Infórmate October 2013

Mark GreenbergDear Friends,

Over the past two-and-a-half years, many of you have worked closely with former Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. He is a warm and caring leader who has left an indelible mark on this agency. We thank George Sheldon for the wisdom, kindness, compassion, and commitment to children and families that he brought in his time at ACF.

I have been privileged to be a part of President Obama’s Administration since 2009. The Administration has elevated the discussion of how best to ensure every child and every family has the opportunity to lead a better, more productive life. The work of HHS and ACF is central to that effort. I’m now honored to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for ACF, and as Acting Commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF).

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate ACF’s commitment to improving the well-being of Hispanic/Latino children, families and communities. In the past few years, we have strengthened outreach to Hispanic/Latino stakeholders and providers; strengthened programs and research targeting underserved/underrepresented populations; and supported a diverse workforce. We have enhanced and raised the level of engagement around issues affecting Hispanics and other underserved populations. While we have accomplished much, we have tremendous opportunities to do more to advance the President’s goal that a little girl or boy born into the bleakest poverty should know that they have the same chance to succeed as anybody else.

Last Spring, we convened a roundtable at the White House with representatives from  national advocacy organizations and geographically diverse Hispanic non-profit organizations and service providers to discuss the impact of federal human services policy and programs on the Latino community. We have integrated your concerns and suggestions into our Hispanic Initiative; and have continued to strengthen our efforts to better serve you. For example:

  • ACF has recently established a Center for Research on Hispanic Children and Families, which will advance understanding of poverty and self-sufficiency, marriage and relationships, fatherhood, child care and early education among Hispanic children and families;
  • Earlier this year, we rolled out ACF en Español, which included the translated Resource Guide, Programs Directory and other selected documents and web pages. ACF is currently developing an agency-wide language assistance plan, which will ensure meaningful access to ACF programs and activities by  people with limited English proficiency; and
  • During FY 2014, our Regional Offices will be coordinating capacity building workshops on Grant Writing for local Hispanic-serving organizations.  We will continue to offer webinars in English and Spanish on issues such as the Affordable Care Act, Human Trafficking and others.

Over the past four years, I have met and worked with many of you. I look forward to working with you all to continue improving our programs and building on our successes on behalf of all Americans.

ACF is committed to programs and initiatives that better reflect the diverse priorities and experiences of the Latino population.  As we continue to expand and refine programming to assist vulnerable Hispanic families all across the country, we want to hear from you regarding our efforts and what else is needed. Laura Irizarry, my special assistant, chairs ACF’s Hispanic Initiative. Please email her at Visit disclaimer page or call her at (202) 401-5967.

Mark Greenberg
Acting Assistant Secretary
  for Children and Families

Photo of former Acting Assistant Secretary Sheldon, HHS Secretary Sebelius, Acting Assistant Secretary Greenberg and ACF Chief oHHS bids farewell to an ACF leader: (Left to right) Former Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, new Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg and ACF Chief of Staff Mike McCauley. HHS Secretary Sebelius and ACF employees said goodbye to Sheldon on Oct. 18. To learn more about our new acting assistant secretary, please visit his biography.







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



Center for Research on Hispanic Children and Families Established

ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation has established a Center for Research on Hispanic Children and Families. The center will lead and support investigation of the needs of Hispanic populations served by ACF and promising approaches to promote social and economic well-being among low-income Hispanic families. Specifically, the center will advance understanding of poverty and self-sufficiency, marriage and relationships, fatherhood, child care and early education among Hispanic children and families. OPRE has awarded a grant for the center to Child Trends, in collaboration with Abt Associates. Lina Guzman at Child Trends and Michael Lopez at Abt Associates will lead the center.

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico Awarded Human Services Research Partnership Grant

OPRE has awarded a grant for human services research partnerships focusing on Puerto Rico. This grant will support partnerships among researchers, local governments, and community-based organizations to define and address research questions regarding the social and economic well-being of low-income children and families in Puerto Rico. The grant is intended to improve understanding of the most promising human services approaches, with particular focus on topics related to Head Start and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. OPRE awarded this grant to the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Carmen Nazario and Hector Cordero-Guzman will lead the project.



Health Care Reform is more than just a website. There are four basic ways you can apply for and enroll in Marketplace coverage:



Partnership for Freedom logo which shows two hands, a figure of a person and the words modern solutions to modern slavery.New Award Competition Opens for Solutions to Modern Slavery

Recently, the White House and HHS joined partner agencies to launch the Partnership for Freedom to help find modern solutions to combat modern day slavery. The partnership announced a competition, "Reimagine: Opportunity," the first of three competitions to identify, incubate and pilot the most innovative and sustainable solutions to victim services. ACF encourages wide participation from all sectors across communities to respond to the challenge. Winners will receive funding to bring their ideas to life. Groundbreaking ideas that address three critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors on the path to recovery (sustainable housing, economic empowerment and social services) are due Sunday, Nov. 17. To learn more about the competition, visit Reimagine: Opportunity.



