George Sheldon, Acting Assistant Secretary

Administration for Children and Families

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is honored to join our federal colleagues in support of this first-ever U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The three core issues outlined in the report align well with our work at ACF to support developmentally appropriate services, protect vulnerable children, and address the trauma of sexual violence and exploitation of young people. ACF has made great strides in organizing many of its activities by (1) using the latest research to better anticipate the challenges faced by children who have experienced maltreatment, complex trauma, and/or exposure to violence; (2) using that information to rethink the structure of services delivered throughout social service systems, and (3) scaling back practices that are not achieving desired results while concurrently scaling up trauma-informed evidence- based interventions that can lead us to meaningful and measurable improvements in child-level and system-level outcomes. As ACF integrates these approaches into policies, programs and practices to increase the sophistication in our ability to better help vulnerable children and their families, we welcome the opportunity the Action Plan provides to share that learning with federal agencies responsible for implementing this plan.