Child Welfare Information Gateway Policies

Child Welfare Information Gateway offers clear guidance about the use of our websites and our privacy, disclaimer, and linking policies.




Information Gateway does not collect personal information about you when you visit our websites unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Thank you for visiting the Child Welfare Information Gateway website and/or its affiliate websites. Our privacy policy is clear:

We do not collect personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us.

This privacy notice applies to https://www.childwelfare.gov/ and websites under the childwelfare.gov domain, with the exception of https://capacity.childwelfare.gov/ and https://learn.childwelfare.gov/. You can find links to our privacy notice in the footer of each of our websites.

Personal information voluntarily submitted to Information Gateway

Information Gateway does not collect personal information from users unless they choose to provide such information. The process for collecting said information and how it is used is described below.

How personal information may be collected and shared

Submitting personal information is entirely voluntary. If you choose to provide personal information—for example by completing a form, leaving a comment, completing a survey, registering for an account, or ordering free publications through the website—we may use that information to respond to your message and provide you with the services you requested.

Information Gateway uses third-party service providers and other vendors to support our website's operations, hosting, and functions. If a provider or vendor changes, some information may need to be transferred to the new provider or vendor to prevent service interruption. If there is a change in a provider or vendor, we notify users via email or an announcement on our website.

Freedom of Information Act

You may request information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Visit the ACF FOIA page for instructions on how to make a request and contact information.

For more information, please see the ACF privacy policy.

Interaction with children online

We take all reasonable steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of any child from whom information is collected, as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

We do not share, collect, or use information from minors unless we are obligated to do so as mandated reporters of abuse and neglect.

We provide materials created and available for the benefit of all youth, including children age 13 or under. We do not elicit or request any information from children who choose to view these materials.

Visiting an official Information Gateway and/or affiliate webpage on third-party websites

We maintain accounts on third-party websites, including social media sites, as tools to better interact with the public. The security and privacy policies of third-party websites apply to your activity on those sites. Users of third-party websites often share information with the general public, the user community, and the third-party operating the website. You should review the privacy policies of all websites before using them and ensure you understand how your information may be used. You should also adjust privacy settings on your account on any third-party website to match your preferences.

Information Gateway and its affiliate accounts

The following are third-party website privacy policies used by Information Gateway and its affiliates:

Information collected and used from third-party websites

If you have an account or profile with a third-party website (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and choose to follow, like, friend, or comment on a third-party website managed by Information Gateway and/or its affiliates, certain personal information associated with your account may be made available to us based on the privacy policies of the third-party website and your privacy settings within that website. We do not share personally identifiable information made available through these websites.

Information automatically collected and stored

When you browse our website, we use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Siteimprove software to gather and temporarily store a variety of information about your visit. However, this information cannot be used to identify you as an individual. The basic information we collect during your visit includes the following:

  • The name of the domain you use to access the internet (e.g., Verizon.com if you are using a Verizon online account, stanford.edu if you are connecting from Stanford University's domain)
  • The date and time of your visit to our website
  • The pages and documents you viewed on our website
  • The URL of the website you visited prior to ours
  • The type and version of your web browser and operating system
  • Your location at the time of your visit, down to the local level

We do not associate any of the data we collect about you as an individual. Instead, we aggregate these data from all visits to improve our website and provide a better user experience to our visitors. The aggregate data are available only to web managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. It is only retained for as long as needed for proper analysis. For more information, refer to the Google Analytics privacy policy and the Siteimprove privacy policy.

Demographic and interest data

On some portions of our website, we have enabled GA4 and other third-party software (listed below) to provide aggregate demographic (age, gender, and location) and interest data of visitors identified as over 18 years old. This information cannot be used to identify you as an individual. While these tools are used by some websites to serve advertisements, Information Gateway and/or its affiliates only use them to measure demographic data. Information Gateway and/or its affiliates have no control over advertisements served on other websites.

Buffer: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Buffer to manage their social media accounts and shorten URLs. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Buffer from the associated social media accounts. For more information, see the Buffer privacy policy.

Ex Libris: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo products to manage the individual accounts of the library database. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Ex Libris. For more information, view the Ex Libris privacy policy

ServiceNow Request System: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use the ServiceNow Request System for orders, events, and inquiry forms. Only ServiceNow, Information Gateway and/or its affiliates, and authorized staff of the Children’s Bureau have access to these requests. Our staff only use the information submitted to fulfill requests and respond to inquiries. ServiceNow never allows access to request information to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau for any purpose. ServiceNow also tracks and analyzes usage of the ServiceNow Request System to understand customer information needs and support improvement of Information Gateway services. All analyses and reports are of aggregated data and will not be accessible to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau. For more information, view the ServiceNow privacy statement.  

Tableau: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Tableau, a software that produces interactive data visualization. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Tableau. For more information, view the Tableau privacy policy.

Other web measurement and customization tools

We use the software and features described below:

Bit.ly: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Bit.ly to shorten long URLs for use in email and social media messages. Bit.ly does not provide any personally identifiable information about the visitors who click the shortened links. For more information, see the Bit.ly privacy policy.

