July 21, 2021

Welcome to the latest issue of The Connection, APHSA’s newsletter offering updates and resources pertaining to employment and economic well-being, child and family well-being, and H/HS integration.

Beginning last week, millions of families with children began receiving advance monthly payments as part of the expanded child tax credit authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act. Eligible families that filed 2019 or 2020 tax returns will automatically receive credit; for resources to support families who haven’t filed or need assistance; find resources here. This resource from the Center for Law & Social Policy shares supports for mixed-status families. You can also find more information via the IRS Advance Child Tax Credit Payments website. 
Matt Lyons, our Director of Policy & Research, participated in a Duke Sanford World Food Policy Center podcast addressing how states responded to the increase in need for SNAP during the pandemic, which is detailed in a joint report with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Read Executive Summary here.
Check out our latest blog post: Connections, Community, Context and Capital, by Katya Fels Smyth of Full Frame Initiative. This is the latest in our new Catalyst blog series taking a detailed look at the American Rescue Plan and the ways in which we can leverage it to strengthen the resiliency of our public health and human services infrastructure.
APHSA Updates
Join us for our next free Leadership Corner on Tuesday, July 27 with Darrick Hamilton, PhD, Founding Director, Institute on Race and Political Economy at The New School with: "The Role of Inclusive Economic Rights in Building a Moral Economy." Register today!
Registrations are now open for our upcoming conferences! We are looking forward to welcoming our members & partners back to in-person conferences starting in August 2021.

ISM Awards of Excellence - The Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) awards celebrate state & local HHS agencies that are in the forefront of IT development & implementation. Nominate your agency! Deadline is August 6. Submit here.

NSDTA Awards - The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) awards recognize outstanding individuals and initiatives within your organization which are helping advance the delivery of health and human services practices or programs to staff. Deadline is August 20. Submit here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium is set to expire next Saturday, July 31. For information on how to support renters and prevent housing insecurities, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Housing Insecurities Toolkit, including informational handouts (Spanish version).
Strengthening the Public Health Impacts of SNAP: Key Opportunities for the Next Farm Bill, July 2021 – This report from Healthy Eating Research identifies evidence-based opportunities that have the greatest potential to improve SNAP participants’ nutrition and overall health.

Minding our Workforce: The Importance of Noncognitive Skills in Employment, July 2021 - This webinar recording is a moderated conversation among selected authors of AEI’s recently published volume of essays by key researchers and practitioners considering noncognitive skills from many perspectives — such as their neurobiological basis, labor market outcomes, and approaches for teaching and training.

Adults in Low-Income Immigrant Families Were Deeply Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis Yet Avoided Safety Net Programs in 2020, July 2021 – Using data from the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, this analysis covers findings on the chilling effects, hardships, and financial concerns reported by adults in low-income immigrant families.

COVID-19: Continued Attention Needed to Enhance Federal Preparedness, Response, Service Delivery, and Program Integrity, July 2021 – This report provides a new set of recommendations from the U.S. GAO on how to improve federal programs related to the pandemic and other future emergencies. To date, federal agencies have agreed to implement most of the 72 previous recommendations offered on the COVID-19 response.

More Adequate SNAP Benefits Would Help Millions of Participants Better Afford Food, July 2021 – This report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities details how current SNAP benefits fall short of what households need to afford a healthy diet. Despite improvements since the beginning of 2021, rates of food insecurity still remain higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasize the need for SNAP benefit levels to be reexamined.
Tuesday, July 27, 2:00 PM EDT
Webinar - Building Upon the Resilience of Hispanic Families During COVID-19 - The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.

Thursday, July 29, 2:30-4:00 EDT

Call for Comments on the Clearinghouse’s Handbook of Standards and Procedures- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites public comment on the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures. Specifically, feedback sought on each of the steps of the Prevention Services Clearinghouse systematic review process, including identification and prioritization of programs for review, literature search, study eligibility screening, evidence review, and program and service ratings. Comments will inform potential updates and clarifications to the existing standards and procedures. Deadline for comments is August 16.

The Department of Education announced approval of seven American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund state plans - Arkansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and the District of Columbia. The plans detail how states are currently using and intend to use additional ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen and sustain safe operation of schools and classrooms and address the needs of students, especially those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Guidance on Safe Schools, July 28, 2021 - In updated guidance, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) urges in-person learning for children this fall with strict safety measures in place like physical distancing, frequent sanitation, and universal masking.
Monday, July 26, 12:15 PM EDT

July 26-29, 1:00-4:15 PM EDT

August 5-6, 2021

August 13-18, 2021

August 17-19 2021

Save the Date! June 27-29, 2022
National Research Conference on Early Childhood 2022 - Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University is holding the sixth of their ARP workshop series on Wednesday, August 4, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT. The workshop, Integrated Benefits: Going Further with ARP - Improving Pathways to Social Safety Net Benefits with Investments from the American Rescue Plan - will feature state government leaders sharing how they are integrating benefits in both large-scale redesigns and smaller, incremental steps. RSVP here.
Descriptive Data on Head Start Children and Families from FACES 2019: Fall 2019 and Study Design, July 2019 - This report from the Office of Planning and Research Evaluation (OPRE) provides information about the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES). It assesses the impact of quality early care and education on children's family backgrounds, cognitive and social-emotional skills, and physical health and disability status. This report makes programmatic recommendations to improve children’s early care and education.

Economic Conditions of Head Start Families: Connections with Social Supports and Child and Family Well-Being, July 2021 - This report from Mathematica assesses the effect of households’ economic conditions and child and family well-being. Using Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), this report explores the prevalence of material hardship and financial strain among Head Start families. It assesses whether these economic conditions are better predictors of child family well-being than poverty alone.

Affordability, Accessibility, Support and Compensation: Higher Education and the Early Childhood Workforce, June 2021 - This policy brief from the Child Care Services Association details the National Research Council’s report from a panel of experts, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, which lays out several recommendations for programs serving children from birth through age 8.