March 2014 Infórmate


President Releases His Fiscal Year 2015 Budget



On March 4, President Barack Obama spent his morning at Powell Elementary in Washington, D.C., unveiling his fiscal year 2015 budget, which includes a significant boost to early childhood development. The president chose the elementary school because of its excellent early childhood education program, which he hopes to replicate across the nation.

“We know -- and this is part of the reason why we’re here today -- that education has to start at the earliest possible ages. So this budget expands access to the kind of high-quality preschool and other early learning programs to give all of our children the same kinds of opportunities that those wonderful children that we just saw are getting right here at Powell,” Pres. Obama said.

Along with expanding childhood education, his budget includes expansion of tax credits to help families afford child care services and more funding to help support victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Learn more about the president’s FY 2015 Budget.

For a specific view of ACF programs, visit a breakdown of ACF's budget request. ACF's request, including both mandatory (pre-appropriated and entitlement) and discretionary programs, totals $51.3 billion in budget authority – an increase of $157 million from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.  

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





Photo of Maria Cancian, Ph.D., nominated to be the next Assistant Secretary for Children and Families.President Nominates Cancian for ACF Assistant Secretary            

On Feb. 12, President Obama nominated Visit disclaimer page Maria Cancian, Ph.D. to be the next Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Cancian is currently a professor and administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW).  She has served as Associate Dean for Fiscal Initiatives at UW’s College of Letters and Science since 2012 and as Associate Dean for Social Sciences since 2011.  As Associate Dean Visit disclaimer page , Cancian leads fiscal policy development and planning for a college of 22,000 students with 2,000 faculty and staff. Over the years, much of Cancian's programmatic work has focused on issues related to TANF and child support.






Map of the United States with states in different shades of blue with the words: At a Glance: Foster Care Entry Rate, Quick LinkVisit the Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site for Fast, Customizable Data Reports!

Since its launch in December 2010, the Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site Visit disclaimer page has been providing child welfare-related data to consumers in the field, including caseworkers, child welfare directors, researchers, legislators and news media. This Children’s Bureau-sponsored site features data from the Child Welfare Outcomes Report to Congress, an annual report that assesses state performance in operating child protection and child welfare programs. The written reports present performance in seven outcome categories, which evaluate issues related to child safety, permanency, and well-being. The Child Welfare Outcomes Reports also include data on contextual factors relevant to the outcome measures.

Sharon Newburg-Rinn, who has served as the lead researcher for the project for the past several years, notes, “For many years, the Child Welfare Outcomes Reports have been an important source of information for policymakers.” Child welfare policymakers, researchers and other experts in the field have historically used data from the reports to inform decisions related to improving practice and producing better outcomes for vulnerable children and families. Prior to the existence of the website, however, Child Welfare Outcomes report data were only available through the written reports. The full reports are valuable because they provide information to supplement the state data, including findings from analyses across states as well as interpretive text. However, the data site allows for a significantly faster release of the data, making it available six to nine months earlier than the full reports.

During its brief history, the data site has undergone several enhancements. New website features allow users to download their data into Excel spreadsheets and to produce printer-friendly outputs. Most recently, the website has been updated with a new reporting feature that increases capabilities for viewing race/ethnicity data. Users can now create data reports using the following two race/ethnicity breakdown options:

  • The “traditional” breakdown, in which race and ethnicity are treated as mutually exclusive categories; when a child is reported as Hispanic, the child is removed from reporting for any of the race categories (white, black, etc.), or
  • The new “alternative” breakdown, in which race and ethnicity are reported as two separate categories; they are not mutually exclusive, and counts for both race and ethnicity can be reported for the state.

“Now the data from this report rise to a new level of value,” says Newburg-Rinn, “due to their earlier availability on the data site as well as the flexibility of the customized tables that can be produced and downloaded to meet the user’s needs.”

This new, customizable feature allows stakeholders to look at race and ethnicity in a more detailed manner that is reflective of the diversity of those served by child welfare systems. Visitors to the site can view one state’s data or simultaneously compare data outputs for multiple states of their choosing. Users can run analyses on the specific measures and the particular year or years that they need to examine. Once the states, variables, and reporting years are selected, users can choose to view the results from their analyses in map, graph, or table formats.

The Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site allows users to view data and statistics according to their own unique needs. With concern in recent years about the disproportionate representation of children of color in child welfare, it is especially important to have data available that allow users to more precisely distinguish between the race and ethnicity populations within the states.

Users can access the Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site here: Visit disclaimer page



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



Photo of a teenage girl talking on the phone.Foster Youth Help Improve Child Welfare System

The Children’s Bureau, which oversees foster care and adoption in the United States, launched a new set of videos on YouTube Visit disclaimer page to help promote an ongoing national survey of America’s foster youth. The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), launched in 2010, tracks the outcomes of foster youth during their transition to adulthood at ages 17, 19 and 21. The NYTD survey marks the first time foster youth nationwide are being asked what worked in foster care, what didn’t, and what they would change for the better. Read more about the database.



Photo of a young toddler girl playing with colorful blocks.Head Start Birth-to-Five pilot shows strong push for earlier care and education

Fifteen organizations in five communities – Baltimore, Detroit, Jersey City, N.J., and Sunflower County, Miss., and Washington D.C. – have entered negotiations to receive federal funding as part of a new Birth-to-Five pilot for Head Start and Early Head Start services. Originally announced last year, the pilot aims to give communities greater flexibility in designing Head Start and Early Head Start programs to better serve the needs of young children and communities from birth until they enter pre-k or kindergarten. Read more about the pilot program.






Photo of Edwin hugging his mother.Edwin’s Story

My name is Edwin and I am 12 years old. I am in the 7th grade. It makes me feel very happy that I am part of a family. My mom has changed my life. I now feel confident and happy. I know that someone loves me in this world and I can rely on someone. I am very grateful. I am proud that I was adopted, my friends and community know and I am not ashamed. Adoption doesn’t change who I am as a person. Adoption provides a better future for a child. Learn more about adoption.



Photo of a teenage runaway leaning against a wall covered by grafitti.40 Years of Impact: The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act

Forty years ago this year, Congress passed the landmark Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. Jim Pearce remembers the days before the Act, when young people who had run away or been found on the streets were routinely locked up—simply for not being where adults thought they should be. Learn more about the program.





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:



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. Current jobs available at HHS include (as of March 10, 2014):

HHS Job Openings (partial list, for complete list visit Visit disclaimer page ):

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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.