” meetings, round tables, workshops, webinars with/for local, regional and National stakeholders; disseminated information about employment opportunities, grants and other issues of interest; and translated important ACF information into Spanish.  We will soon re-launch our Hispanic Outreach webpage with additional resources and links for the Latino community in English and Spanish. 

• Providing Care to Nearly 60,000 Unaccompanied Children

ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) cared for over 58,000 unaccompanied children in FY 2014, the majority of whom were fleeing terrible violence in Central America. Despite the dramatic increase in children crossing the border in the last year, ORR cared for these children humanely and has released the vast majority to appropriate sponsors, typically a parent or relative.

I would like to thank Laura Irizarry for her tremendous work in leading the Hispanic Initiative and guiding our progress forward. In 2015, we will continue to develop and implement initiatives to ensure that ACF is reaching out to, representing and appropriately serving this critical and growing constituency. We welcome your thoughts, suggestions and comments about how we can strengthen your access to our services and programs. 

Finally, I invite you to learn more about the new White House Task Force on New Americans Visit disclaimer page , and learn about President Obama’s initiative to strengthen immigrant communities.

Feliz y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Mark Greenberg
Acting Assistant Secretary
  for Children and Families



The President’s Task Force on New Americans

Photo of President Obama delivering remarks on immigration in Las Vegas, Nov. 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete SouzThe President’s Task Force on New Americans and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invite you to participate in three listening sessions on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 from 1 to 2 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, from 1 to 2 p.m. (Eastern) and Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, from 1 to 2 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss federal strategies to strengthen the civic integration of new Americans.

On Nov. 21, 2014, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum Visit disclaimer page establishing a White House Task Force on New Americans, an interagency effort to develop a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate new Americans into communities.

During these listening sessions, Task Force members and USCIS officials will provide an overview of the Task Force on New Americans and seek your feedback on best practices or strategies for successfully integrating immigrants into local communities.

To register for these sessions, please follow the steps below:

  • Visit our registration page to confirm your participation
  • Enter your email address and select “Submit”
  • Select “Subscriber Preferences”
  • Select the “Event Registration” tab
  • Provide your full name and organization
  • Complete the questions and select “Submit”

Once we process your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details. If you have any questions about the registration process, or if you do not receive a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at

Note to the media: This engagement is not for press purposes. Please contact the USCIS Press Office at (202) 272-1200 for any media inquiries. If you have questions regarding the engagement or other stakeholder matters, please email us at

We look forward to engaging with you!



Image of Children with smiles and hands in the air.Nation Sees Reduction in Child Abuse and Neglect in Annual Child Welfare Report

For over 20 years the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) has monitored trends in child abuse and neglect reports and victims at the national and state levels based on voluntary reports from the states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Data for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 offer good news in the form of reduced rates of victimization from 9.3 to 9.1 per 1,000 children in the national population, less than one in every 100 children. The national estimate of victims of abuse and neglect also declined during that time to 679,000 in 2013, about 1,000 fewer than the previous year and 23,000 fewer than 2009. Child deaths from abuse and neglect were also reduced during this period to 1,520 in 2013, the lowest national estimate of deaths in the past five years. Read more about this annual report from JooYeun Chang, Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau.

Click here for the Annual Report (PDF). Click here for the ACF News Release.



Photo of Elena Miller-TerKuile, age 27, from La Jara, Colorado, on her farm.Elena’s #GetCovered Story: Pursuing Her Dream to Farm

The St. Luis Valley can be very cold and the life of a farmer here is not easy, but that has always been the dream for Elena Miller-TerKuile, 27, of La Jara, Colorado. Her family arrived in the valley in the 1860’s and was among the first Hispanic settlers to arrive. Elena is the sixth generation of a proud family of farmers. It was a hard dream to pursue without health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, she was able to stay on her parents’ plan until she turned 26, but when she aged off the plan, ACA allowed her to continue her dream to farm with an affordable health plan.




ACF's Anti-Trafficking Initiatives: Year in Review

Collage of male and female human trafficking victims with National Slavery & Human Trafficking Month in the middleAs ACF commemorates National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month this January, we reflect on some of the progress we have been able to achieve together in 2014:

  • Increased grant funding to community-based organizations
  • Increased identification of human trafficking cases
  • Increased government partnerships to coordinate action against human trafficking
  • Strengthened health care response to human trafficking; Increased transparency and community engagement
  • Increased transparency and community engagement

Learn more about ACF's role in combatting Human Trafficking



Hispanic/Latino parents with infant son.New Hispanic Center Website Launch, Brief Release, and Webinar Announcement

Big news from our friends at the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families Visit disclaimer page . The center just launched a new website Visit disclaimer page , released a research report, The Complex and Varied Households of Low-Income Hispanic Children Visit disclaimer page , and announced a webinar scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 1:30-2:30pm ET. The webinar will focus on family formation and household structure and complexity among low-income Hispanic families, and will feature speakers from research, program, and policy areas. Please visit the new site to learn more about the Center and these new resources, and be sure to check out the Center’s new blog, Hispanic Voices. We encourage you to share these resources with your networks.



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 (and in Español). To learn more about grant and funding opportunities within the individual ACF programs, visit these links:



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 Visit disclaimer page 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 Visit disclaimer page ):

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?



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 Visit disclaimer page in the ACF Office of Public Affairs at Visit disclaimer page . For past issues, click on this link: Infόrmate