April 17, 2020
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and to highlight that, our latest blog post by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) addresses how to conduct child welfare safety assessments and planning under our current conditions. Check out our events section below for information about our joint webinar with NCCD next week on this topic.
Everyone has a role to play in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Visit the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Children’s Bureau website for resources to share in your community on child abuse prevention.
Don’t forget you can continue to access our COVID-19 related updates and resources here . And a nother friendly reminder that even though we aren’t physically together, we are all in this together—social distancing does not equate to emotional distancing. Take care of yourselves and each other!

Latest COVID-19 Updates
APHSA Letter to Congress
On April 10, APHSA submitted a letter  to Congress identifying the most urgent legislative tools needed to support human services agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate aftermath. As we work in partnership with our local and state members to address the unprecedented challenges of this crisis, we are committed to being a collective resource for Congress providing guidance that supports the health and well-being of communities across the nation.       

Child and Family Well-Being
Children's Bureau Issues Letter on Criminal Background Checks, Monthly Caseworker Visit Requirements
The Children's Bureau within the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) has released a letter detailing flexibility regarding fingerprint background check requirements for foster, adoptive, kinship homes and child care institutions. Citing the Stafford Act, the Children's Bureau has found that Title IV-E agencies can proceed with name-based criminal background checks during the COVID-19 crisis, then complete fingerprint background checks when it is safe to do so. The letter also addresses the requirement that 50% of all caseworker visits must occur in the child's residence, clarifying that during the disaster period, visits that occur via video conference may count toward this requirement, consistent with prior visit guidance released in late March.

Children's Bureau Issues Letter on Court Improvement Programs
The Children's Bureau within the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) released a letter this week to court leaders, urging them to engage Court Improvement Programs (CIPs) for assistance in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and to utilize virtual hearings to keep child welfare cases on track. The letter details how CIPs may be best used, and includes additional information to help judges make the transition to virtual hearings.

Emergency Guidance Released on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
On Tuesday the Office of Community Services (OCS) released emergency guidance to lead agencies and eligible entities providing community support  on administration of CSBG in response to COVID-19. The guidance includes immediate priorities, responsibilities of eligible entities, monitoring, eligibility determinations, funding and technical assistance.
Employment and Economic Well-Being
Department of Labor Releases Latest Guidance on Unemployment Insurance
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the latest in a series of guidance related to unemployment insurance (UI). Their Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 17-20 provides guidance on implementing the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
DOL Announces $91.8 Million in Grants Announced for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on Tuesday that $91.8 million in funding would be available through the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) to support the economic stability of farmworkers. Grants will be awarded for programing supporting farmworkers in developing job skills, obtaining employment, or housing assistance.
USDA FNS Issues Mass Denials to SNAP Waivers
States have been submitting waivers to request flexibilities in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) administration since early to mid-March, with requests asking for flexibilities including for interviews, verifications and certification extensions. While many of these requests have been approved, the first denials were issued this week through a letter of mass denial. The letter includes denials that the Food and Nutrition Service ( FNS) does not believe they have the authority to authorize, including waiving restriction on college student eligibility and providing emergency allotments that would place a household above the maximum benefit. The letter also denies treating all applications as expedited and waiving certain verification procedures, because they believe these threaten program integrity.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released question and answer documents that help to clarify certain regulations that affect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies. Treatment of payments, which includes pandemic unemployment and assistance as created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ( CARES) Act, are to be counted as unearned income for current and future SNAP applicants, emergency allotments, adjustments and flexibilities, operational questions, verification of job loss, and SNAP outreach.

USDA FNS Posts Flexibility for TEFAP Agencies
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a critical resource for food banks and food pantries, and this need has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has posted information about flexibilities that states can submit a state plan approval for, including adjustments to income eligibility, address collection, waiving signatures, and distribution models that accommodate social distancing.

DC and NC Added to SNAP Online Pilot Program
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Washington, DC and North Carolina’s requests to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households has been approved. This approval will allow the State and Federal District to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers, with a target start date to be announced at a later time.
Upcoming Webinars
APHSA Webinar: Physical Distancing and Social Work Best Practices
During the current public health crisis, child welfare and other social work practitioners have continued the essential work of supporting child safety and family needs. Join us along with the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) to hear from child welfare leaders from across the country as they discuss how their work is evolving, along with emerging “best practices” in engagement, intervention, and supervision during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, April 22, 2:00 PM CST
APHSA & FrameWorks COVID-19 Virtual Session for Health and Human Services Communication/Outreach Staff
FrameWorks Institute , a nonprofit think tank that equips mission-driven communicators to lead productive public conversations, is helping experts be better understood and heard in a time of global crisis. Join APHSA along with FrameWorks’ senior staff next week for a conversation about framing health and human service issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. At least half of the time will be dedicated to open discussion. We encourage you to submit any “messaging-in-progress” you may have in advance for informal (and non-judgmental) feedback. Please submit your sample communication to Christina at [email protected] . All local and state agency communication and outreach staff are encouraged to participate

Thursday, April 23, 3:00 PM EST
Webinar Series: Integrating Social Services and Health
Join the Health Affairs webinar series to highlight key papers and authors examining the integration of social services and health. There is growing attention in the health sector to understanding and addressing the social factors that play a role in people’s health. Yet, most programs designed to meet social needs are completely separate from those designed to meet health care needs. Hear about studies published in this month's issue, particularly relevant now that COVID-19 highlights the need for an integrated response.

Thursday, April 23, 2:00-3:30 PM EST Evidence-Based Practices
Thursday, April 30, 2:00-3:30 PM EST Infrastructure
Webinar: Learn to Develop a Preventive Child Welfare Practice Model for the Family First Act
Join The Annie E. Casey Foundation to learn how states and counties can align a preventive child welfare practice model with the Family First Act . E xperts will discuss Putting Family First , a new paper from the Foundation that helps child welfare agencies develop a preventive practice model that addresses the unique needs of local families while ensuring quality, implementable programs and practices. This webinar is part of their continuing series “Leading With Evidence: Informing Practice With Research.”

Wednesday, April 29, 1:00 PM EST
Webinar: How to Use Place-Based Data to Promote Health Equity During COVID-19
Join Salud America! to learn how their Health Equity Report Card can help you visualize and explore place-based health inequities in your county, and build a case toward solutions. Speakers will discuss how inequities contribute to disparities in infectious and chronic disease; how you can use local data, interactive maps, and comparative gauges to identify your local health inequity issues; and look at Evidence-based research and emerging ways local communities are addressing health inequities.

Thursday, May 7, 2:00 PM EST
Upcoming Events
Reminder: All APHSA-sponsored and co-hosted events that were scheduled between now and the end of June have been postponed. While we continue to plan for our events scheduled to take place in the fall, we are simultaneously making contingency plans should we not be able to convene. In the same spirit, we will remain flexible regarding event deadlines as we move forward.
APHSA 2020 American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) & National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Call For Proposals & Distinguished Service Award Nominations
APHSA is now accepting proposals for our 2020 American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) & National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Education Conference, August 23-26, Milwaukee, WI. Deadline for submission is April 24.
Distinguished Service Award Nominations: AASD and NASTA are pleased to offer the opportunity to recognize outstanding performance in the design, delivery, management and administration of the SNAP and TANF Programs by human services employees and programs.  Deadline for award submission is May 1.
APHSA 2020 National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM) Call For Proposals
APHSA is now accepting proposals for our 2020 National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM) Education Conference, August 3-6, Portland, OR. Deadline for submission is May 1.
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.