January 15, 2021
We wish everyone a safe and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday, January 18. Known as a day of service, we encourage you to find volunteer opportunities near you here, including many virtual events. May we be reminded by Dr. King's words of how interconnected we all really are ... "And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world."
We’re looking for a consultant experienced in racial equity training for leaders and teams to provide (virtual) learning and planning to advance our internal culture of racial equity and racial justice and help us develop a strategic roadmap that will guide our work in these areas for the next 3-5 years. Proposal deadline is Wednesday, January 27. Learn More.
Legislative Updates
President-elect Biden Announces American Rescue Plan

Earlier this week President-elect Biden released the first of a two-step plan for COVID-19 aid and recovery. The plan addresses provisions for vaccine distribution, education support, and economic recovery. Notable provisions in the plan for human services include $25 billion for additional rental assistance, $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and water assistance, $5 billion to support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, extending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase through September, temporarily reducing SNAP admin match, $1 billion for nutrition assistance for territories, $25 billion child care stabilization fund, an additional $15 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBGs), and $1 billion for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance.

Child and Family Well-Being
New Information Memorandum from the Administration for Children and Families

The Children’s Bureau released a new Information Memorandum (IM), ACYF-CB-IM-21-03, on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic with the purpose of highlighting strategies and opportunities for child and family serving agencies, organizations, and entities to create equitable, proactive, and integrated approaches to support the health and well-being of children and families.

New Information Memorandum from the Administration for Children and Families

The Children’s Bureau released a new Information Memorandum (IM), ACYF-CB-IM-21-04, on allowable flexibilities related to adaptations of evidence-based programs in the title IV-E prevention services program for tribal communities. The purpose of the IM is to clarify how allowable adaptations to evidence-based programs and services can be used to provide flexibility for tribal communities under state title IV-E prevention programs, and to encourage state IV-E agencies to identify with tribes which services will be most helpful and to work with tribes to make allowable adaptations to services that will be responsive to tribal culture.

Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Resources

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Child Welfare Information Gateway with the Children's Bureau has shared resources to help educate about human trafficking and to develop comprehensive responses that assist victims and potential victims.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Indiana Approved for Next Round of P-EBT

In the last week of 2020, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Indiana were approved to operate Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) plans for School Year 2020-2021. This program was first authorized in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and was authorized for the current school year through the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020. The program provides a supplemental nutrition benefit for students that would have otherwise received free or reduced-price meals if schools were operating in person. This new round of P-EBT also provides a benefit for children under the age of 6 who would have otherwise received free meals in their childcare facility.

Treasury Department Posts Information on Emergency Rental Assistance

The Treasury Department shared information on how state and local government can access funds for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program created by the recent Coronavirus relief legislation. The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, and local governments with populations greater than 200,000 residents.

FNS Posts Q&A #4 on Summer Food Service and Seamless Summer Options During SY20-21

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) posted a fourth set of guidance on the Summer Food Service and Seamless Summer Options that schools are using during the current school year to offer free meals to students without proof of income. The Q&A answers questions such as what is included in countable income, amendments to State agency agreements, and necessary household applications.

FDPIR Demonstration Project Call for Proposals

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is soliciting proposals from eligible Tribal Organizations to participate in a demonstration project to purchase agricultural commodities for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). This demonstration project was initially authorized in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Proposals are due by March 15.

APHSA Partner Updates
RFP - Coordinating SNAP & Nutrition Supports
APHSA is partnering with Share Our Strength to offer a new grant opportunity for state SNAP agencies to increase coordination between their SNAP program and other nutrition supports to reduce childhood hunger. The demonstration project will fund 3-5 states and APHSA will serve as the grant administrator to support cohort learning. The RFP is due by January 29.
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
Webinar - Event Information: Strategies to Increase School Meal Application Returns

With school districts across the country offering free meals to all students through the summer nutrition programs and many children attending school remotely, schools have struggled to collect school meal applications. These forms help link families to various benefits, including Pandemic EBT. Join this webinar with the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) to learn about best practices to collect applications during COVID-19, and resources FRAC and partners have developed to assist your efforts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2:00 PM EST
SSWR Virtual Conference: Social Work Science For Social Change

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Conference offers a scientific program that reflects a broad range of research interests, from workshops on the latest quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to symposia featuring studies in child welfare, aging, mental health, welfare reform, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Over 500 symposia, workshop, roundtable, paper and poster presentations. Research methods workshops designed to enhance methods expertise and grant-writing skills and special sessions on research priorities and capacity building that target cutting-edge topics vital to contemporary social work research.

January 19-22, 2021
APHSA Third Thursday 360: Virtual Mini-Series of Health and Human Services Collective Learning

Beginning Thursday, January 21, join us for an exciting new virtual mini-series! Slated to take place from January to June on the Third Thursday of the month, 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.

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!
Using Data for Justice: How Changemakers Can Center Racial Equity in COVID-19 Recovery

Join the Urban Institute for a special installment in their conversation series, Evidence to Action, as part of their launch of the Racial Equity Analytics Lab, which equips equity-focused changemakers with data and analyses to design and advance race-conscious policies that remedy structural racism and to hold governments and institutions accountable for choices that perpetuate oppressive systems.

Monday, January 25, 4:30-5:30 PM EST
AHPSA Webinar - Creating the “Next Normal” in Human Services: Redesigning Service Delivery to Increase Capacity and Meet Demand
It is critical that human services agencies process requests for services with limited in-person contact as quickly as possible to provide supports to all qualifying customers impacted by COVID-19. Join Change & Innovation Agency for a roundtable discussion with human services colleagues as they discuss their experiences leading their agencies through these unprecedented times and how they are creating the “next normal” in service delivery by transforming operations to meet workload demand - now and for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, January 28, 2:00-3:15 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.