January 12, 2024

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Hello Donna,

This week, congressional leaders reached an agreement to fund the government to the end of the fiscal year and avoid a government shutdown. While the agreement avoids any major cuts to human services programs, the bills will need to be voted on and passed in advance of the first deadline of January 19 for some programs and a second deadline of February 2. We will be sure to provide updates as well as information on what they mean for human services.

Be sure to visit our blog, The Catalyst, to read the newest post in our #WhatEJMeans2Me series, "Making Connections to Advance Environmental Justice." It focuses on our interview with Alecia Eubanks, Assistant Division Director at the NJ Division of Family Development, who speaks to her experience as a human services professional who has recently discovered the connection between her work and the environmental justice space. She offers examples of what can be done and a perspective that advances the well-being of communities most impacted by our changing climate. Read and share today!

Our newest paper on the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) looks at key findings and recommendations. Titled “Understanding the Utilization of SNAP Administrative Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act,” the paper was developed through a research project conducted in partnership with APHSA, Urban Institute, and Share Our Strength’s Center for Best Practices.

Moving Human Services Upstream

HUD Awards $10 Million for Families and Youth in Foster Care at Risk of Homelessness

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $10 million for over 600 vouchers to 13 public housing authorities nationwide. This funding is meant to identify youth with a history of foster care involvement who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as well as families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason their children are in foster care.

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Announcement for Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) solicits proposals for one-time grants to tribes, tribal organizations, or tribal consortia that are seeking to develop and submit to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a plan to implement a title IV-E foster care, adoption assistance, and, at tribal option, guardianship assistance program.

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Final Rule with Request for Comment: WIC

This rulemaking serves to amend the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program regulations by incorporating provisions of the Access to Baby Formula Act (ABFA) of 2022 and making related amendments. The comment period ends February 12.

Comment Today

Interim Final Rule with Comment Period on Summer EBT Program

A new interim final rule will amend the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program's Seamless Summer Option (SSO) regulations to codify the flexibility for rural program operators to provide non-congregate meal service in the SFSP and SSO—collectively referred to as the summer meal programs. This rule also establishes regulations and codifies the Summer EBT Program in the Code of Federal Regulations. APHSA has created a summary of this final rule that you can access by clicking the link below. The comment period ends April 29.

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Strengthening the Human Services Sector

The Office of Child Care Releases CCDF State Matching Rates

To address the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Congress enhanced the rate at which the federal government matched state Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) expenditures. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2023 de-linked the increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate from the end of the Public Health Emergency and established a transition period during which the currently increased FMAP rate will be phased out in quarterly decreases. Learn more through the tables linked below.

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FNS Study on Promising Approaches and Challenges for SNAP State Agencies

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has published a study reviewing the fiscal year 2019 for SNAP state agencies. It focuses on payment error rate, case and procedural error rate, and quality control completion rate in order to help agencies develop the required Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) in respond to program deficiencies; identify challenges and promising practices throughout the CAP process; and develop recommendations for improving states’ abilities to conduct corrective action activities.

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FNS Guidance on Use of Advanced Automation in SNAP

This memo provides state agencies with guidance on the allowable use of advanced automation technologies. Depending on the type and functions of advanced automation technology, state agencies are either required to notify FNS of a major change in program design or request a waiver from FNS.

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APHSA Events

WEBINAR: Creating a Kin-First Approval Process 

The federal government recently updated their kinship approval standards required for Title IVE reimbursement, significantly lowering the requirements for kin approval in an attempt to support more children to be placed with kin. In this webinar brought to you by Binti, an APHSA Strategic Industry Partner, join thought leaders in kinship from around the country, state leadership, and mission driven organizations focused on kin to learn tactical next steps on how your agency can make a shift toward being kin-first.

January 16, 1 to 2 PM EST

Register Today


THRIVE, APHSA’s new Learning Management System (LMS), is a training hub for resources, innovation, and virtual exchange. This platform provides members access to various resources, interactive eLearning courses, and online learning community spaces for continued collaboration and engagement with like-minded human services professionals. Join our webinar for a walk-through of the various features THRIVE offers. You will see how to navigate the LMS, enroll in courses, access resources, and connect with peers via the THRIVE online learning communities. Invest in your learning and learn how to THRIVE!

January 23, 2 to 3 PM EST

Register Today


Join a webinar focused on the Aligned Customer-Centered Ecosystem of Services & Supports (ACCESS) project, a cross-programmatic government innovation initiative led by APHSA in partnership with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). ACCESS is a two-year initiative aiming to align and streamline services across the government's health, human services, and labor sectors, with a strong focus on customer-centric solutions. The webinar, hosted by the APHSA and NASWA project team, will update representatives from agencies on the project's objectives.

January 26, 1 to 2 PM EST

Register Today

APHSA National Human Services Summit 2024

Save the date for the APHSA National Human Services Summit 2024! Every year, the Summit brings together our members, allied human-serving organizations, and key partners to connect with one another and learn about the latest trends and innovations in policy, practice, and programs. The Summit will be held June 9-12, 2024 in Arlington, VA.


Call for Papers is open! Be sure to submit your materials by February 16, 2024, and join us in “Shaping the Future of Human Services." We are seeking proposals that showcase innovative practices and models from state and local jurisdictions, with a special focus on individuals with lived experience and leveraging community and human-centered design strategies and successes; process innovations and agile technology solutions; and strategies that center equity, inclusivity, and belonging across the human services sector.

Submit Proposal

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