About ACA

About ACA

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.


8 Ways ACA Helped Counselors Help Others in 2018

2018 ACA Annual Report Infographic

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What Is Counseling?

According to 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, the delegates comprised of 31 counseling organizations agreed upon a unified definition of counseling: Professional counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

Divisions, Branches, and Regions

There are 18 chartered divisions within the American Counseling Association. These divisions provide leadership, resources and information unique to specialized areas and/or principles of counseling.  ACA has four regions, which serves members in those regions.  Lastly, ACA has 56 chartered branches in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.  Please click the following links to get more information about ACA's Divisions, Branches, and Regions.

Policies, Bylaws & Forms

ACA Articles of Incorporation and Amendments
ACA Articles of Incorporation - August 1952 

ACA Bylaws
Bylaws - March 2015

ACA Policies Manual
Policy Manual - May 2019

ACA Code of Ethics

2014 ACA Code of Ethics

ACA Nominations and Elections Handbook - February 2020
2020-2021 ACA Nominations and Election Handbook Feb 2020

Code of Leadership Conduct

ACA Code of Leadership Conduct

Past Meeting Minutes
APGA/AACD/ACA Governance Meeting Minutes

Governing Council Motions
Governing Council Motions - 2003-Present (August 2020)

IRS Form 1023, Exemption Application

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA Group (ACA divisions that are listed)

IRS Form 990 - ACA 2018 Public Version

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  • Latest News

    Biden Administration Releases Report on Improving Mental Health Access for Children & Students

    by Guila Todd | Oct 25, 2021

    On October 19, the White House published a fact sheet announcing the release of a new report entitled “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health,” which will serve as a resource for improving the overall mental health of children and students. The fact sheet includes the administration’s current commitments to achieve this priority. The relevant commitments are summarized below:

    Ensuring Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care

    Creating Mental Health Resources for Schools

    The Biden administration and the Department of Education will continue to provide resources that highlight evidence-based practices to support students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs. Past examples of these resources include:

    Connecting Children to Coverage

    To get as many eligible children as possible enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse conditions, the Biden administration has launched a national outreach and enrollment campaign entitled “Connecting Kids to Coverage.” Additionally, the administration has quadrupled the number of navigator organizations available to help young people and their families enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov and CHIP.

    Strengthening Quality of Care

    To strengthen quality of care for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, states will be required to report all measures on the Medicaid and CHIP Child Core Set beginning in 2024. These encompass a range of quality-of-care measures for both physical and behavioral health services.

    Investing in Community-Based Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Care

    Dedicating American Rescue Plan Funds to Youth Mental Health

    Under the American Rescue Plan, the administration provided:

    • $80M for the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program to promote integrated care for behavioral health needs in pediatric primary care settings
    • $20M to support youth suicide prevention programs to help reduce risks and deliver crisis services
    • $10M to support the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children

    Enhancing Access to Youth Behavioral Health Services Across the Continuum

    To broaden access to behavioral health services, the Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the administration, invested approximately $190 million in the following initiatives, among others:

    • Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health): The program makes grants to promote the wellness of young children, from birth to 8 years of age, by addressing social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioral aspects of their development.
    • The Children’s Mental Health Initiative: The program supports the implementation, expansion, and integration of the Systems of Care approach by creating sustainable infrastructure and services that are required as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program.
    • The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program: The program makes grants to develop, maintain, or enhance infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment services.
    • The Youth and Family TREE Grant Program: The program enhances and expands comprehensive treatment, early intervention, and recovery support services for adolescents, transitional aged youth, and their families or primary caregivers with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

    Enhancing Coordination Across HHS

    Establishing the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council

    To coordinate efforts to address mental health needs, the Department of Health and Human Services has established the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council (BHCC). One of the Council’s five priorities is child and youth behavioral health. In the coming months, BHCC will lead efforts to:

    • Improve the coordination and access to behavioral health services for children, youth, and parents involved or at risk of entering the child welfare system
    • Ensure children and youth are accessing behavioral health services and supports in the most integrated setting possible
    • Identify opportunities to support resilience in children affected by trauma and disasters

    Increasing Access to Telehealth Services

    Requesting Investment in Telehealth Services in the FY22 Budget Request

    In his fiscal year 2022 budget, the President requested $10 million for the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program, which supports the development or improvement of statewide or regional pediatric mental health care telehealth access programs.

    As behavioral health needs among young people continue to rise, driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration continues to prioritize expanded access to affordable, quality mental health services across the continuum of prevention, treatment, and recovery. The American Counseling Association will continue to monitor and update our members on plans to improve mental health access for students. If you have questions, please email advocacy@counseling.org.