April 16, 2021
APHSA is partnering with Share Our Strength, whose No Kid Hungry campaign will invest nearly $2 million in six states to advance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agency innovation and interagency coordination to combat childhood hunger. APHSA will facilitate cohort learning, provide technical assistance to funded sites, and distill policy implications for relevant stakeholder networks over an 18-month grant period. Read press release and grantee project summaries.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Take some time this month to check out the HHS Administration for Children & Families’ 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide, designed to help service providers and organizations to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. The guide focuses on protective factors that build on family strengths to foster healthy child and youth development.
We’re growing! APHSA has openings for a Project Director for Advancing Family Economic Mobility, and a Policy Fellow, Technology and Analytics. Positions are located in Arlington, VA but currently available for 100% virtual work.
Child and Family Well-Being
DHS Publishes Letter on End of 2019 Public Charge Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a letter to inform interagency partners that the 2019 public charge rule is no longer in effect. Following a review, DHS determined that continuing the policy—pursuant to which the lawful receipt of Medicaid, public housing, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could lead to a finding of inadmissibility—was “neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.” 

FAMILY Act Reintroduced on the Anniversary of FMLA

On the 28th anniversary of the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act). The FAMILY Act would take the unpaid leave provided by the FMLA and turn it into paid leave, meaning an eligible employee could take paid leave for the birth or placement of a child, to care for an employee’s spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition, or a serious health condition of the employee. Paid leave would last up to 12 weeks and the pay would amount to approximately two-thirds of the employee’s wages. 

Read Bill  
GAO Publishes New Report on the Federal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a new report on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. GAO found that the pandemic continues to result in catastrophic loss of life and substantial damage to the global economy, stability, and security. The report outlined 28 new recommendations that federal agencies could implement to improve their responses to the pandemic. 

ACF Proposed Information Collection Activity

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) is requesting a three-year extension of the form: Request for Assistance (RFA) for Child Victims of Human Trafficking (OMB #0970-0362, expiration 07/31/2021). Minor revisions have been made to the form, including the addition of a few fields that will enable the OTIP Child Protection Specialist team to better understand the child's specific needs, connect the child to appropriate services, and help ensure the safety of the child. Deadline for comment submissions is May 28.

Revised Child Care Improper Payments DCI Open Comment Period

The Office of Child Care (OCC) under the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is looking for feedback on minor revisions they have made to the Child Care Improper Payments Data Collection Instructions (DCI). A copy of the revised DCI can be viewed on the Federal Register. Deadline for comment submissions is June 11.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
FNS Changes SNAP Emergency Allotments Policy to Benefit Households at or Near the Max Benefit

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released updated guidance on Emergency Allotments (EAs) to to include that each household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will now receive an EA of at least $95. Originally authorized in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), EAs were previously interpreted to raise all households to the maximum SNAP benefit for their household size, with those households already at the maximum benefit level not receiving any EA. This new guidance will result in an additional $1 billion per month in food assistance to an estimated 25 million people.

Approval of Information Collection Request for E&T Opportunities in SNAP

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared the associated information collection requirements (ICR) on March 16, 2021. The approved ICR for the final rule has five parts, four of which do not have existing collection burdens. The four new requirements include providing all Education & Training (E&T) participants with case management services, requiring state agencies to notify individuals with a provider determination, requiring state agencies to notify Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) of the ABAWD work requirement, and requiring state agencies to advise certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households of available E&T services at the time of recertification. A Q&A on the final rule focuses on provisions that are significantly impacted. 

OFA Publishes PEAF Resources

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has published two Program Instructions (PIs) with initial guidance on the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF), including the allotment request form. The PIs note that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies are required to make a one-time election of the full amount requested under PEAF no later than April 25, 2021. The PIs also include guidance on the allotment formula; the deadlines for the one-time election by TANF agencies to request funds; the reallotment of unused funds; the expenditure period for PEAF funds; use of funds for administrative costs; use of funds for non-recurrent, short term benefits (NRSTs); eligible recipients of NRSTs; a statement about non-supplantation; expenditure data filings under Forms ACF-196R, ACF-196T, and ACF-196TR; instruction on TANF Plan Amendments; and guidance on the spending cap for territories. 

FNS Posts Memo on Option to Temporarily Increase WIC Cash Value Voucher/Benefit

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently announced a temporary increase in the Cash-Value Voucher/Benefit for Fruit and Vegetable Purchases (CVV/B) for certain food packages up to $35 per month during the federally declared COVID-19 public health emergency. The increase for CVV/B in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is authorized for up to four months and funded in the American Rescue Plan. States must notify FNS of their intent to exercise the option; their authority for the increase will be terminated September 30, 2021. 

FNS Releases SNAP-Ed Final Allocations for FY 2021 with Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Provision

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released states’ final Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 allocations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-Ed). These funds, which include support from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, will be utilized for technical assistance efforts and the development of resources which support state SNAP-Ed program delivery. 

Upcoming APHSA Events
Save the Date! 2021 conferences are being designed to fit the hybrid event model with both in-person and virtual options. More details and registration deadlines to come. Visit our Events Page for all our upcoming events.

Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM), September 26-29, Cincinnati, OH

National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA),
October 3-6, Spokane, WA
APHSA - Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference (EMWB) Call For Proposals

APHSA, in partnership with the National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) and three APHSA affinity groups including the American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD), the National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM), and the National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) is now accepting proposals for the hybrid 2021 Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference (EMWB), scheduled for August 22-25 in Milwaukee, WI. Workshop proposals are encouraged in the following categories:
  • Translating Research into Action
  • Preparing for an Equitable and Resilient Recovery
  • Innovations in Policy and Practice
  • Operational Excellence, Workforce and Organizational Well-being
  • Dismantling Structural Inequities in Human Services

Deadline for submission is Tuesday, April 20.
APHSA Third Thursday 360: Virtual Mini-Series of Health and Human Services Collective Learning

Join us on the Third Thursday of each month through June - building on our January-April sessions, we're continuing with topics on Child Welfare, SNAP, TANF, IT, Performance Management, Child Care, & more. It's never too late to join in as your registration allows full access to the entire series!

Thursday, May 20, 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!
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
CSG Capitol Ideas Presents: A Year of Recovery

Join the Council of State Governments (CSG) along with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in conversation with emergency managers and state health officials as they discuss state response to COVID-19, lessons learned and how their industries are more important than ever.

Thursday, May 6, 2:30-4:30 PM EST
2021 Virtual State Healthcare IT Connect Summit 

Reimagining Health, and Human Service Delivery for 2021 & Beyond! Early registration is now open for the Healthcare IT Connect Summit. COVID-19 has highlighted, as never before, the need to address healthcare disparities for the nation's highest-risk patients often residing in some of the most underserved communities. The pace of change and innovation is set to continue, with the CMS, and ONC Interoperability rules laying the foundation, for a more citizen-centric data ecosystem, and the ability to deliver care in a variety of settings, across the health and human services continuum.

May 17-21, 2021
NAPA Annual Social Equity Leadership Virtual Conference

Join the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) for the 20th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference. This virtual conference provides a space to discuss how public administrators can develop a broader understanding of social equity and recognize social equity's implications within the administrative context. You will have the opportunity to engage in the discussion through a range of educational lectures, workshops, live plenaries, keynote and lunchtime speakers, on-demand panels, and power social hours.

June 9-11, 2021
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.