February 12, 2021
We are excited to share our 2020 Annual Report highlighting our collective success stories and opportunities coming out of a year none of us will ever forget.

We are also pleased to announce that APHSA has been awarded a $3 million grant by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), to advance equitable systems change by advancing family-centered economic mobility approaches. Building on work already underway in the state of Mississippi, this funding will advance local, regional, and national system alignment to support public and private family-serving systems toward family economic mobility. Read our press release.
Congress will be on break next week for President's Day and we will take a brief hiatus too. Everyone have an enjoyable holiday weekend!
Legislative & Regulatory Updates
Budget Reconciliation

House of Representatives Committees are actively working on drafting and finalizing proposed budgets for reconciliation. Several drafts have been published and are summarized by APHSA below.

Child and Family Well-Being
ACF Updates Child Care and Development Waiver Approvals

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released an update which summarizes waiver approvals for all requests reviewed between March 1, 2020 through January 28, 2021 and waivers by provision approved as of February 2, 2021. The update includes a cumulative table summarizing each waiver approval organized by state, territory, and tribe.

President Biden’s Coronavirus Relief Plan Includes Focus on Child Poverty

The 1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief plan proposed by the Biden Administration includes a proposal to temporarily increase the child tax credit (currently $2,000) to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 for children up to age 17 annually. The plan also removes restrictions based on parents’ tax liability so that the families in the lowest income percentile have access to the full credit. Researchers estimate that Biden’s relief plan would decrease the child poverty rate to less than 7%. Though the plan was pitched as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis, the child tax credit could have lasting effects on child poverty in the U.S.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
SNAP E&T Guidance on Civil Rights Requirements

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Civil Rights Division released guidance on ensuring compliance with Civil Rights laws for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education & Training (SNAP E&T) programs. The guidance provides general direction on state compliance with federal laws to ensure that individuals eligible for and/or participating in SNAP E&T are not discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, religious creed, disability, and political beliefs. 

Public Comment: How SNAP Agencies Safeguard Personally Identifiable Information

The USDA has opened a comment period for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review on how State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Agencies collect information and how it functions for proper performance of the agency. Comments are due by March 8.

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkits for Essential Workers & Community-Based Organizations: Getting Started

In some states, essential workers already have access to vaccines to help protect them against COVID-19. These vaccines will be available to essential workers across the nation soon. CDC has provided a toolkit to help employers educate their essential workers about this important new prevention tool. Additionally, the communities you serve will have access to vaccines to help protect against COVID-19. CDC has designed a toolkit to help community-based organizations (CBOs) educate communities about this important new prevention tool.

The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021

The Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, introduced in January 2021. This analysis provided projected budgetary impacts on Medicaid, unemployment insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition programs. If enacted in March 2021, the Raise Wage Act would increase the minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour by June 2025.

Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Eighteenth Report to Congress

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 18th Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors Report to Congress. This report provides welfare dependence indicators from 1996 through 2016/2017. For the purposes of this report, “welfare dependence” is defined as the proportion of individuals who receive more than half of their total family income in one year from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and/or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

Evaluation of SNAP Employment and Training Pilots: Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report to Congress

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized and funded project pilots in ten states to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education & Training (SNAP E&T) programs and test innovative strategies for increasing self-sufficiency for SNAP participants. The USDA released the FY 2020 report “Evaluation of SNAP Employment and Training Pilots: Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report to Congress.” This report provides an overview of the SNAP Employment and Training Pilots Evaluation in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and outlines evaluation-related activities scheduled to take place in FY 2021.

APHSA Partner Updates
Take a News Break and Help Your Field!
It’s been an intense few week of following the news of both the election and the pandemic. We’re hoping, though, that you might be ready to pivot to a task that will make a positive contribution to your field. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago needs your input to improve researcher-practitioner communication in child, youth and family services.  Take a break from the news and take a survey. 
Chapin Hall wants to know how researchers can best get actionable findings to those of you who work in child, youth and family services. They want your opinions about the relevance of research for what you do, your preferred modes of communication and content organization, and how you get information and continuing education now. They will share results with all those who take part so that you can see how your experience aligns with others in your field. If you have questions or concerns or any problems with the survey link, please contact Dr. Martha Van Haitsma at the University of Chicago Survey Lab at mvh@uchicago.edu.
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
APHSA Third Thursday 360: Virtual Mini-Series of Health and Human Services Collective Learning

Join us on the Third Thursday of each month for our exciting new virtual mini-series! Slated to take place through June 2021, each event will offer rich content equivalent to a day spent at a traditional conference with an array of sessions and networking opportunities. ​Bringing policy, practice, and program together on one platform, this unique series will showcase best practices and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and will also zoom in on agency management in child welfare, SNAP, TANF, IT, performance management, and child care.

Thursday, February 18, 12:30-5:15 PM EST

Certificates of attendance will be provided for the pursuit of continuing education (CE) credits. Pay once for entire series! Group discount available for five or more registrants. Learn more!
CDC National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine

Join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their virtual event that will unite representatives from across the U.S. government. The Forum aims to promote the most effective strategies to build trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, use data to optimize vaccine implementation, and provide participants with practical information for increasing vaccine access in communities nationwide, especially for persons at increased risk of COVID-19 disease and those who may face barriers to vaccination.

February 22-24, 2021
Webinar - Harnessing Public Health and Human Services Systems to Create an Equitable & Resilient Nation

Join APHSA and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) for a webinar that explores how human services systems can promote healthy and productive outcomes, and in doing so, advance a comprehensive investment strategy to dismantle systemic racism and build resilient, thriving communities. Moderated by APHSA President and CEO Tracy Wareing Evans, NAPA will host an interactive discussion with state, local, and community human services leaders on how federal policy is being translated into solutions on the ground to tackle the most pressing social and economic needs of families.

Thursday, February 25, 3:30 PM EST
APHSA Career Center - Post Your Open Positions Today

APHSA serves as a clearinghouse for job opportunities throughout the health and human services (H/HS) field. Employers reach a wide audience of candidates looking for careers in H/HS and job seekers will find a bevy of opportunities throughout the country.