July 26, 2019
House members left Washington yesterday for their six-week summer recess. The Senate is scheduled to be in session for one more week so you can expect one more issue of TWIW before we take a brief hiatus as well. Don’t forget early registration and hotel rates are closing soon for several APHSA conferences—details in the conference section below!
Legislative Update
Two-Year Budget Deal Reached
On Monday July 22, Congressional leaders and the White House signed off on a budget deal that would avoid defaulting and another government shutdown. The deal will suspend the government's $22 trillion debt limit until July 31, 2021 and will allow for an additional $321 billion in discretionary spending over the next two fiscal years, compared to the strict limits imposed under a 2011 deficit reduction law. The extra spending is a nearly 4 percent increase across all federal agencies, and avoids an automatic $125 billion in cuts, had Congress not acted. The House passed the budget yesterday.

Child and Family Well-Being
ACF Releases Program Instructions Regarding Transitional Payments
On June 18, the Administration For Children and Families (ACF) released additional guidance regarding its June 6 letter on transitional payments. The additional guidance instructs states on how to claim transitional payments and the intent of ACF by allowing the payments. Programs that states would like to claim transitional funds for must be included in the Prevention Plan, along with a checklist of documentation regarding the program. Submissions are due by October 1, 2021.

New Program Ratings Released by Prevention Services Clearinghouse
On July 24, the Children’s Bureau announced two new programs that had been rated by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. Healthy Families America, a home visiting program for new or expecting families with children at risk for maltreatment, was rated well supported. Methadone Maintenance Therapy, a medication-assisted treatment that tries to reduce the use of heroin and other opioids, was rated promising. The Clearinghouse is currently reviewing Motivational Interviewing, a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior A rating for this program is expected soon.

New Report: Vibrant and Healthy Kids
A new report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine explores how practice, policy, and systems-level changes informed by science can reduce the odds of adverse exposures, narrow health disparities, and advance health equity. Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity outlines steps needed to move children who are at risk for negative outcomes toward positive health trajectories.

Number Of Children Entering Foster Care More Than Doubles Since 2000 Due To Opioid Epidemic
One quarter of children placed in the foster care system across the U.S. are entering due to parental substance abuse, researchers have found. Over the last two decades, child removals due to parental drug use rose 147 percent, from 39,130 in 2000 to 96,672 in 2017. With the Family First Prevention Services Act due to go in effect in October, the foster care system is struggling to adjust to upcoming changes. Major restructuring of the system will focus on prevention and would require substance abuse treatment for at risk parents.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Releases Proposed Rule Revising Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility in SNAP
On July 24, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule entitled “Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).” The proposed rule would limit categorical eligibility to those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. The Department proposes:

1) To define “benefits” for categorical eligibility as ongoing and substantial benefits; and 2) To limit the types of non-cash TANF benefits conferring categorical eligibility to those focused on subsidized employment, work supports, and child care.

The proposed rule would also require state SNAP agencies to inform FNS of all non-cash TANF benefits that confer categorical eligibility. The Department estimates that, if implemented, the policy would cause 3.1 million people to become ineligible for SNAP and cut SNAP benefits by $3 billion a year, or roughly $25 to $30 billion over ten years.

ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation Seeks Public Comments on New Data Collection for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Case Studies
On July 16, the ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) published a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comments on a proposed data collection as part of the TANF Case Studies Project. This is a new data collection activity. The primary purpose of this study is to highlight innovative educational and training program for low-income families including those participating in the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) program. The study would be conducted over a three-year period and include 12 comprehensive qualitative case studies and up to 20 profiles of innovative programs to unveil promising approaches. Written comments must be received on or before September 14.

Office of Child Support Enforcement Issues Information Memorandum on Availability of Waivers to Fund Noncustodial Parent Work Activities
On July 23, ACF’s Office of Child Support Enforcement (OSCE) issued an information memorandum to state and tribal IV-D agencies. IM-19-04 – Availability of Section 1115 Waivers to Fund Noncustodial Parent (NCP) Work Activities. The information memorandum reminds states that Section 1115 of the Social Security Act provides the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the authority to fund demonstration projects for the IV-D child support program.

The information memorandum conveys that HHS is prepared to review requests for section 1115 demonstration waivers that would allow states and tribes to fund employment programs for noncustodial parents. It also describes the limitations of such waivers and how states can apply.

The information memorandum also explains how the policy differs from IV-D incentive payment exemptions. OCSE released IM-18-02 on February 15, 2018 describing and encouraging the use of IV-D incentive funds for promoting noncustodial parent (NCP) work activities.