Buffer: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Buffer to manage their social media accounts and shorten URLs. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Buffer from the associated social media accounts. For more information, see the Buffer privacy policy.

Ex Libris: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo products to manage the individual accounts for our library database. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Ex Libris for these accounts. For more information, see the Ex Libris privacy policy.

Google Analytics: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates may employ tools provided by Google Analytics to support data collection via cookies and anonymous identifiers, Google Tag Manager, Google Looker Studio, Google Optimize, and/or Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting. For more information, see Google’s privacy policy and terms.

GovDelivery: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use GovDelivery (also called Granicus) to email newsletters and other messages to visitors who subscribe via Information Gateway websites. Only our staff and managers who email newsletters using GovDelivery and/or monitor the results of email initiatives have access to the subscriber lists. GovDelivery/Granicus never allows access to the subscriber lists to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates for any purpose. GovDelivery/Granicus also provides aggregate data, such as email open rates and total clicks on links. For more information, see the GovDelivery/Granicus privacy policy.

OneReach: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use OneReach, a conversational artificial intelligence platform. The data are only available to Information Gateway staff. For more information, see the OneReach privacy policy.

Qualtrics: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use the Qualtrics survey tool to collect feedback from website visitors. Our staff use survey results to measure visitor satisfaction with Information Gateway and/or its affiliate websites. This survey tool does not require users to submit personally identifiable information. The survey reports are available only to our staff. For more information, see the Qualtrics privacy policy.

Tableau: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Tableau, a software that produces interactive data visualizations. Our staff only conduct analyses on the aggregated data from Tableau. For more information, see the Tableau privacy policy.

ServiceNow Community: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use ServiceNow Community SaaS platform for its Peer Communities subscription-based communications platform. Only ServiceNow, Information Gateway and/or its affiliates, and authorized staff of the Children’s Bureau have access to the subscriber lists. ServiceNow never allows access to subscriber lists to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau for any purpose. ServiceNow also tracks and analyzes the usage of Peer Communities for improving the SaaS platform and experience. All analyses and reports are in aggregated form and will not be accessible to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau. For more information, see the ServiceNow privacy statement.

ServiceNow Request System: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use the ServiceNow Request System for orders, events, and inquiry forms. Only ServiceNow, Information Gateway and/or its affiliates, and authorized staff of the Children’s Bureau have access to the requests. Our staff only use the information submitted to fulfill requests and respond to inquiries. ServiceNow never allows access to request information to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau for any purpose. ServiceNow also tracks and analyzes usage of the ServiceNow Request System to understand customer information needs and support improvement of Information Gateway services. All analyses and reports are in aggregated form and will not be accessible to anyone outside of Information Gateway and/or its affiliates and the Children’s Bureau. For more information, see the ServiceNow privacy statement.  

Siteimprove: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use the cloud-based software Siteimprove to increase content quality, work toward accessibility compliance, and measure website performance. Our staff use the data to measure visitors’ engagement with Information Gateway and/or its affiliate websites. This software does not require users to submit personally identifiable information. The data are available only to our staff. For more information, see the Siteimprove privacy policy.

SoundCloud: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use SoundCloud to host podcasts. The aggregated data from SoundCloud are available only to our staff. For more information, see the SoundCloud privacy policy.  

USA.gov: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use USA.gov to shorten URLs for our .gov websites. For more information, see the USA.gov privacy policy.

Velaro: Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use Velaro as an online communication tool to engage with website users and connect them to reliable resources in real time. If you choose to provide your name and email address to access the chat, that personal information is kept confidential. For more information, see the Velaro privacy policy.

Cookies

Websites can automatically place small text files, known as cookies, on visitors’ computers. So long as they do not expire or are deleted, cookies identify the unique browser used by a visitor. On each subsequent visit to the website, the visitor’s browser will retrieve the cookie, allowing us to aggregate the number of return visitors. Information Gateway and/or its affiliates use cookies to test and optimize our website design and content. We use two types of cookies on our websites.

We use session cookies to gather data for technical purposes, such as improving website navigation and generating statistics about how the website is used. Session cookies are temporary text files that expire when you leave our website. When cookies expire, they are automatically deleted from your computer. We do not use session cookies to collect personal information, and we do not share data collected from session cookies.

We use multisession cookies, or persistent cookies, to customize our website for frequent visitors and to test variations of website design and content. Multisession cookies are cookies that are stored over more than a single session on your computer. We do not use multisession cookies to collect personal information, and we do not share data collected from multisession cookies. Our multisession cookies are set to expire no more than 2 years after your last visit to our website. After 2 years, they are automatically deleted from your computer. Information Gateway and/or its affiliates are unable to identify an individual by using such technologies.

You can take actions to block cookies by opting out. Blocking session cookies from your computer will not affect your access to the content and tools on our website. Blocking multisession or persistent cookies may affect the personalization of the information on those sites.

