Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS)
of Health and Human Services is the
U.S. government's principal agency for
protecting the health of all Americans
and providing essential human services,
especially for those who are least able
to help themselves. The department includes
more than 300 programs, covering a wide
spectrum of activities. Some highlights
that relate to child care, school-age care,
and teen out-of-school programs include:
- Medical and social science research.
- Preventing outbreak of infectious disease,
including immunization services.
- Assuring food and drug safety.
- Medicare (health insurance for elderly
and disabled Americans) and Medicaid (health
insurance for low-income people).
- Financial assistance and services for
- Improving maternal and infant health.
- Head Start (preschool education and services).
- Child Care Bureau, administering state
child care programs.
- Preventing child abuse and domestic violence.
- Substance abuse treatment and prevention.
HHS is the largest grant-making agency in
the federal government, providing some 60,000
grants per year. HHS' Medicare program is
the nation's largest health insurer, handling
more than 900 million claims per year. HHS
works closely with state, local, and tribal
governments. Many HHS-funded services are
provided at the local level by state, county,
or tribal agencies or through private sector
grantees. The Department's programs are administered
by 11 HHS operating divisions, including
eight agencies in the U.S. Public Health
Service and three human services agencies.
In addition to the services they deliver,
the HHS programs provide for equitable treatment
of beneficiaries nationwide, and they enable
the collection of national health and other
for Children and Families (ACF) is
a federal agency within HHS that funds
state, territory, local, and tribal organizations
to provide family assistance (welfare),
child support, child care, Head Start,
child welfare, and other programs relating
to children and families. Actual services
are provided by state, county, city, and
tribal governments, and by public and private
local agencies. ACF assists these organizations
through funding, policy direction, and
The ACF is responsible for federal programs
that promote the economic and social well-being
of families, children, individuals, and communities.
Their programs achieve the following:
- Families and individuals are empowered
to increase their own economic independence
- Strong, healthy supportive communities
have a positive impact on the quality of
life and the development of children.
- Partnerships with individuals, front-line
service providers, communities, American
Indian tribes, native communities, states,
and Congress enable solutions that transcend
traditional agency boundaries.
- Services are planned, reformed, and integrated
to improve needed access.
- There is commitment to working with people
with developmental disabilities, refugees,
and migrants to address their needs, strengths,
NIFA partners with the Child Care Bureau,
Head Start Bureau, and Family and Youth Services
Bureau on a variety of issues. NIFA and
CES provide information to the Child Care
Information Center. NIFA staff presents
plenary sessions, individual workshops, and
exhibits at the annual meetings of State
Child Care Administrators. NIFA staff serves
as proposal reviewers and works with the
research staff in developing national research
questions to be funded. NIFA also serves
as a liaison between Land-Grant University
System staff and HHS agencies by providing
opportunities for dialog and presentation.
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