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SW 313: Social Welfare Policy: Federal Agencies and Committees

Federal Executive Agencies

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
Oversees social and human services programs through its agencies listed below.

Administration for Children & Families (ACF)
This HHS agency is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. It oversees numerous programs and administers TANF, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, the state-federal welfare program. The ACF has four major bureaus:

Children's Bureau
The oldest federal agency responsible for children, it assists the States in the delivery of child welfare services. Important links include: Laws & Policies and Research, Data, and Technology. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to numerous publications that deal with child abuse, child welfare, and adoption

Office of Child Care
This bureau administers federal funds to states, territories, and tribes to assist low-income families in accessing quality child care for children.

Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)
The FYSB supports local communities in providing services and opportunities to young people, particularly runaway and homeless youth.

Office of Head Start (formerly Head Start Bureau)
Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families with the goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.

Administration on Community Living (ACL) 
Part of HHS, the ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and the HHS Office on Disability.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 
This HHS agency conducts scientific research that provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes, access, quality and cost, and use.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 
Formerly the Health Care Financing Administration, the centers administer Medicare and Medicaid programs and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 
The mission of the HRSA is to assure the availability of quality health care to low- income, uninsured, isolated, vulnerable and special needs populations. Key programs include HIV/AIDS services, maternal and child health, and rural health policy.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 
SAMHSA is the HHS agency that focuses on the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental disorders. Included are links to statistics and data, workplace resources, mental health services, and addiction treatment.

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
This office focuses on welfare, poverty, service delivery issues, data for research, and policies affecting children, youth and families. This is an important source of information on policy and legislative developments.

U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development 
This federal department oversees and supports community development, access to affordable housing programs, homelessness programs, etc. Useful links include those to homelessness, information by state, and the online library.

Social Security Online 
This is the official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration. From a policy perspective, the links to the history of the social security program and in particular, its legislative history, are informative.

Federal Legislative Agencies | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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