August 2, 2019
Both chambers have now left town for their six-week August recess. This will be our last issue of TWIW before we also take a hiatus, yet no worries - we will keep you informed if there is anything of note happening around Washington. Stay connected with us on Twitter for the latest updates through the August break and l ook for us back in your inbox on September 13. Don’t forget early registration and hotel rates are closing soon for several APHSA conferences—details in the conference section below!
Legislative Update
Senate Approves Massive Two-Year Budget Deal
On Thursday, with a vote of 67-28, the bipartisan budget deal of 2019 has passed in the Senate. The deal lifts the debt ceiling for two years and raises spending over $320 billion over two years, bringing overall discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion in fiscal 2019 to $1.37 trillion in 2020 and $1.375 trillion in 2021.  Republican leaders had to lobby their more conservative members to support the package, many expressing concern over lifting the debt ceiling. The deal will head to the White House, where it is expected to be signed. 

The Homeland Security Improvement Act Moves Through Committee, Added to House Calendar
The Homeland Security Improvement Act (HR 2203) establishes training requirements for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to ensure the appropriate treatment of migrants. It generally prohibits CBP from separating children from their families, requires migrants to be released or transferred from initial CBP custody within 72 hours, and establishes an independent department to handle complaints. Finally, it also establishes a commission to examine the actions of federal agencies toward migrant families and children who were apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border by CBP since January 2017.

Child and Family Well-Being
The New Economy and Child Care: Nonstandard-Hour Work, Child Care, and Child Health and Well-Being
APHSA has teamed with Mathematica to create this report examining how changing work schedules of mothers with young children is linked to child care instability and problems for children’s health and well-being. Analysis of a nationwide survey finds young children of mothers who face changing work schedules are at increased risk for behavior problems; while interviews with state child care administrators reveal their concern about the ability to serve these families. The report recommends alternative ways to offer child care assistance to working parents with nonstandard hours and better infrastructure to serve them.

Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs
and Promising Policies
With news continuing to break around the border, we wanted to reintroduce Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies . This report explores the diversity of approaches for developing specialized policies and practices for working with children in immigrant families. It draws on interviews with child welfare officials from 14 states, six counties, and New York City, identifying a recommended approach and discussing relevant policies and practices.

As an additional resource, there was also a webinar that took place earlier this year showcasing the report and providing an overview of issues of intersection between immigration and child welfare systems. Program administrators share their perspectives and the report authors discuss their recommendations with examples relating to organizational structure, training, language access, licensing of providers, screenings for immigration-status issues, interactions with foreign governments, and more. 

Engaging Youth in Information Systems Design Toolkit
The Children’s Bureau at the Office of the Administration for Children & Families recently released an Engaging Youth in Information Systems Design Toolkit . This technical assistance document provides guidance to title IV-E agencies about engaging and involving youth in foster care and young adults formerly in foster care (youth and young adults) in the design and development of child welfare information systems, websites, or applications. This technical assistance document is intended for title IV-E agency program staff, youth in foster care, young adults formerly in foster care, CCWIS project managers, and other child welfare partners.

ACF Seeks Comment on Revised Title IV-E Data Collection
The Administration for Children and Families is requesting to revise the existing information collection Plan for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance (OMB #0970-0433), to include two new information collections specific to two new programs: Title IV-E prevention services plan and an attachment to the plan for the kinship navigator program.  Comments are due September 23.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
Office of Community Services Seeks Comments on Proposed Information Collection on LIHEAP
On July 30, the ACF Office of Community Services (OCS) published in the Federal Register a request for public comments on a proposed information collection activity relating to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). OCS is requesting an extension for the collection and reporting of 2020 administrative household data for state LIHEAP grantees' LIHEAP recipients. OMB approved the original collection under #0970-0486. The LIHEAP data collected for this effort will be used by OCS to study the impact of LIHEAP on income eligible and recipient households. The information is being collected for use in development of the Department's annual LIHEAP Report to Congress and the annual LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook.  Comments on this proposed information collection activity are due by September 27.

Food and Nutrition Service Seeks Comments on Proposed Information Collection Through the Food Programs Reporting System
On July 30, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published in the Federal Register a request for comments on a proposed information collection. It is a revision of a currently approved information collection request for the electronic submission of programmatic and financial data through the Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS). FNS is consolidating certain programmatic and financial data reporting requirements that are currently approved by OMB, under the FPRS, an electronic reporting system that serves as a single portal through which states and tribes can submit the various reporting required for the programs they operate, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and more. Comments on the proposed information collection are due no later than September 30.

GAO Study Recommends Changes to SNAP-Ed Programs
The Government Accountability Office released a report following its review of USDA-funded and administered nutrition education efforts, which aim to help educate Americans on nutrition and improve their dietary choices. Their review included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), one of USDA's largest nutrition education programs. USDA collects some information on the effectiveness of most of its nutrition education programs; yet information USDA collects from states on SNAP-Ed effectiveness cannot be easily aggregated or reviewed. The GAO report examines the extent to which USDA (1) has information on participation, expenditures, and effectiveness for its nutrition education programs; and (2) coordinates its nutrition education efforts and leverages internal nutrition expertise for these efforts. Based on its findings, GAO makes three recommendations to USDA, including that USDA improve how it gathers information on SNAP-Ed effectiveness, develop a formal mechanism for coordinating nutrition education across the department, and take steps to fully leverage the department's nutrition expertise for its nutrition education efforts. 

