The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities with funding, strategic partnerships, guidance, training, and technical assistance. ACF administers more than 60 programs with a budget of more than $53 billion, making it the second largest agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is the office within ACF that sponsors the National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families. FYSB’s mission is to support the organizations and communities that work every day to alleviate youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy and domestic violence. Two divisions operate within FYSB — the Division of Adolescent Development and Support and the Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services.
FYSB’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, under the Division of Adolescent Development and Support administers programs that support grantees in providing direct assistance to homeless and runaway youth.
- The Street Outreach Program (SOP) supports work with homeless, runaway, and street youth to help them find stable housing and services. SOPs focus on developing relationships between outreach workers and young people that allow them to rebuild connections with caring adults. The goal is to prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of youth on the streets.
- The Basic Center Program (BCP) helps create and strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth under 18 years of age. In addition, BCP tries to reunite young people with their families or locate appropriate alternative placements.
- The Transitional Living Program (TLP) supports projects that provide long-term residential services and supports to older homeless youth. Young people must be at least 16 and under 22 years of age to enter the program.
- The Maternity Group Homes for Pregnant and Parenting Youth (MGH) Program supports homeless pregnant and/or parenting young people, as well as their dependent children. Youth must be at least 16 and under 22 years of age to enter the program.
Also, under the Division of Adolescent Development and Support, FYSB administers the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (APP) Program to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents. FYSB supports state, tribal, and community efforts to promote abstinence and contraceptive education through various APP grants programs, including:
- State Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
- Tribal Personal Responsibility Education Program
- Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Competitive Grants
- Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies Program (PREIS)
- Title V State Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Grant Program
- Title V Competitive Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Grant Program
- PREP Research and Evaluation Resources
FYSB’s Family Violence Prevention and Services Program administers the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), the primary federal funding stream dedicated to the support of emergency shelter and related assistance for victims of domestic violence and their children. To accomplish its work, the FVPSA Program supports states, territories, tribes, state domestic violence coalitions, and national resource centers through the following grant programs:
- Family Violence Prevention and Services Formula Grants to States and Territories
- Family Violence Prevention and Services Grants to Tribes
- State Domestic Violence Coalitions
- Discretionary Programs
- Resource Centers
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
The Children’s Bureau (CB), an office of the Administration for Children and Families, partners with federal, state, tribal, and local agencies to improve the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families. With an annual budget of almost $8 billion, the Children’s Bureau provides support and guidance to programs that focus on strengthening families and protecting children.
Of interest to runaway and homeless youth stakeholders is CB’s Child Welfare Information Gateway. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to print and electronic publications, websites, and online databases covering a wide range of child welfare topics, including child abuse prevention, family preservation, foster care, domestic and intercountry adoption, and related topics. Resources relevant to RHY are highlighted below.
- The Services for Youth: Homeless and Runaway page provides information on serving youth experiencing homelessness and youth who have run away.
- The Substance Use Disorders and Housing page offers information about the experiences of families affected by substance use and homelessness, in addition to information on relevant interventions.
- The Resources on Trauma-Informed Care for Caseworkers page equips caseworkers with practical tools and strategies for working with traumatized children, youth, and families.
- The CB Library is a collection of materials and resources gathered from professionals in the child welfare field that may be of interest to other professionals working with children and families. The library is searchable, with results showing bibliographic information, an abstract, a link to the full-text resource (when possible).
The Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) operates under the values of the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States. Its mission is to combat human trafficking by supporting and leading systems that prevent trafficking through public awareness and to protect victims through identification and assistance, helping them rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient. The following OTIP resources will be of interest to runaway and homeless youth service providers, researchers, and policymakers:
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual hotline for victims, survivors, and witnesses of human trafficking. The toll-free hotline is answered live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Calls are answered by specially trained and experienced Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates who will be able to discuss needs, options, and resources available to help.
- The National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center delivers training and technical assistance to inform and enhance the public health response to human trafficking.
- SOAR to Health and Wellness Training equips professionals with skills to identify, treat, and respond appropriately to human trafficking.
- The Pretesting a Human Trafficking Screening Tool in the Child Welfare and Runaway and Homeless Youth Systems report summarizes findings from a study to develop and pretest a human trafficking screening tool with 617 youth in runaway and homeless youth and child welfare settings.
- The Domestic Human Trafficking and the Child Welfare Population, 2016-2020 report advances efforts to identify and better assist the children and youth served by ACF’s Children’s Bureau who are victims of human trafficking or who are at risk of exploitation in the form of human trafficking.
- OTIP’s Resources Page provides research and publications on human trafficking.