The Children’s Bureau is the first Federal agency within the U.S. Government and, in fact, the first agency in the world, to focus exclusively on improving the lives of children and families. It recently celebrated a full century of progress on its centennial anniversary, April 9, 2012. The agency exists within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, which is within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). ACF is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. For more information, visit here.
This section provides several resources available on the Children’s Bureau Web site that may be helpful in providing more detail on child welfare programs, polices, and systems.
- Child welfare monitoring
To help States achieve positive outcomes for children and families, the Children's Bureau monitors State child welfare services through the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) assessment reviews, and the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) assessment reviews.
- Children’s Bureau programs
The Children's Bureau seeks to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children through leadership, support for necessary services, and productive partnerships with States, Tribes, and communities. It has the primary responsibility for administering Federal programs that support State child welfare services. Additionally, it provides matching Federal funds to States, Tribes, and communities to help them operate every aspect of their child welfare systems, including the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the support of permanent placements through adoption and subsidized guardianship, and the information systems necessary to support these programs. The funds for these programs come from multiple sources, which can be found here.
- Laws and policies
The Children's Bureau provides guidance to States, Tribes, child welfare agencies, and others on the complex and varied Federal laws as they relate to child welfare. This Web site includes links to the following sections: Child Welfare Policy Manual, Policy/Program Issuances, Federal Laws, Technical Bulletins, and Policy Resources.
- Federal reporting systems
The Children’s Bureau supports the development of State and Tribal child welfare reporting systems to enable the collection and analysis of important information about children and families and to improve case practice and management. This Web site includes links to information on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), and the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).
- Child Maltreatment 2010
This report presents national data about known child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States during Federal Fiscal year 2010. It also provides a link to multuple data tables as an aid to researchers and others who want to use the report's information.
- Focus areas
To achieve its mission of promoting safe and stable families, the Children's Bureau concentrates its efforts in eight distinct focus areas, including adoption, child abuse and neglect, child welfare, foster care, Child and Family Services Reviews, Tribal programs, Federal programs, and State programs. More information on these can accessed from this Web site.