Image removed.Three New Regional Administrators Hired at ACF

ACF is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Regional Administrators in its Office of Regional Operations (ORO). Essey Workie will lead Region 3 in Philadelphia, Nancy Thoma Groetken will lead Region 7 in Kansas City and Robert Garcia (pictured on the right) will lead Region 9 in San Francisco.  Coming from diverse backgrounds, these new RAs embody the traits and skill sets necessary to lead our regional offices. ORO advises the Assistant Secretary on all strategic operational activities related to implementation of the agency's programs at the regional level. ORO consists of a headquarters office and 10 regional offices that serve states, territories, tribes, and other grantees in their geographical areas. If you have an outreach idea or would like to meet with ACF leaders in your area, contact your office:

  • Region 1 – Boston (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
  • Region 2 – New York City (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands)
  • Region 3 – Philadelphia (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia)
  • Region 4 – Atlanta (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
  • Region 5 – Chicago (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
  • Region 6 – Dallas (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
  • Region 7 – Kansas City (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska)
  • Region 8 – Denver (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming)
  • Region 9 – San Francisco (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau)
  • Region 10 – Seattle (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington)



Photo of the Castillo Family sitting in their living room.Meet The Castillos: Family to 12 Children Over the Last 19 Years

Adoptive parents Rudy and Michele Castillo share their experiences of family traditions, vacations and welcome dinners bestowed on each child who enters the Castillo home. Read their story: Meet The Castillo Family. "We have been foster parents for 19 years now. We consider all of our foster children as part of our family. Many come back to visit and share in our family traditions and holidays. It has been a wonderful experience to help children that are in need, and to provide them a loving family setting," said the Castillos.

Are you interested in adopting a child? Get to know:

To learn more about becoming a family, visit the foster page Visit disclaimer page or adoption page Visit disclaimer page .




Photo of a piggy bank with a dollar sticking out.Assets for Independence helps families and individuals save for a home or education

Americans working to achieve financial security will get much-needed assistance through Assets for Independence, a program funded by ACF's Office of Community Services. ACF will award 45 grants totaling $12.6 million to community-based organizations that have designed programs to complement the efforts of individuals and families who have taken the initiative to save money. AFI grants use existing individual and community assets to give individuals access to savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Each dollar deposited into an IDA receives a match of $1 to $8 from federal and private sector resources. Individuals in the program also receive financial education to help in their path to become financially self-sufficient. Visit AFI's website to get more information on the AFI program. Visit this link for the list of grantees.




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 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:

New Grants

Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Homes: The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) through the Transitional Living Program (TLP) and for Maternity Group Homes (MGH) provide an alternative to involving RHY in the law enforcement, child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice systems.  Each TLP must provide a safe and appropriate shelter for up to 21 months of services with adult supervision, life and interpersonal skill building, career counseling and job skills, counseling, and medical care as appropriate.  MGHs provide the same services as a TLP in addition to providing parenting instructions and child care.  Other services that are offered include, but are not limited to, transportation, family planning, abstinence education and pregnancy prevention services. Deadline: Jan. 15, 2014. Apply today: Visit disclaimer page

Head Start and/or Early Head Start Grantee - Lucas County, Ohio: This funding announcement replaces HHS-2014-ACF-OHS-CH-R05-0768 and now offers applicants the opportunity to apply for Early Head Start funding to support services to infants, toddlers and pregnant women, as well as Head Start, in Lucas County, Ohio. Through this announcement, the Administration for Children and Families solicits applications from public or private non-profit organizations, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit organizations that seek to provide a high-quality, comprehensive birth-to-five program incorporating both Head Start and Early Head Start funding, or to provide for Head Start only or Early Head Start only, to children and families residing in Lucas County, Ohio. Funds in the amount of $12,233,037 annually will be available to provide Head Start and/or Early Head Start program services to eligible children and their families.  Interested applicants may email the OHS Operations Center at for additional information. Deadline to Apply: Dec. 2, 2013. Apply today: Visit disclaimer page




Interested in working with ACF?

ACF is working hard to 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. 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.

Currently there are no ACF job vacancies available for the general public as of Oct. 28, 2013. Please check back soon. However, there are several HHS opportunities available at our sister agencies. Here are a few:

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

  • White House Fellow
  • White House Internship

Interested in Student or Summer Internships in the Federal Government?

  • Student Internships:



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, click on this link: Infόrmate.