May 15, 2020
MDRC authored the latest post on our blog, " Five Evidence-Based Behavioral Science Practices for Social Services Agencies During COVID-19. They write how agencies can reduce burdens for clients and staff while they continue delivering vital services.

You can continue to access additional COVID-19 related resources including our policy analysis and a collection of federal guidance   here .

With many virtual graduation ceremonies taking place across the country this weekend, we congratulate the Classes of 2020 and welcome individuals headed for our future health and human services workforce! In the words of Oprah Winfrey: "You have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."
Latest COVID-19 Updates
The HEROES Act Introduced, HR 6800
House Democrats introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act on Tuesday. The proposed legislation allocates over $3 trillion to COVID-19 response and recovery. Among the extensive provisions, the proposed legislation raises the overall authorization level for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to $12.15 billion, provides $10 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which includes raising the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30 per month and an overall increase of 15% to the maximum monthly benefit, temporarily suspends the work participation rate and lifetime limits for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), provides assistance for older youth in foster care, extends unemployment benefits, and provides for a second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per individual and up to $6,000 per household. The House will vote on HR 6800 today.

The Pandemic TANF Assistance Act Announced
The Senate Finance Committee announced draft legislation to temporarily waives work requirements, lifetime limits, and other requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The proposed legislation also appropriates $10 billion for Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Grants that would allow states to provide qualifying individuals with short-term cash, non-cash and in-kind assistance to help address basic needs, prevent household emergencies, and avoid removal of children from their homes.

Child and Family Well-Being
Final AFCARS Rule Released
On Tuesday, the Children’s Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published the final Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) rule. This rule finalizes revisions to the AFCARS regulations proposed on April 19, 2019. AFCARS regulations require title IV-E agencies to collect and report data to ACF on children in out-of-home care, children who exit out-of-home care to adoption or legal guardianship, and children who are covered by a title IV-E adoption or guardianship assistance agreement.

Children’s Bureau Program Instruction on Title IV-E Flexibility
The Children's Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published a new Program Instruction that provides information on flexibility in Title IV-E program requirements that are available under the Stafford Act. This information includes a simplified process for extending foster care, suspending work and education requirements for extended foster care, and allowing unaccredited residential treatment centers to bill as Qualified Residential Treatment Programs ( QRTPs).
FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding Guidance: ACF Reporting Requirement for the FYSB RHY Program
The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) published guidance on the FY 2020 Coronavirus Supplemental Funding that provides one-time funding to support Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recipients/grantees funded under the CARES Act in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19. Under the CARES Act, the Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program has received $25 million of additional assistance for RHY grantees to provide critical supportive services. FYSB also published examples of allowable uses of funds for the RHY program.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA FNS Releases New Guidance for ABAWDs
Earlier this week the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a final rule injunction for changes that were meant to take place regarding Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs). Originally, a new final rule was set to take place on April 1, 2020, and all previous waivers expired on March 30, 2020. But this injunction allows states to continue to implement their previous waivers until 12 months after the initial implementation date, or until the final rule is adjudicated in court, which is set to happen toward the end of this year. Additionally, states can request new waivers based on the previous standards before the recent final rule. The final rule’s provisions regarding ABAWD discretionary exemptions were not affected by the injunction, and those provisions are still scheduled to become effective October 1, 2020.

 USDA FNS Posts Retailer Requirements for Online SNAP
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) posted a list of requirements for retailers who are interested in joining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot. The technical assistance and guidance also includes useful links and contacts to address other questions that retailers may have, including about submitting a letter of intent.

USDA Extends Flexibilities, Paves the Way for Meals for Kids to Continue through Summer
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the extension of three nationwide waivers, giving child nutrition program operators the flexibility they need to continue to feed children while promoting social distancing and keeping families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The three waivers being extended through August 31, 2020, are Non-Congregate Feeding, Parent Pickup, and Meal Times.

From Our APHSA Partners
Job Quality Tools Library
The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program developed this Job Quality Tools Library to support leaders working in a variety of fields related to economic opportunity to engage in practical action to improve jobs. The library offers tools, resources, and guidance to help leaders adopt practices to strengthen job quality in their own organizations, in the businesses they partner with, and across labor markets

Upcoming Webinars
COVID-19 and Health Equity: Response and Recovery Tele-Townhall
Join ASTHO with Big Cities Health Coalition, NACCHO, and NASOMH for a virtual event that will discuss how partners across levels of government can collectively drive an equity-focused COVID-19 recovery strategy. State, local, and non-profit leaders will present on structural barriers in the pandemic response and their impact on marginalized communities. Experts will discuss equity-focused strategies to enhance community engagement, data collection, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2:00-3:30 PM EST
Increasing Equity in a Post-Pandemic Economy: The Potential for Growing Worker Ownership – Job Quality in Practice Series
Join the Aspen Institute to learn strategies to help shape the economic rebuilding that is to come, how to address the inequalities and inequities that have divided our society, and help us build a more resilient economy. This webinar is part of the "Job Quality in Practice" series, designed to support practitioners across fields – including workforce development, economic development, capital deployment, policy, worker advocacy, and business – to address job quality in their work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
2020 National Briefing
Join the National Family Support Network for this interactive virtual event designed for stakeholders working at the systems and policy levels that will highlight national, state, and parent perspectives on the value of Family Resource Centers and how and why they continue to be scaled across the country. Speakers include Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner.

Wednesday, May 20, 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Tracking a Moving Target: Researching the Impact of COVID-19 on County Governments
Join the National Association of Counties (NACO) for a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on county workers, county budgets and local economies and how counties are developing policies, programs, and services to save residents’ lives and prepare for recovery in the future.

Thursday, May 21, 2:00-3:00 PM EST
APHSA Webinar: Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue is the experience of increased stress due to exposure to traumatized individuals. Join ResCare Workforce Services and Andy Huls, PhD who will share how to recognize symptoms and will provide tools to help combat compassion fatigue. Further, this presentation will outline the benefits and importance of self-care as well as highlight how taking care of yourself is one of the most effective ways to take care of others. It is time to give yourself permission to care for yourself!
Thursday, May 28, 4:00-5:30 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.