February/March 2002Vol. 3, No. 2HHS Launches New Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
A new center at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to ensure "a level playing field" for faith-based and community organizations seeking Federal funding for delivery of social services.
The HHS Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is charged with coordinating HHS efforts to identify and remove barriers that hamper faith- and community-based organizations' efforts to secure Federal grants. President Bush has made improving funding opportunities for faith-based and community organizations a priority for his Administration.
The center was created through an Executive Order from the President. The Order directs that similar centers be established in the Departments of Justice, Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development.
The HHS center, directed by Elizabeth Seale-Scott, is charged with:
- Identifying existing department barriers to the participation of faith-based and community organizations in the delivery of social services and proposing initiatives to remove these barriers
- Incorporating faith-based and other community organizations in department programs and initiatives to the greatest extent possible
- Proposing programs to increase the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in Federal, State and local initiatives
- Coordinating efforts to disseminate information more effectively to faith-based and other community organizations on department initiatives and opportunities
- Reviewing the extent to which relevant programs comply with charitable choice provisions and promoting and ensuring compliance with "charitable choice."
The HHS Center's website (http://www.hhs.gov/faith/) provides information related to all of these charges. The site's "special features" section links faith-based and community organizations to helpful online resources including:
- Sources of government and other funding
- Tips on writing grant proposals
- Management of nonprofit and volunteer organizations.
HHS Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 118 F
Washington, DC 20201
See the article "Unlevel Playing Field: Service Barriers for Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations" from the November/December 2001 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.