Wade Horn

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Wade F. Horn

Wade F. Horn is an American psychologist who received unanimous confirmation (under President George W. Bush) in 2001 as the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Before his resignation on April 1, 2007, he oversaw the function of the Administration For Children and Families, an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He also served under President George H. W. Bush as Commissioner of Children, Youth, and Families within the Administration For Children and Families.

Horn represents a key advocate for the re-envisioning and re-vising of the Federal Head Start program. A key proponent for family involvement in education, Horn served as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Horn is also a strong advocate for "abstinence education."

He received his Ph.D. in 1981 from Southern Illinois University. He served as an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and was an affiliate scholar at the right-wing think tank, The Hudson Institute.

Secretary Leavitt praised Wade Horn for his leadership, citing his actions to "significantly improved the lives of vulnerable children and strengthened the American family as he led the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) for the past six years."

He continued, "Under Wade’s leadership, we passed and implemented the next chapter of welfare reform, launched the first-ever healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood grants, began outreach to victims of human trafficking, helped increase the number of adoptions in America, connected children of prisoners with mentors, and created a strong partnership with faith-based organizations."

He also stated, "Wade and ACF played an especially important role in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by making sure victims, uprooted from their homes and livelihoods, were quickly connected with the benefits they needed."

Pros and Cons Regarding His Tenure[edit]

Horn has been a supporter and participant in the Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education, an educational organization promoting healthy family life. This voluntary coalition is composed of individuals and organizations who wish to study, learn and pursue educational approaches which will promote both societal and individual benefit in the basic family unit. Participants include clergy, educators, social workers, psychologist, psychiatrists, family and societal counselors, and law enforcement who unite in the effort to both present and learn specific methods which will improve couple relationships and family health.

Horn has been criticized by Planned Parenthood and other sexual health education organizations for his advocacy of abstinence programs.,.[1][2] During his term with HHS, he oversaw increases in funding for both abstinence education [3][4] and relationship education. Under Horn's administration, these programs are believed to have contained some misrepresentations regarding contraceptives, HIV and pregnancy.[4][5][6]



  • US Department of Health & Human Service.