• June 2012
  • Vol. 13, No. 5

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ACYF Issues Guidance on Well-Being

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) is promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and youth who have experienced maltreatment and trauma and are receiving child welfare services. To focus on social and emotional well-being is to attend to children's behavioral, emotional, and social functioning—those skills, capacities, and characteristics that enable young people to understand and navigate their world in healthy, positive ways. This approach can significantly improve outcomes for children while they receive child welfare services and after their cases have closed.

ACYF recently released the Information Memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-12-04) Promoting Social and Emotional Well-Being for Children and Youth Receiving Child Welfare Services. The IM provides guidance to child welfare agencies looking to expand their capacity to make meaningful and measurable changes in social and emotional well-being for children who have experienced maltreatment, trauma, and/or exposure to violence. The document:

  • Articulates the impact of maltreatment on the health and well-being of children
  • Demonstrates opportunities in the current policy framework and current available resources for attending to well-being
  • Suggests strategies for transitioning child welfare systems toward a greater focus on social and emotional well-being
  • Emphasizes the use of screening, functional assessment, and effective interventions
  • Provides a list of Federal resources to aid States, Tribes, and territories in this work


The Information Memorandum is available on the Children's Bureau website:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/2012/im1204.pdf (149 KB)

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