Children's Bureau Law and Legal Definition

The Children's Bureau (CB) is a U.S. federal agency that works to improve efforts towards child abuse prevention, foster care, and adoption. It is one of the two bureaus of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

The Children's Bureau’s mission is to provide for the safety, permanency, and well being of children through leadership, support for necessary services, and productive partnerships with States, Tribes, and communities. The Bureau works in co-operation with state and local agencies to develop programs that concentrate on preventing the abuse of children in troubled families, protecting children from abuse, and finding permanent placements for those who cannot safely return to their homes. It is charged with the responsibility of administering federal child welfare programs.

Children's Bureau was created by President Taft in 1912 to investigate and report on infant mortality, birth rates, orphanages, juvenile courts, and other social issues that were present during that period. It is the oldest federal agency for children within the Administration for Children and Families. The Children's Bureau is composed of eight divisions and teams. These groups work to support the mission of the Children's Bureau through various activities that promote safe and stable families.

An Acting Associate Commissioner heads the CB. The Commissioner advises the Administration on Children, Youth and Families on matters related to child welfare, including child abuse and neglect, child protective services, family preservation and support, adoption, foster care, and independent living. The Bureau recommends legislative and budgetary proposals, operational planning system objectives and initiatives, and projects and issue areas for evaluation, research, and demonstration activities.