August 7, 2020
We have been closely tracking the progress of the next COVID relief package and today we submitted a letter to Congress on SNAP Policy Priorities. Read here.

August is National Wellness Month—take some time in the coming days to focus on self-care, stress management, and perhaps start a new healthy habit. It might seem counterintuitive to focus on yourself during this pandemic, but self-care is vital to your well-being and your ability to care for others. Check out a few healthy living apps here.
TWIW traditionally follows the same schedule as Congress and takes a brief hiatus whenever they are on recess. With August recess upon us, we won’t be in your inbox every Friday, but with activity on the stimulus package occurring, we will likely publish a brief "special edition" of TWIW when important updates are available—stay tuned! In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on twitter, our blog, and you can also continue to access our COVID-19 related resources including our policy analysis and a collection of federal guidance here.
Legislative Updates
APHSA Letter to Congress on SNAP Policy Priorities 

This morning APHSA sent a letter to Congress outlining the top Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) priorities and technical considerations for human services agencies in the next COVID relief package. The letter addresses the need to increase the minimum and maximum SNAP benefit levels, to simplify, extend, and expand Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), to provide fiscal relief for both SNAP implementation and P-EBT, and to establish waivers to support SNAP implementation for the duration of the pandemic.

Bipartisan Bill to Provide Emergency Support for Foster Youth and Child Welfare Services Introduced

H.R. 7947, the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, was introduced in the House today. This bill would provide states with the resources and flexibility needed to meaningfully meet the immediate needs of youth and young adults during this crisis including financial assistance, housing, and employment assistance.
Child and Family Well-Being
Revised Procedures and Standards: Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) Review

The Administration of Children & Families is seeking public comment on a proposed update to the procedures and standards for the HomVEE evidence review process. HomVEE reviews evidences of effectiveness for home visiting programs that target pregnant women and families with young children. Comments are due September 1, 2020.

FNS Extends Meal Pattern Flexibility Waivers for Child Nutrition Programs

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved a national, blanket extension of the meal pattern flexibility waiver for child nutrition programs until August 31, 2020. This is the fifth extension of the waiver thus far and will allow schools to continue to waive the meal pattern requirement, allowing families and children greater flexibility and access in redeeming meals.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
FNS Issues Guidance on Online Purchasing for Retailers and Prepared and Heated Foods

The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) issued two new guidance resources last week. This included FNS-GD-2020-0135 “Online Purchasing for Retailers – Technical Questions and Answers,” discussing FNS retailer stocking requirements and online purchasing requirements for retailers who would like to add online shopping to their ecommerce platform. Additionally, FNS issued FNS-GD-2020-0134 “Retailer Eligibility - Prepared Foods and Heated Foods,” defining heated foods, hot foods, and cold prepared foods in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer eligibility determinations.

Request for Information on Innovative Programs To Reconnect Youth to Education and Employment and Promote Self-Sufficiency

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information on programs that provide services to help young people, ages 16 to 24, advance on education and employment pathways. The proposal focuses on disconnected youth who are neither working or in school. The deadline for submissions is September 28, 2020.

Depart of Labor Issues an Implementation Checklist for CARES Act Unemployment Programs

The Department of Labor Issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) notice NO. 01-20, which is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 Implementation Checklist. This TEN advises States of the availability of a CARES Act Implementation Checklist to ensure they have systems and procedures in place to properly administer the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs enacted in Title II, CARES Act.

Upcoming Webinars & Events
APHSA Leadership Corner Series: Conversations to Spark Inspiration and Innovation

Join us virtually for our Inaugural Event Leading Courageously in Crisis: Rules of the Road, featuring author and historian, Nancy Koehn. This session will present critical tools, insights and behaviors for leading courageously in crisis. We will examine a number of “Rules of the Road” for helping you, your team and your followers navigate through the current crises, including Covid-19, the economic downturn and the campaign for equality and justice. We will focus on how, in the midst of widespread volatility and high stakes, you can raise the level of your game as a leader. And we will explore how to motivate your people in a multi-stage crisis as well as how to take care of yourself in this environment.

Wednesday, August 19, 1:00-2:15 PM EDT
APHSA Webinar - What Happens After CARES? Projections of Poverty and Program Eligibility from the COVID-19 Pandemic & Economic Recession

Join us along with analysts from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as they examine three alternative economic scenarios after the benefits from the CARES Act wind down, with a range of demographic groups. This presentation uses state-of-the-art modeling to project what poverty rates and eligibility for Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF may look like for the remainder of 2020. We look at the national picture, as well as several important subgroups. In addition, the presentation will touch on other key indicators related to current labor force conditions. Results are both surprising and shocking, and have implications for government budgets and policy proposals.

Thursday, August 27, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT
Experience NSDTA 360 Call For Proposals Now Open

We invite you to submit a proposal for our Experience NSDTA 360 virtual event. The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) will be holding a two-day virtual event on October 6-7, 2020. Experience NSDTA 360 will share our collective work on supporting human services staff in response to the national pandemic. Learn more about submission guidelines here. The deadline to submit is August 12.
SNAP-Ed Connection and SNAP-Ed Toolkit’s Webinar Series

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Connection and SNAP-Ed Toolkit is hosting a webinar series that features state and local SNAP-Ed programs that are creating, innovating, and delivering SNAP-Ed remotely during the COVID-19 era. This series is an opportunity to learn how partners across the country are adapting to a new virtual environment, whether it be by modifying existing digital nutrition education platforms or reinventing delivery methods. The remaining webinar in the series is:

Tuesday, August 11, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT
Collecting and Reporting Data
2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence Virtual Launch

Join Results for America and the National Governors Association for the virtual release of the 2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence. The event will feature a conversation with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and former White House Domestic Policy Council and Intergovernmental Affairs Director Cecilia Muñoz. Following the conversation, a panel of senior state government officials will describe their leading and promising examples of investing taxpayer dollars in evidence-based solutions that promote equity, improve health outcomes, and advance economic mobility.

August 12, 1:00 PM EDT
20th Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS)

Since 1998, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has convened the RECS to present the latest findings from evaluations of programs, policies, and services that support low-income and vulnerable families on the path to economic self-sufficiency. For nearly 20 years, the RECS has been a leading forum for researchers, State and local administrators, practitioners, and Federal officials and policymakers to discuss cutting-edge research on family self-sufficiency and social welfare programs and policies. The Virtual RECS 2020 will provide an opportunity to hear the latest findings from evaluations of human services and employment programs and policies, discuss ways to incorporate findings into the design and implementation of programs, and identify future evaluation needs.

October 13-15, 2020
October 19-22, 2020
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.