December 15, 2023

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Hello Donna,

On December 7, APHSA announced that human services leader Reggie Bicha will be our next President and CEO! Bicha is a social worker, administrator, educator, and national leader with extensive experience in child welfare, education, employment, early childhood, and healthcare at the county, state, and national levels. He will assume his responsibilities as President and CEO on February 5, 2024. Bicha succeeds Tracy Wareing Evans, who served for 13 years with APHSA and announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down at the end of 2023 to explore her next chapter. Learn more in our press release.

Season 2 of Disrupt the Dialogue is here! The APHSA podcast features BIPOC leaders in human services who share their insights and personal experiences in the sector. This season kicks off with Edgard Martinez, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager at Children and Families First. With co-hosts Tina Wright-Ervin and Alexander Figueroa, Edgard discusses his career and how his identity has impacted that journey. Find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your favorite streaming platform by searching Disrupt the Dialogue.

In a guest column for Barrett and Greene Inc., our own Matthew Lyons, Senior Director of Policy & Practice, and Rebekah Sides, Policy Associate for Social & Economic Mobility, weigh in on the emerging window of opportunity for strengthening TANF to better aid families experiencing poverty. Be sure to read and share the article today!

APHSA, in partnership with its network of state and county agency executives, SNAP Directors, and SNAP E&T leads, released a policy brief exploring a two-prong strategy to address two separate benefit cliffs in a SNAP E&T participant's journey to unsubsidized employment. In our 2023 Farm Bill Recommendations, we urged Congress to extend the state option to provide transitional food benefits to SNAP E&T graduates who are working to transition to gainful and lasting employment. This brief discusses what that option would mean for states and the SNAP E&T participants they support. Read the brief to learn more.

This Week in Washington will take a hiatus for the next three weeks, in line with the congressional calendar. Look for us in your inbox on January 12. In the meantime, we’ll keep you apprised of any important updates through our social media (linked above). We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Legislative Updates

Committee on Ways and Means Advances Legislation

The House Committee on Ways and Means has approved two pieces of legislation related to child welfare. The Find and Protect Missing Foster Youth Act (H.R. 2426), would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct an evaluation of the protocols established by states to determine the location of missing foster youth and identify best practices. Additionally, the Recruiting Families Using Data Act (H.R. 3058) would require states to develop and implement a family partnership plan that describes how they will identify, recruit, screen, support, and retain foster and adoptive families.

Learn More

Moving Human Services Upstream

ASPE Releases Update on Project Linking Data Between Child Welfare and Medicaid

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has released a brief that describes progress in the Child Welfare and Health Infrastructure for Linking and Data Analysis of Resources, Effectiveness, and Needs (CHILDREN) Initiative, which is entering its second year. The District of Columbia, Iowa, Oregon, and Wyoming are participating in the project.

Read More

Advancing Social and Economic Mobility

FNS Resources on Summer EBT

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) continues to share resources on Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children (Summer EBT) as we look toward 2024. FNS’s dedicated webpage includes information on which states, territories, and Tribes have submitted a public intent to administer the program in 2024, implementation and outreach toolkits, guidance, and more.

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FNS Shares Final Rule on Revision of Civil Rights Data Collection Methods

FNS released a Final Rule on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Revision of Civil Rights Data Collection Methods to prohibit visual observation as a means to collect racial and ethnic data in SNAP. The Final Rule commentary also shared that FNS will be releasing best practices on different alternative methods that states can use to collect racial and ethnic data in the future. Read APHSA's comment on the original Proposed Rule and our recommendations from last summer.

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Strengthening the Human Services Sector

Interim Final Rule with Comment Period: CMS Enforcement of State Compliance with Reporting and Federal Medicaid Renewal Requirements

This interim final rule with request for comments (IFC) implements reporting requirements and enforcement authorities in the Social Security Act that were added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will use these new enforcement authorities if states fail to comply with the new reporting requirements added or with Federal Medicaid eligibility redetermination requirements. Here is a presentation summarizing requirements. The comment period ends February 2, 2024.

Comment Today

American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Results Now Available

The Census Bureau has released its 5-year estimates from the American Community Survey, providing local estimates in 40 topic areas, including income, poverty, education, and employment.

Learn More

The Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse

The Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse is a free, public website from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). It summarizes decades of research on programs or interventions that aim to improve employment outcomes for people with low incomes. Click the link below to watch a video of an OPRE analyst speaking with a former TANF administrator about how the Clearinghouse helps practitioners in TANF and related programs use research to improve programs.

Watch Now

APHSA Events

WEBINAR: Creating a Kin-First Approval Process

A recent federal government update on kinship approval standards required for Title IV-E reimbursement significantly lowers the requirements for kin approval to support more children being placed with kin. This provides a unique opportunity for agencies to go above and beyond just reducing their approval requirements for kin and truly shift toward being kin-first in their approach to kinship finding, engagement, support, and approval. Brought to you by Binti, an APHSA Strategic Industry Partner, this webinar will focus on tactical next steps on how your agency can shift toward being kin-first.

January 16, 1:00 to 2:00 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.

Save the Date: June 9-12, 2024

Submit Proposal

Partner Events

WEBINAR: Improving Labor Standards for the Human Services Workforce

Hosted by WorkRise, this webinar provides a snapshot of what local research tells us about human services worker wage equity. It will share perspectives from frontline leaders about what must be done to meet immediate needs and ensure the industry remains sustainable in the future. Participants will hear from the President and CEO of APHSA, Tracy Wareing Evans, who will offer a national viewpoint on challenges and opportunities in the human services workforce.

December 19, 1:00 to 2:00 PM EST

Register Today

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APHSA Career Center - Post Your Open Positions Today

APHSA serves as a clearinghouse for job opportunities throughout the Human Services sector. Employers reach a wide audience of candidates searching for careers and job seekers will find a number of opportunities throughout the country.

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