CMS Report Offers Assistance and Housing-Related Supports for Individuals With SUDs Under Medicaid
On July 23, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Report to Congress detailing the Action Plan for Technical Assistance and Support for Innovative State Strategies to Provide Housing-Related Supports to Individuals with Substance Use Disorder Under Medicaid . The Action Plan includes technical assistance and support to states in developing and expanding innovative state strategies, highlighting available options under Medicaid (including through state Medicaid demonstration projects) to provide housing-related supports and services and care coordination services to individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs).

Supportive Housing Report Examines Sustainability Efforts
This report by the Urban Institute examines the sustainability of maintaining key policies and practices that helped to more effectively support families in the program. Studies have shown the link between substandard housing and families entering the child welfare system. The effects of providing housing and services to high-need families was reviewed, with demonstration sites creating new service delivery structures. The report finds that significant accomplishments were made by demonstration communities, with most finding new money for services, housing subsidies and forming collaborative relationships.

Upcoming APHSA Conferences
National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM) Annual Education Conference
The 2019 NAPIPM Annual Education Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for dedicated human services professionals responsible for improving the performance measurement capabilities of their agencies. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focusing on reshaping today’s service delivery systems.

August 5-8 | Memphis, TN
American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) & National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) Education Conference
The 2019 AASD/NASTA Annual Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Service leaders and policy makers to shape the future of SNAP and TANF programs through collaboration and modernization and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees. Join your colleagues from across the nation for a series of information-rich presentations and breakout sessions focused on advancing SNAP and TANF programs.

August 25-28 | Charlotte, NC
Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Annual Conference
The 2019 ISM Conference is the premiere conference for health and human services IT leaders, focusing on innovative IT solutions. For 52 years, the ISM Conference has brought together the brightest minds from public H/HS agencies, private industry, academia and community-based organizations to showcase the future of H/HS Information Technology. The 2019 topics will include: Data Analytics, Modernizing the Workforce, Inventive Strategies, Operationalizing Technology, Technology in Service of Customers and more.

September 22-25 | Milwaukee, WI
The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Annual Education Conference
The 2019 NSDTA Education Conference is designed to assist Health and Human Services leaders responsible for training, staff and organizational development/effectiveness and workforce planning shape the future of these vital programs through collaboration, innovation and the exchange of experience and knowledge amongst attendees.

October 20-23 | Long Beach, CA
NSDTA Recognition Awards are to recognize outstanding individuals and initiatives within your organization which are helping advance the delivery of health and human services practices or programs to staff. Nominations close on Friday, July 26, 8:00 PM EST.

American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Annual Education Conference
The AAHHSA Annual National Education and Training Conference is a comprehensive learning and networking experience for attorneys who represent the state and local government agencies that administer health and/or human services programs. The overarching goal of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of information between attorneys and promote pragmatic innovation in the field of H/HS services.

October 27-30 | Arlington, VA
Upcoming Events
National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics ( NAWRS) Workshop
The NAWRS 2019 Workshop will have presentations on topics including child support, coaching, early childhood education, child care, foster care, substance abuse, workforce programs including SNAP E&T, and more. Additionally, they will have several exciting Research Academy sessions to discuss how to incorporate rigorous research methods into ongoing agency efforts to improve and document program effectiveness.

July 28 - 31 | Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Building The Evidence In Child Welfare Webinar
In the context of Child Welfare and other initiatives that emphasize the use of evidence-based services, APHSA is hosting a Webinar with the Urban Institute and the University of Chicago to address what constitutes evidence in child welfare, discuss what is required for rigorous program evaluation, and make members aware of an opportunity for program evaluation.

Thursday, August 1, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
NSDTA Showcase Series Webinar: Technology in the Training Room - What's HOT and How to Use it!
Join us for the latest webinar in the NSDTA Showcase Series. Using technology provides the opportunity for presenters to keep learners immersed and excited to learn while additionally catering to the varying styles in adult learning. This webinar will introduce you to HOT technologies used to implement media in an adult learning environment, producing a first-class training experience. Together, we will explore a variety of tools used to amplify learner retention, cater to the thrills within us all with content specific games, and uncover tools used to boost learner buy-in to create a more collaborative learning experience.

Wednesday, September 4, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Call For Papers Now Open For 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit
The State Healthcare IT Connect Summit has grown and evolved into an important national venue. Public and private sector thought leaders share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of State Health IT Systems, with an anticipated 1000+ attendees & 45+ state teams at the 2020 program. Cross-cutting 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.
Submission deadline is Friday, October 4.

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.