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.
- Ensuring 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
- Child Care Bureau, administering state
child care programs.
- Preventing child abuse and domestic
- 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. HHS's programs are administered
by 11 operating divisions, including 8 agencies
in the U.S. Public Health Service and 3 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 data.
for Children and Families (ACF) is
a federal agency within HHS that funds
state, territorial, 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 bring about 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, and abilities.
NIFA partners with the Child Care Bureau,
Head Start Bureau, and Family and Youth Services
Bureau on a variety of issues. NIFA and
Cooperative Extension Services 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 serve as proposal reviewers and work
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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