The public budget is a document that sets forth the financial needs of governmental entities. The Public Budget determines how many goods and services the government can afford and helps manage those funds to achieve its goals (Crawford, 2019). The Administration for Children and Families is a U.S. government agency that aids children in need and oversees foster care programs. The agency provides financial assistance for family members caring for abused or neglected children. Additionally, it administers a child support enforcement program and provides public assistance to low-income families with dependent children.
Public budgets mainly evolved in reaction to economic downturns, especially during the Great Depression. Congress moved quickly to begin streamlining its operations following the stock market crash of 1929. The idea of federal budget oversight was prompted by a commission headed by former Congressman Albert J. Beveridge called the “Beveridge Commission (Xu & Huang, 2019, August). This commission was established in 1934 due to growing concern about the financial state of U.S (Xu & Huang, 2019, August). Government finances and growing concern about public discontent with federal spending. Beveridge commissioned economist Robert Higgs to prepare a report on improving government efficiency to reduce waste and mismanagement.
The prepared budget document is sent from the President of the United States to the U.S. House of Representatives, with committees that send their recommendations for changes to the House and Senate Budget Committees. The Budget Committees have subcommittees on major federal agencies, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, international affairs, and military matters (Geldsetzer, 2020). The Budget Committees recommend changes, and the final budget is sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The Appropriations Committees set spending priorities for all federal programs, agencies, and departments. They also have subcommittees on major federal agencies, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, international affairs, and military matters (Majewski, 2010). When a bill is passed in the House or the Senate, it is sent to a Conference Committee. The Conference Committee consists of members from the House of Representatives and the Senate who examine each bill in detail and reconcile any differences between them (including budget bills). Once concurrence by both bodies is achieved, the bill is sent to President, who may sign it into law or veto it.
The Administration for Children and Families, ACF, was established in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter. Its mission (official website) is to promote the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families, and communities. The budget of ACF supports this mission because it provides several services in the areas of welfare, health care, social services, and social security (Duffield, 2020). This agency is responsible for running eight programs designed to ensure that children are protected and provided with a living situation that will allow them to be successful members of society.
The budget allocated for this policy influenced the policy of this department by providing grants to the states for child welfare services. This budget provides the states with resources that will allow them to create or maintain policies regarding children who contact with state child welfare systems (Duffield, 2020). The budget also increases funding to study and report on child abuse and neglect issues. Finally, the budget allocates funding for human rights training of state workers in the field of child protective services.
The budget has changed over the past five to ten years in ways such as it has grown dramatically. In 2006, the budget was 9.7 billion dollars; in 2010, it was 18.1 billion dollars. The Administration for Children and Families, saw its budget grow by a significant percentage. The budget has also changed because there have been more reforms and cuts (Xu & Huang, 2019, August). The administration for children and families, ACF, has made many changes over the years in terms of human services. These changes have caused the biggest decrease in spending on child protective services. The other adjustments that have occurred in ACF in the past five to ten years include cutting spending on child welfare, grants for child protective services enforcement, and student aid. Cutting spending on child welfare was due to changes in the revenue cycle, which is crucial to caseworkers.
Duffield, B. (2020). Reimagining homelessness assistance for children and families. Journal of Children and Poverty, 26(2), 293-313.
Geldsetzer, P. (2020). Knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19 among the general public in the United States and the United Kingdom: a cross-sectional online survey. Annals of internal medicine, 173(2), 157-160.
Majewski, T. (2010). Not Just the End Game Anymore: A Perspective from the Western United States on Proactive Budgeting for Project Curation Needs in a Changing Archaeological World. Heritage Management, 3(2), 167-188.
Xu, J., & Huang, C. (2019). The Budget and Expenditure of the Basic Research: A Comparison between China and the United States. In 2019 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.