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Rural Health Information Hub

Programs for Children and Families

Programs for children and families provide a range of services to address the specific needs of children from families with low incomes, such as education, violence prevention, and foster care and adoption.

  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) State Grants provide funds to states to improve their child protective service systems to prevent child abuse and neglect. The program emphasizes collaboration between agencies for child protective services, health, behavioral health, juvenile justice, and education, among others.
  • The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) assists families with low incomes in securing child care while they work, attend training, or complete their education. The CCDF subsidizes child care services for eligible families through either vouchers or grants and contracts with child care providers.
  • Child support is a federally, state, tribally, and locally-enforced parental responsibility that ensures that both parents provide emotional and financial support for their children. The program emphasizes the importance of having both parents involved a child's life.
  • Child Welfare Coordination Grants fund programs that model effective coordination of Tribal TANF and tailored child welfare services for tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect. Program activities feature home visits, family resource centers, and support groups for parents.
  • Community Services Block Grants fund projects that reduce poverty in communities and provide necessary services such as healthcare, education, and employment. This grant program aims to improve community self-sufficiency, living conditions, and family and support systems for individuals with low incomes.
  • The Family Violence Block Grant program funds State Domestic Violence Coalitions to plan integrated service delivery programs that serve the needs of all victims. Grantees also aim to provide training and technical assistance to domestic violence programs and service providers, increase public awareness about interpersonal violence, and improve the quality and availability of immediate shelter and supportive services for victims of interpersonal violence and their families.
  • Head Start promotes school preparation in young children from families with low incomes through local community agencies. These agencies receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide programs that support the mental, social, and emotional development of children. Early Head Start serves infants and toddlers under the age of three, as well as pregnant women, while Head Start focuses on children from three to five years of age and their families. There is also a Migrant Seasonal Head Start program that provides services to children of migrant and seasonal workers from birth to age five, and Head Start programs that focus on American Indian/Alaska Native children.
  • The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program helps fund a range of services to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, while keeping children safe from maltreatment. Services categories include family support services (e.g., child development programs), family preservation services (e.g., parenting skills training), time-limited family reunification services (e.g., substance abuse treatment), and adoption promotion and support services (e.g., connection specialists).
  • Rural Community Development (RCD) grants funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). RCD is a federal grant program that works with regional and tribal organizations to manage safe water systems in rural communities.
  • The Social Services Block Grant funds initiatives for children and adults that promote economic self-sufficiency to reduce dependency on social services. Initiatives include child care, health related services, case management, housing, transportation, and employment services.
  • The Substance Abuse and Treatment Block Grant program provides funds and technical assistance to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 6 Pacific jurisdictions. Funds are for planning, implementing, and evaluating activities to prevent and treat substance abuse. Block grantees supplement services covered by Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance to provide effective treatment and support services.
  • Title IV-E Adoption Assistance and State Adoption Subsidies for Adoptive Parents provide subsidies to eligible parents to alleviate financial burdens associated with adopting children with special needs. Under Title IV-E, nonrecurring adoption assistance helps parents cover expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs, such as attorney fees. In addition, Title IV-E provides recurring adoption assistance to help families meet the needs of the child until they reach 18 years of age, and in some cases, 21.
  • Tribal Early Learning Initiative (TELI) is a partnership between the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and American Indian tribes to grow and sustain early childhood systems to support better outcomes for Native children and families. One of the main objectives of TELI is to support tribes in coordinating Child Care and Development Fund, Head Start/Early Head Start, and Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to effectively meet the needs of the community.
  • Resource groups, social skills building groups, and respite services are also important for children, families, and caregivers.