February 8, 2019
Congressional negotiations continue regarding a compromise on border security funding in the Homeland Security appropriations bill. In hopes of avoiding another partial government shutdown, the House has extended its work week to include being in session on the 14th and 15th (originally scheduled for the Democratic Caucus annual retreat). House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer informed members that they could be working through the weekend if appropriations are not completed by Feb 15th.
APHSA-NACo Capitol Hill Briefing
Transforming Policy and Practice at the Local Level: The County Role in Building Well-Being from the Ground Up

When it comes to helping residents stay healthy and live well, counties are the cornerstone to creating thriving communities built on human potential. As the local administrators of federal health and human services programs and general service providers, counties are best positioned to uncover opportunities to update and improve federal programs to better meet our shared residents’ needs. Join the American Public Human Services Association, the National Association of Counties and county leaders to discuss how changes at the federal level can help local governments enact new approaches to delivering services that allow our residents to achieve self-sufficiency, and how a strong federal-state-local partnership is critical to the success of these efforts.

Tuesday, March 5 | Time and Location TBA

Legislative Update
Sen. Gardner (R-CO) Introduces S. 289, a Bill to Support Rural Residency Training Funding That Is Equitable for All States

Rep. Murphy (D-FL) Introduces H.R. 944, a Bill to Require MACPAC to Publish an Annual Report on the Estimated Impact in Each State of Medicaid Expansion
Child and Family Well-Being
Children's Bureau Request for Comments
The Children’s Bureau is seeking comments on the data elements required in the Family First Prevention Services Act, including:

  • Specific services or programs provided
  • Total expenditures for each of the services or programs provided,
  • Duration of the services or programs provided
  • If the child was identified in a prevention plan as a candidate for foster care: the child’s placement status at the beginning, and at the end, of the 12 month period that begins on the date the child was identified as a candidate for foster care in a prevention plan; and whether the child entered foster care during the initial 12 month period and during the subsequent 12 month period.

Specifically, the Children’s Bureau would like states and local child welfare agencies to comment on whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will be useful; the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments will be considered through April 5, 2019.

ACF Data Collection
On Tuesday, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) proposed to collect data for a new study, Assessing Models of Coordinated Services for Low-Income Children and Their Families (AMCS). Through AMCS, ACF seeks to learn more about how states and communities coordinate early care and education, family economic security, and/or other health and human services to most efficiently and effectively serve the needs of low-income children and their families.
Department of Labor Request for Comments
The Department of Labor seeks comments on the proposed National Database of Childcare Costs. DoL proposes structuring the National Database on submissions of Market-Rate Survey Data collected by state Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) administrators. Comments are due by February 21, 2019.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services Issues More Guidance Regarding February and March SNAP Benefits
On Thursday, January 31, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released another Q&A document regarding the early issuance of February 2019 SNAP benefits. In addition to clarifications around the early issuance of February 2019 SNAP benefits, the document confirms that the continuing resolution signed by the President on January 25 ensures full funding for SNAP benefits and state administrative costs through March. The full document can be viewed here .

On Friday, February 1, FNS issued a letter to state SNAP directors regarding the interval between issuances of February and March SNAP benefits due to the early issuance of February benefits during the lapse in appropriations. The letter explains that “given the unique circumstances of this situation, the staggered issuance provisions of Section 7(g)(2) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2018, as amended, requiring that no household experience more than 40 days between issuances, do not apply in this instance.” However, FNS expects states to develop plans to mitigate the impact and shorten the interval between February and March issuances. States should submit their mitigation plans to their SNAP Regional Directors. The full letter can be viewed here . All information released by FNS about SNAP program operations in light of the lapse in Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations can be found here .
Department of Education Proposes Adult Education Implementation Study
The Department of Education is seeking public comment on a proposed study mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including a survey of state directors.
Opioid Epidemic Update
JAMA Report Finds Opioid Epidemic Expected to Result in 82,000 Deaths Annually by 2025
Utah Medicaid
Uncertainty around Utah’s Medicaid expansion continues. Although Utah voters approved a measure to expand their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act last year, the Utah legislature is currently considering a bill to replace the voter-approved expansion with a more narrow version, which would extend coverage for up to 100% of the poverty level (instead of up to 138%). The state would also have to cover 30% of the costs versus the 10% under the ACA. The legislation rests on the assumption that Utah will be the first state to receive federal approval for a partial Medicaid expansion. A link to the Utah bill, which Governor Herbert is expected to sign, is here .
APHSA 2019 Conference Schedule
Check out APHSA's 2019 Conferences. Agenda, travel and housing details coming soon.
Improving State and Local Human Services Contracting and Outcomes Webinar
Join APHSA and Results for America as we explore how state and local governments can improve their human services procurement processes to get better outcomes for their residents.

Tuesday, February 12 | 2:00 - 3:15 PM EST

National Leaders Collaborate to Offer Scenario Planning on the Future of Human Services Webinar Series
To offer insights into what progress humans have made, what needs we will have and what human services will be in the United States in 2035 , leading national human services organizations are offering a three-part webinar series to help public and private human services providers and community partners respond to and prepare for major uncertainties in the state of the economy and employment, technology, policy, equity and inclusion.

Wednesday, February 20 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, EST (Webinar #1)

NSDTA Showcase Webinar Series
Designing in PowerPoint: Simple Tips on Graphic and Presentation Design

Wednesday, March 6 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

Call for Proposals - 2019 APHSA National HHS Summit
APHSA is accepting proposals for the APHSA 2019 National Health and Human Services Summit, May 19-22 in Arlington, VA.

APHSA is elevating critical policy discussions and providing an opportunity for collective conversations with the Administration and Congress for a shared path forward for a modern, responsive and effective human service system.

We are seeking proposals that will create conversations, engage public and private partners from the health and human services sector and include thought leaders in the field.

The Economic Impact of Investing in Youth Transitioning From Foster Care - Annie E. Casey
Future Savings: The Economic Potential of Successful Transitions From Foster Care to Adulthood builds on two previous Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative reports - Cost Avoidance: The Business Case for Investing in Youth Aging Out of Foster Care and Cost Avoidance: Bolstering the Economic Case for Investing in Youth Aging Out of Foster Care - that calculate economic costs associated with young people who age out of foster care and emphasize how billions of dollars in costs are avoidable with targeted interventions.

Aspen Early Childhood and Health Forum: Aligning and Streamlining Systems to Secure Better Outcomes for Families Webinar
In the summer of 2018, Ascend gathered more than two dozen state and national policy experts and other leaders in the fields of health and early learning to explore the growing opportunity to leverage the 2Gen approach at the state level and determine how best to take promising new innovations to scale. This webinar will feature several of the Forum’s participants highlighting some of the best practices and key insights, innovations, and models emerging in states to advance whole-family success and well-being.