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What We Do

The Office of Regional Operations (ORO) advises the Assistant Secretary on state relations and cross-cutting, results-based strategic initiatives at the regional level, leveraging public-private partnerships to improve outcomes for children and families. Working as an arm of the ACF Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, the Regional Administrators serve as spokespersons for the Assistant Secretary and work with regional teams to lead strategic initiatives and emergency preparedness and response activities in partnership with states, counties, community and faith-based organizations, researchers, the philanthropic sector, businesses and other stakeholders.

ORO is comprised of a headquarters office and 10 regional offices that serve states, territories, tribes, and other grantees in their geographical areas. ORO responds and adapts to ACF, HHS, and Administration priorities and functions as the eyes and ears of ACF leadership in the regions. ORO provides the contextual understanding of the region, states and local communities to inform program and policy.


  • Represents the Assistant Secretary in the regions, with state and territory human services commissioners and other national, tribal, regional and local leadership.
  • Provides leadership and implements high priority, cross-cutting, results-based strategic initiatives and public-private partnerships to support ACF priorities and state and local reform efforts.
  • Oversees regional emergency response and emergency repatriation through state relations and supervision of Regional Emergency Management Specialists.
  • Provides regional leadership, communication and coordination for ACF staff in the regional offices and partners with other HHS operating divisions, federal agencies, states, tribes, territories, cities, and communities.

A high priority for all ORO regions is putting families at the center of health and human services to increase economic mobility, family self-sufficiency, and employment. This work is done in partnership with ACF program offices and federal partners. Other priorities include advancing prevention in child welfare, aligning efforts to prevent youth and family homelessness with new Administration priorities, supporting HHS efforts around the opioid crisis, disseminating promising strategies to prevent human trafficking, and supporting response to unaccompanied children.

ORO engages national human services stakeholder groups, national, regional, and state philanthropic organizations as thought partners to support ACF priorities. ORO meets with stakeholder groups on a regular basis about human service integration and interoperability issues that promote more efficient and effective service delivery for vulnerable and low-income children and families served by ACF programs.

Last Reviewed: October 23, 2020

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