December 13, 2019
Congress will be on recess for the rest of the year therefore TWIW will also take a brief recess. You can keep in touch with us via Twitter and our homepage or peruse our blog, The Catalyst, for some of our latest insights and learnings. New today: In It for the Long Haul: What It Takes to Advance Race Equity – Insights from Local Leaders .

We wish you the happiest of holidays and l ook forward to being back in your inbox on January 10.
Legislative Updates
Congress Agrees in Principle to Budget Deal, Avoids Shutdown Threat
On Thursday, Congressional leaders agreed in principle to a budget deal that would provide $1.37 trillion in discretionary spending and fund all federal agencies through September 2020. The agreement will be drafted into legislation over the weekend, with the House and Senate expected to hold floor votes next week. Current funding for federal agencies is set to expire on December 21.
Update on Family First Transition Act
Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) officially began with fiscal year 2020. Implementation has highlighted the need for additional federal support. In response, Senate and House leadership introduced the bipartisan Family First Transition Act (FFTA) to help states, territories, and tribes ease into FFPSA and transition from title I-VE waivers. FFTA was initially put into the broad prescription drug pricing bill that just passed the House on Thursday; but has now been pulled to be to be potentially included in a health extenders bill or budget deal to fund the government beyond the December 20 deadline. Both Senate and House leadership have signaled support to get FFTA passed before the end of the calendar year. APHSA will continue to monitor the progression of FFTA and keep communication open with our membership and Congressional leadership.
APHSA Releases Summary of Final Rule: SNAP Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents
On December 4, the Trump administration finalized a rule tightening work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that the final rule will cut $5.48 billion in nutrition supports for SNAP recipients in the next 5 years resulting in approximately 700,000 people losing access to the basic resources we all need to live healthy and thrive. APHSA has released a Summary of the Final Rule: SNAP Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents.

Congress Poised to Pass Paid Parental Leave
As part of the defense appropriations authorization bill, Congress is set to approve paid parental leave for all federal workers. The bill, which has been approved by the House and is expected to be approved by the Senate shortly, will for the first time provide all parents in the federal workforce 12 weeks of paid leave.
Child and Family Well-Being
Department of Justice Awards More Than $212 Million to Juvenile Justice Programs
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded more than $212 million in grant funding to improve juvenile justice systems, provide gang prevention and intervention services, mentoring and reentry services for youth and families, and help states comply with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Grants were awarded to more than 150 states and local jurisdictions, academic institutions, and other public and private organizations across the United States. A majority of the more than $212 million awarded will be used for mentoring programs and services for youth. 
Department of Justice Awards $147 Million in Child Protection Grants
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime has awarded $147 million to more than 120 sites throughout the United States. The grants are designed to help communities find missing children, support law enforcement investigations, and increase public safety through prosecution of those who abuse or exploit children.
HHS Releases Request for Information on Supporting Non-Custodial Parents
The HHS Administration for Children and Families has released a Request for Information to support the development of employment programs for nonresident parents. HHS seeks comments on how nonresident parents can both economically and emotionally support their children. Information on best practices and models will be used to guide future learning and action agendas on employment programs for nonresident parents. Comments must be submitted by March 6, 2020.
Congressional Research Service Releases Updated Brief on Social Services Block Grant
The Congressional Research Service has released an updated brief summarizing funding, requirements, recipients, and uses of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program. The brief offers useful analysis on recent trends and insights on current and allowable uses of the block grant.
CMS Releases 2018 National Health Expenditures
According to a study by the Office of Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), national healthcare spending increased by 4.6 percent in 2018. The growth in healthcare expenditures was 0.4 percent higher than the rate in 2017 and reached a total of $3.6 trillion in 2018, which breaks down to $11,172 per person. Private health insurance made up 34 percent of total spending while Medicare made up 21 percent and Medicaid with 16 percent. The study also found that Americans spent 375.6 billion in out of pocket medical expenses which are direct consumer payments such as copayments, deductibles, and spending not covered by insurance, a percent increase of 2.8 from 2017.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA Releases Request for Information on Self-Determination Demonstrations for Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations
USDA has released a Request for Information to help develop criteria authorized in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 for a self-determination demonstration project related to the purchase of agricultural commodities for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.  Comments must be submitted by February 10, 2020. 
Prescription Drug Bill Includes Proposed Three-Year Extension to TANF
A major legislative proposal to reduce prescription drug prices includes language that would extend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for three years at current funding levels. At this time, it remains unclear whether the bill will pass with the TANF provision included, or whether a shorter, one-year funding extension will be included in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. 
South Carolina Becomes Tenth State to be Approved for Medicaid Work Requirements
On Thursday, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved South Carolina’s request to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid beneficiaries. Under South Carolina’s waiver, adults on Medicaid will need to work or volunteer at least 80 hours a month in order to keep eligibility. The policy change is estimated to result in 7,100 beneficiaries losing coverage.
HHS/ACF Releases Report on Three-Year Impact Findings from Health Profession Opportunity Grants
The HHS/ACF Office of Program, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) has released a report summarizing findings on the overall average impacts across the diverse Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 1.0 programs, three years after random assignment, as well as impacts for selected subgroups of participants.
Upcoming Events
Webinar - Continuing the Conversation: Competency Models Around the Country
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration will host a webinar to discuss current and future competency model initiatives. Speakers from the Competency Model Peer Learning Group will share real-time examples and program innovations. The interactive webinar will also provide opportunities for participants to offer their own experiences, raise questions, and share feedback on future initiatives.

Wednesday, December 18, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
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.