|Formed||April 15, 1991|
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters||Mary E. Switzer Memorial Building|
Washington, D.C., United States
|Parent department||U.S. Department of Health and Human Services|
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Children and Families. It has a $49 billion budget for 60 programs that target children, youth and families. These programs include assistance with welfare, child support enforcement, adoption assistance, foster care, child care, and child abuse.
"The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides national leadership and creates opportunities for families to lead economically and socially productive lives. ACF's programs are designed to help children to develop into healthy adults and communities to become more prosperous and supportive of their members."
ACF is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. ACF programs aim to achieve the following:
For fiscal year 2006, ending September 30, 2006, Congress appropriated $50 million for state grants for abstinence education programs. Such programs teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease, and give no instruction on birth control or safe sex. In October 2006, revised guidelines by ACF specified that states seeking grants are "to identify groups ... most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range". Previous guidelines didn't mention specific ages, and programs focused on preteens and teens.
ACF also administers the Community-Based Abstinence Education Program, which is focused on funding public and private entities that provide abstinence-until-marriage education for adolescents from 12 to 18 years old. For fiscal year 2005, 63 grants were awarded, totaling $104 million to organizations and other entities; in fiscal 2001, grants totaled only $20 million. In October 2006, the Government Accountability Office reported that ACF does not review its grantees' education materials for scientific accuracy and does not require grantees of either program to review their own materials for scientific accuracy. GAO also reported that most of the efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs included in GAO's review have not met certain minimum scientific criteria.