Food and Nutrition Service Releases SNAP Payment Error Rates for Fiscal Year 2018
This week, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the national and state-level SNAP payment error rates for FY2018. The national SNAP payment error rate was 6.8 percent in FY2018, up from 6.3 in FY2017. According to a press release from FNS, the agency will be building on its SNAP payment accuracy strategy in the coming months, including finalizing a proposed rule making changes to the SNAP quality control process, including reforms enacted by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill. A chart of states’ FY2018 SNAP payment error rates is available to view.

Next Steps for Utah’s Medicaid Expansion
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) denied Utah's request for enhanced federal funds on a partial Medicaid expansion plan. As Utah was only going to expand Medicaid to 100% FPL (a coverage threshold lower than under the Affordable Care Act), CMS denied expanding funding. On Wednesday, Governor Herbert outlined detailed next steps, explaining that the Utah Department of Health will submit a “Per Capita Cap” waiver request this week.

To Address the Social Determinants of Health, Start with the Data
This new blog series from Mathematica will explore how different stakeholders can improve and leverage social determinants of health data to maximize the health and well-being of children and adults in the United States. Mathematica’s
data and policy experts will share their experience tackling urgent societal challenges, including in-depth knowledge of the data and analytic systems in the health and social services sectors. The first post is: T o Address the Social Determinants of Health, Start with the Data.

CMS Provides New Support for Babies, Pregnant Women, and Mothers Affected by Substance Abuse Disorders
Earlier this week CMS announced two provisions of the SUPPORT ACT, Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) and Help for Moms and Babies (HMB). Information in the provisions provides new coverage options to state Medicaid programs to assist babies, pregnant women, and mothers affected by opioid and substance abuse disorders. The CRIB and HMB are the latest in several CMS programs focused on both SUDs and Maternal Health.

Small Dollar Mortgages Could Help with Housing Affordability
This feature by the Urban Institute examines how low-cost housing markets around the country would be strengthened by new sources of capital offering small dollar loans, for houses averaging $70,000 or less. Many families in cities with lower home prices have trouble buying homes because they cannot qualify for a mortgage and don't have cash. Buyers are significantly less likely to get financing for a lower priced home that they could afford and these homes are likely to be bought by investors with cash and used as rentals. The racial home-ownership gap would shrink and hundreds of thousand of households across the country could have the opportunity to buy or renovate if there were more opportunity for small dollar loans.

Upcoming APHSA Conferences
National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM) Annual Education Conference
The 2019 NAPIPM Annual Education Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for dedicated human services professionals responsible for improving the performance measurement capabilities of their agencies. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focusing on reshaping today’s service delivery systems.

August 5-8 | Memphis, TN
American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) & National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Education Conference
The 2019 AASD/NASTA Annual Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Service leaders and policy makers to shape the future of SNAP and TANF programs through collaboration and modernization and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focused on advancing SNAP and TANF programs.

August 25-28 | Charlotte, NC
Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Annual Conference
The 2019 ISM Conference is the premiere conference for health and human services IT leaders, focusing on innovative IT solutions. For 52 years, the ISM Conference has brought together the brightest minds from public H/HS agencies, private industry, academia and community-based organizations to showcase the future of H/HS Information Technology. The 2019 topics will include: Data Analytics, Modernizing the Workforce, Inventive Strategies, Operationalizing Technology, Technology in Service of Customers and more.

September 22-25 | Milwaukee, WI
The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Annual Education Conference
The 2019 NSDTA Education Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Services leaders responsible for training, staff and organizational development/effectiveness and workforce planning shape the future of these vital programs through collaboration, innovation and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees.

October 20-23 | Long Beach, CA
American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Annual Education Conference
The AAHHSA Annual National Education and Training Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for attorneys who represent the state and local government agencies that administer health and/or human services programs. The overarching goal of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of information between attorneys and promote pragmatic innovation in the field of H/HS services.

October 27-30 | Arlington, VA
Upcoming Events
NSDTA Showcase Series Webinar: Technology in the Training Room - What's HOT and How to Use it!
Join us for the latest webinar in the NSDTA Showcase Series. Using technology provides the opportunity for presenters to keep learners immersed and excited to learn while additionally catering to the varying styles in adult learning. This webinar will introduce you to HOT technologies used to implement media in an adult learning environment, producing a first-class training experience. Together, we will explore a variety of tools used to amplify learner retention, cater to the thrills within us all with content specific games, and uncover tools used to boost learner buy-in to create a more collaborative learning experience.

Wednesday, September 4, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Call For Papers Now Open For 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit
The State Healthcare IT Connect Summit has grown and evolved into an important national venue. Public and private sector thought leaders share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of State Health IT Systems, with an anticipated 1000+ attendees & 45+ state teams at the 2020 program. Cross-cutting agenda themes include: Data Quality, Program & Business Metrics, Evolving Procurement Approaches, Organizational Change Management, Interoperability, Consumer Data Access, Integrating SDoH, Advanced Analytics, Security and Privacy.
Submission deadline is Friday, October 4.

April 27-29, 2020 | Baltimore, MD
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.