Website security

Information Gateway and its affiliate websites are maintained by the U.S. Government. They are protected by Federal laws. You can be arrested and prosecuted for violating these laws.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we use software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. In the event of law enforcement investigations and as part of any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual. 

Information Gateway does not endorse the public and private organizations we link to, the views they express, or the products or services they offer. 

Disclaimer of endorsement

The information posted on this website includes hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. Child Welfare Information Gateway and/or its affiliates provide these links solely for our users’ information and convenience. When users select a link to an outside website, they are leaving Information Gateway and/or its affiliate websites and are subject to the privacy, accessibility (section 508 compliance), and security policies of the owners or sponsors of the third-party website.

  • Information Gateway and its affiliates do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on a linked website.
  • Information Gateway and its affiliates do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products or services they offer.
  • Information Gateway and its affiliates cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked website.
  • Information Gateway and its affiliates are not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked websites. 

Prohibitions

Information Gateway and its affiliates will not link to any website that exhibits hate, prejudice, or discrimination. Furthermore, we reserve the right to deny or remove any link that contains misleading information, unsubstantiated claims, or is determined to conflict with our mission or policies.

Information Gateway does not collect personal information about you when you visit our websites unless you choose to provide that information to us.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway website includes links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. We provide these links solely for our users’ information and convenience. When users select a link to an outside website, they are leaving Information Gateway and/or its affiliate websites and are subject to the privacy, accessibility (section 508 compliance), and security policies of the owners or sponsors of the third-party website. See our disclaimer for more information.

External links are intended to support Information Gateway’s mission. Links to .org, .gov, .edu, .mil, or other nonprofit sites that provide information related to Information Gateway’s mission are encouraged because of their general noncommercial, public-interest nature. Sites from the following sources are included:

  • Federal, State, and local government agencies
  • Organizations funded by the Children’s Bureau through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts
  • Child welfare-related national organizations, associations, and nonprofit organizations

Information Gateway staff evaluate all suggested links using the following criteria for inclusion on the Information Gateway website:

  • Does the information on the website support Information Gateway's mission and values? (See About Child Welfare Information Gateway for more information.)
  • Is the website an official government-owned or government-supported website?
  • Does the website provide official government information or services?
  • Does the website complement existing information, products, and services on Information Gateway?
  • Is the website user-friendly and applicable to a wide audience?
  • Is the website’s content relevant, useful, and authoritative for citizens, businesses, and/or government officials? 
  • Does the website's information appear to be accurate and current (i.e., published within the last 5 years)? Seminal works that are older than 5 years can be included if they are deemed important and relevant.
  • Is the website's approach to the privacy of personal information consistent with the government’s privacy and security policies?
  • Is the resource available to the public free of charge?
  • Is the website or publication a U.S.-based resource? 
  • Is the resource a personal website or blog? Resources are primarily limited to professional websites. Blogs may be included sparingly in web sections in which a personal perspective can be helpful.
  • Is the resource an article in an online popular periodical? Generally, these links are to trade and scholarly periodicals. Links to sites that require free user registration to access materials may be included, but usage of this type of resource is limited.
  • Is the website maintained on a secure server? 

Links to external websites and pages may be removed or replaced at the sole discretion of Information Gateway at any time without notice.

Information Gateway will not link to the following:

  • Websites or resources that exhibit hate, bias, or discrimination
  • Websites that encourage the public to contact members of Congress or other Federal officials, as well as State or local officials, on behalf of an Administration position with respect to pending legislation, regulations, policies, appropriations, or ratification actions
  • Websites or resources that are primarily commercial in nature (i.e., advertising a product, charging a fee to access resources, or soliciting user information)
  • Websites that are deemed to be misleading, contain unsubstantiated claims, or are determined to conflict with Information Gateway’s mission
  • Websites that allow any user to edit or contribute to the content

This page describes Information Gateway’s criteria and considerations for inclusion of national organizations on our websites.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway website includes links to national organizations. We provide these links solely for our users’ information and convenience. The following outlines general criteria and considerations for inclusion of national organizations on the Information Gateway website:

  • The work of the organization must be national in scope (no local, Statewide-only, etc.). Regional organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • The national organization, foundation, or academic or research group must have a primary focus or a major component that focuses on child maltreatment and its prevention, child welfare, or adoption in one or more of Information Gateway’s topical areas.
  • The organization or group’s mission and goals align with the vision, mission, and values of the Administration for Children and Families, the Children's Bureau, and Information Gateway.
  • The organization’s website is accessible, provides information on its mission and supporters, includes contact information, and is applicable to a wide audience.
  • The information on the organization’s website appears to be accurate and current, and the approach to the privacy of personal information is consistent with the privacy and security policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
  • The primary intent of the website is to educate and inform rather than to persuade, convert, or sell. The site must be free from heavy marketing or the promotion of products.

Disclaimer

Links to national organizations are provided for informational purposes only; inclusion does not indicate an endorsement by HHS, the Children’s Bureau, or Information Gateway and is at the discretion of Information Gateway and the Children’s Bureau. See our disclaimer for more information.