Week 2 Assignment #1 Joseph Brown
Week 2 Assignment #1 Joseph Brown PRG211
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Date Created: 11/11/15
RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 1 Rational for Agency Selected Week 2 Assignment #1 Joseph Brown Dr. Valerie Richardson PAD599 January 18, 2014 RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 2 Introduction 0555535235 The governmental agency selected for this analysis is the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Health and Human Services is comprised of various internal departments. More specifically, I will detail the mission, vision, values, and objectives of the Administration for Children & Families. Also included, are three functions the agency performs for their targeted population and; two current events involving the agency. Lastly, the rationale for selecting this agency will be provided in this analysis. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States 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. HHS is headed by the Secretary who is the chief managing officer for our family of agencies, including 11 operating divisions, 10 regional offices, as well as the Office of the Secretary (hhs.gov). Moreover, the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. ACF promotes the economic and social wellbeing of families, children, individuals and communities through a range of programs. ACF’s programs serve a wide variety of groups, including individuals and families with low income, refugees, Native Americans, and many others. To carry out its mission, ACF awards grants to state and local governments, nonprofit groups, faith and communitybased organizations, American Indian tribes, and Native American communities. ACF provides technical assistance, guidance, and overall supervision to grant recipients that, in turn, are responsible for direct delivery of services. The mission, vision, values, and objectives of ACF are as follows: RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 3 Mission Statement To foster health and wellbeing by providing federal leadership, partnership and resources for the compassionate and effective delivery of human services. Vision Children, youth, families, individuals and communities who are resilient, safe, healthy, and economically secure. Values “Dedication” to promoting hope and opportunity for those in need of human services, “Excellence” in our performance, exemplified by innovations and solutions that are anchored in available evidence, build knowledge and transcend boundaries, “Professionalism” in the manner in which we provide services, the attitude we bring, the relationships we build, and our commitment to the mission of the Administration for Children and Families, “Integrity” of the Administration for Children and Families as an organization, personified in ethical conduct by each of us, “Stewardship” of the resources entrusted to us by the people of the United States and accountability for and transparency in our actions as public servants, “Respect” for those we serve, with whom we work and with whom we partner. Objectives “Empower families and individuals” to increase their economic independence and productivity, “Encourage strong, healthy, supportive communities” that have a positive impact on quality of life and the development of children, RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 4 “Create partnerships” with frontline service providers, states, localities and tribal communities to identify and implement solutions that transcend traditional program boundaries, “Improve access to services” through planning, reform and integration, “Address the needs, strengths and abilities of vulnerable populations” including people with developmental disabilities, refugees and migrants (acf.hhs.gov). Functions of the Agency The ACF utilizes resourceful and bounteous functions to serve children and families. Some functions provided, but are not limited to, are the services of: Office of Family Assistance (OFA), Early Childhood Development (ECD), and Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). The Office of Family Assistance administers several key federal grant programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF) program. TANF programs help families’ foster economically secure households and communities for the wellbeing and long term success of children and families. TANF grants are issued to states, territories and tribes to implement programs that best serve their distinct communities. States, territories and tribes may use TANF funds to provide cash assistance to families with children. The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development (ECD) promotes a joint approach to improving the availability of high quality early learning and development programs. They are made up of the Office of Head Start, the Office of Child Care, and the Interagency Team. In addition to providing coordination across Head Start and Child Care, they manage early childhood development efforts with other offices within the Department of Health and Human Services. They also work with other federal RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 5 agencies, state and tribal councils and administrators, and a wide range of national organizations and nonprofit partners. These interagency, collaborative programs and communications help ensure a complete and integrated approach to improving the nation’s childhood learning and development. This is why the Office of Child Support Enforcement is very importance to the Mission and goals of the ACF. OCSE partners with federal, state, tribal, and local governments and others to promote parental responsibility so that children receive support from both parents, even when they live in separate households. According to Mr. Paul Rambze, “The National Child Support Program is one of the largest incomesupport programs for families, contributing money to family budgets to help pay for the basics shelter, food, child care, transportation, and school clothes’ (OCSE, Interviewed January 17, 2014). Child support makes a big difference to children. Lastly, OCSE does not provide services directly to families. Instead, they help child support agencies in the states and tribes develop, manage and operate their programs effectively and according to federal law (acf.hhs.gov/programs). Current Events Current events pertaining to an agency can endeavor to provide more awareness, while also garnering copious supporters to help further the initiative. Further, a recent noteworthy current event from the Department of Health and Human Services is the launching of Family Engagement Inventory. Family engagement is recognized as a core ingredient to success and improved outcomes for children and families across the human services and education fields. According to Allen Benzuski from the Public Assistance Reporting Information System of the AC&F, “Child Welfare Information Gateway, the information service of the Children's Bureau, RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 6 is developing an interactive Family Engagement Inventory (FEI) microsite that will be launched in 2014” (Interviewed January 17, 2014). This dynamic site will focus on family engagement in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, early childhood education, and education. The FEI will highlight how family engagement is defined and implemented across disciplines and aims to promote understanding and crosssystem collaboration by providing practical information to those working directly with families, managing programs, and leading systems (cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov). Another current event is the misuse of welfare benefits at ATMs. Last week Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced that some state residents have been withdrawing welfare money from ATMs located in liquor stores and other restricted places. The revelations come at a time when states across the country are trying to comply with a 2012 federal law that restricts how welfare recipients spend public money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In most states, including Maine, welfare recipients have Electronic Benefit Transfer cards that function like debit cards and allow them to withdraw cash at ATMs. A federal law enacted in 2012 banned the cards’ use at liquor stores, casinos and businesses that provide adult entertainment. All states must demonstrate how they intend to meet the required ATM withdrawal restrictions by Feb. 22, 2014, or face a reduction in their TANF block grant funding (Wogen, 2014). Rationale I selected The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families for two reasons. First, I possess a genuine interest in the welfare of children. I solely believe that is our responsibility to provide assistance for these innocent children. RATIONALE FOR AGENCY SELECTED 7 Secondly, I firmly believe in ACFs vision and core values. Lastly, given the magnanimous amount of children and families serviced, I postulate that our consulting firm can aide in increasing the effectiveness and the efficiency of the Administration for Children and Families. References Administration for Children and Families. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.acf.hhs.gov. Benzuski, Allen (2014). PARIS. Interviewed January 17, 2014. Family engagement across disciplines. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.hhs.gov. Rambze, Paul (2014). OCSE. Interviewed January 17, 2014. Wogen, J.B. (2014). Maine struggles with welfare misuse at ATMs. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.governing.com. .
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