January 10, 2020
We wish all our TWIW readers a very Happy New Year! We look forward to continuing our coverage for you in 2020 with updates from the House and Senate. Please also check out our events calendar for an overview of our 2020 conferences.
Legislative Updates
Congress Secures Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations, Extends TANF
On December 19, Congress finalized FY 2020 appropriations for all federal agencies. The final bill also extends funding authority through May 22, 2020 for several key human services programs, including TANF and Child Care Entitlements to States, and provides transitional funding for the Family First Prevention Services Act. 
White House Approves GREAT Act
As one of the final acts of 2019, the Administration signed into law the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, which aims to bring grant reporting into the modern era. The Act directs federal agencies to improve and modernize grantee reporting by creating a standardized structure for data reporting and using electronic platforms as much as possible. Once these new standards are applied, grantee data will for the first time be quickly accessible on one platform with most reports being open data.

Appeals Court Denies Injunction on ”Public Charge” Rule
This week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2 nd Circuit denied a request from the White House to lift an injunction on the controversial ”public charge” rule that links immigrant status to the use of public benefits and programs. While similar injunctions have been lifted in both the 4 th and 9 th Circuits, the injunction from the 2 nd Circuit applies to the entire country, a major setback for the White House. Under the rule, if an immigrant receives one or more public benefits for more than 12 months within any three-year period, they would be considered a “public charge” or dependent on the government.

Child and Family Well-Being
ACF Issues Guidance on Transitional Payments for Kinship Navigator Programs
In late December, the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) released Program Instructions (PI) that allows public child welfare programs to claim transitional payments for kinship navigator program services and their associated costs, until the Clearinghouse can review and rate each program. Agencies must conduct independent systematic reviews of programs and submit enough documentation as outlined in the PI by the end of transitional payments on October 1, 2021. The Clearinghouse will still make the final determination about whether a program is rated as promising, supported, or well-supported.

MACPAC Releases Report on IMDs
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has released their annual report to Congress that identifies and describes facilities designated as an IMD (Institute of Mental Disease), and summarizes state licensure, certification, or accreditation requirements and Medicaid clinical and quality standards. The report is an attempt to understand and evaluate IMDs across the country, which is difficult as IMDs have historically been excluded from receiving Medicaid, leaving all oversight separated into several states’ agencies. An IMD is defined as a hospital, nursing facility, or other institution of more than 16 beds that is primarily engaged in providing diagnosis, treatment, or care of persons with mental illnesses. 

Employment and Economic Well-Being
Proposed Rule Would Increase the Frequency of SSI Redeterminations
The Social Security Administration has released a proposed rule that would increase the frequency of continuing disability reviews for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The proposed rule is expected to result in a $2.6 billion loss in benefits for current recipients and will result in sweeping changes to the disability redetermination process.  Comments must be submitted by January 31.
Bi-Partisan Legislation Introduced to Provide Housing Vouchers for Families at Risk of Homelessness
Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that will help families with young children with housing instability through newly created housing vouchers and access to counseling and case management services. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate, is pending consideration in the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee.

FNS Releases Feasibility Study to Shift to a Federal SNAP Quality Control System
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has published a feasibility study to identify the processes and components that would be required to shift from a two-tiered state/federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) quality control system to a one-tiered federal system. The study does not make any recommendations but documents the changes, costs, and timeline needed to switch to a one-tiered system. 
HUD Seeks to Rollback Anti-discrimination Fair Housing Rule
The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has proposed a rule that would redefine fair housing standards to place more emphasis on improving housing choice rather than reducing discrimination. The previous fair housing rule, established in 2015, required jurisdictions with HUD block grants and housing aid to analyze housing stock and develop a plan for addressing patterns of segregation and discrimination.

Congressional Research Service Releases Updated FAQs on TANF
The Congressional Research Service has updated its responses to Frequently Asked Questions on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The updated report provides detailed explanations of TANF funding levels, uses, caseload trends, benefit amounts, and work standards.
Upcoming Events
APHSA Webinar: Prediction, Learning & Prevention
in Child Welfare ~ Part 1
What are the considerations & training needed to put evidence to work in child welfare? Speakers from APHSA, Youth Villages, and the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) will share opportunities and challenges related to the use of evidence based decisions support tools, including predictive analytics in child welfare. This 60-minute presentation will include a conversation on principles for product development, evaluation, and practice to use predictive analytics responsibly and successfully in child welfare, and will allow for Q&A time to hear from participants. National Collaborative two-part series.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 12:00-1:00 PM EST
APHSA Webinar: Prediction, Learning & Prevention
in Child Welfare ~ Part 2
How do you predict abuse and neglect? We answer new questions for an age-old concern in Part 2 of our National Collaborative series . APHSA speakers will provide a brief overview of the first webinar in the series. We will hear from the Allegheny County's Office of Analytics, Technology and Planning on data management, analysis, engaging key stakeholders and ongoing review and revision of models, as well as how they created a space for authentic community engagement and addressing equity concerns.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 PM EST
Early Bird Registration Open for 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit
The conference has grown and evolved into an important national venue for public and private sector thought leaders to share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of State Health IT Systems. An anticipated 1000+ attendees & 45+ state teams will attend the 2020 program. 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.
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.