The federal government is a virtual labyrinth of sub-organizations and agencies that vary in specialty. Each subset agency is guided by a set of goals and funding tied to those goals. One of the largest federal organizations, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), has a number of divisions that work to address specific aspects of human health. One such division is the Administration for Children and Families. Let’s take a look at how this division of the DHS operates and what role it plays in Americans’ lives.
The Administration for Children and Families’ stated mission per their website is to “promote the economic and social well-being of families, children individuals and communities by empowering failed and individuals to increase their economic independence and productivity, encourage strong, healthy, and supportive communities that have a positive impact on quality of life and the development of children, create partnerships with front-line 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, and address the needs strengths, and abilities of vulnerable populations including refugees and migrants.”
The achievement of these goals has a potentially tremendous impact on society as a whole by lifting up those who are vulnerable and empowering them to live their lives to their fullest potential. The future implications of children getting off to a strong economic and social start are serious and the ACF’s mission is to equip families and stakeholders with the resources they need to get off on the right foot.
The ACF has a $49 million dollar budget with which to implement its strategies and programs. The major programs that the ACF oversees include, but are not limited to:
The above list of programs and committees illustrates just how diverse and interwoven the Administration’s reach is in its effort to help children and families. All in all, the ACF is a well-rounded agency that works to provide assistance to a wide cross-section of the American citizenry.
The ACF’s official website outlines nine distinct issues that it attempts to work on. The agency’s important work can be broken down into:
Often, government agencies are asked to defend their importance. This defense can be made to Congress, local governments, community stakeholders, or even in the court of public opinion. The case for the Administration for Children and Families is strong. The role the administration plays in the betterment of society is critical. Here are just a few points regarding what makes the ACF indispensable.
A major role that the ACF plays in child and family services is the collection and standardization of data. There are six major reporting systems that the administration oversees:
These reports are made available to the public via the administration’s website and are intended to be used by policymakers and advocates when making decisions. For instance, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Report can help policymakers with their understanding of the population and demographics of children likely to be in foster care and how to reduce their future reliance on that setting.
Social services case managers are on the front lines of the effort to see the ACF’s goals through to completion. These professionals are invested in their community and care about the children and families they work with.
A critical resource for social service and human health organizations is a robust case management system. The very nature of the type of work these agencies perform requires a high degree of organization. The information must be accurate, easily accessible to the team, and store in a secure fashion. On top of all this, the system should be user-friendly. It should make case managers’ jobs simpler, not more difficult. Here are four-way that case management systems help agencies with ACF reporting:
Case management systems are used across a variety of disciplines and have a proven track record in real-life applications. While case management systems are just generally a good tool, they are not all created equally. The right CMS can transform an agency’s productivity and workflow allowing for case managers to do what they do best – help clients enrich their lives. Eliminating onerous paperwork and improving ACF reporting capabilities helps separate your agency from the rest of the pack.
PlanStreet is a case management system that can unlock the potential of your organization.