February 14, 2020
It's Black History Month and like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right." This month and every other month this year and beyond, we are committed to supporting the deep and intentional work required to illuminate where structural inequities exist and why, so we can continue to build thriving communities. Check out our Call to Action for Human Services to learn more.

The Call For Proposals for our 2020 National HHS Summit is now open - the deadline for submission is February 18. We are seeking presentations that engage public and private partners from the health and human services sector, thought leaders from the field, and are representative of cross sector efforts with education, employment, housing, and justice. Sessions will be organized around four tracks: Integrating Services to Move Upstream; Advancing Social & Economic Mobility; Data to Insights; and Building a Strong and Responsive Infrastructure. We look forward to your submissions!

The House and Senate are on recess next week and we will take a short break. Look for us back in your inbox on February 28.
Child and Family Well-Being
ACF Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Evaluate Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation is requesting public comment on data collection activities as part of the Formative Evaluation of Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care. The purpose of this work is to capture how FUP for youth has been administered on the ground, how eligible youth are identified and referred by the public child welfare agency (PCWA), barriers to obtaining a voucher or leasing-up into housing, what public housing authorities (PHAs) and public child welfare agencies have done to streamline the application process, and other aspects of program operations. Comments must be submitted by March 7.
House Passes Resolution Against Medicaid Block Grant Policy
On Tuesday, the House passed a non-binding resolution officially condemning the Administration’s guidance to state Medicaid directors earlier this month, that permits states to request waivers to convert a portion of their state Medicaid programs to block grants. While the resolution will not affect the guidance, it is meant to highlight concerns from advocates that the guidance may hurt low-income families. The HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has defended the program, called the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO) initiative, saying that it gives states more flexibility to run programs more tailored to their specific populations.

ACF Provides Guidance on Child Support Incentive Payments
The Administration for Children and Families ( ACF) Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) released an update on its child support incentive payments policies. This report covers numerous topics such as exemption authority, political subdivision, base amount determination, incentive reinvestment exemptions requests (step by step process), time limits for claiming payment and expenditures, submission time frames, duration, consequences of non-compliance as well as some examples of types of non IV-D activities that qualify for funding with incentive payments. Those new guidelines take effect immediately.

ACF Posts Refugee Resettlement Annual Report to Congress
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Refugees Resettlement (ORR) published its FY 2017 annual report to Congress, highlighting its reorganization intended to make the program more efficient and responsible. Under this reorganization, ORR realigned four programmatic divisions into two dedicated program offices: The Refugee programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program. The report also examines four areas of improvement in ORR: ensuring the safety of communities, encouraging private engagement, informing the public of its educational programs and services, and maintaining a culture of excellence. Lastly, this report shares its response in coordinating temporary assistance to states dealing with unanticipated emergencies resulting from natural disasters.

Federal School Safety Clearinghouse Launches
The Department of Education has launched the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse website, SchoolSafety.gov. The website is a resource for school administrators, parents, and law enforcement to access information, guidance, best practices, and tools that make it easier for schools to address safety concerns and better apply school safety initiatives. SchoolSafety.gov is a product of the Federal Commission on School Safety, established by the administration after the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed the lives of 17. The Federal Commission on School Safety seeks to actively make advancements to keep children safe in schools and address the threats of targeted violence in schools across the United States.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
FNS Issues Revised Guidance for Use of Non-Merit Staff in SNAP Call Centers
In a memo released this week, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is expanding the flexibility for state agencies to use non-merit staff in Call Centers to answer questions and provide assistance to SNAP applicants. The memo provides a list of activities that vendors or private staff/contractors (non-merit personnel) can conduct with and without FNS approval. The FNS guidance is intended to reduce applicant and participant wait times, decrease the workload on merit personnel staff and foster better coordination across multiple human services programs.

FNS Seeks Public Comments on SNAP Benefits Storage
On February 11, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) posted a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comments on SNAP benefits storage and expungement provisions of the 2008 and 2018 Farm Bills. The information collection deals with both a new and an existing collection. The new collection seeks to provide SNAP households advance or concurrent notice before the state agency expunges unused SNAP benefits from the household Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) account, after nine months of account inactivity. Meanwhile, the existing collection deals with state agencies' offline storage of unused SNAP benefits due to at least three months of account inactivity, and the ability of households to seek reinstatement of benefits before permanent expungement. The deadline for submitting comments is April 13.

Upcoming Events
APHSA 2020 National Health & Human Services Summit Call For Proposals
APHSA is now accepting proposals for our National Health and Human Services Summit, June 7-10, Arlington, VA - with the theme: Relentless Pursuit... Unlimited Possibilities. APHSA is elevating critical policy discussions focused on advancing social and economic mobility and working upstream, to address root causes and prevent downstream needs. We will also continue to showcase innovative approaches that are building the capacity of agencies to optimize data, put families at the center of the work, and support the well-being of the workforce. This year’s Summit is designed to showcase transformation efforts underway across the nation that demonstrate policy and practice in alignment to these focus areas.

Deadline for submission is February 18.
APHSA 2020 National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Call For Proposals
APHSA is now accepting proposals for our 2020 National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Education Conference, October 4-7, Spokane, WA - with the theme: Visualizing New Heights . NSDTA members represent the full range of functions in organizational development and training, including broader leadership roles in human services. Workshop proposals are encouraged in the following categories: Evaluation/Research; Curriculum Design and Instructional Technology; Training/Facilitation; Human Services Leadership; Organizational Development and Effectiveness; and Workforce Development and Planning.

Deadline for submission is March 23.
2020 Senior Leadership Conference and Roundtable Gatherings
With the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. During the 2020 Senior Leadership Conference, experienced leaders and rising stars alike will learn how they can accelerate the excellence, distinction, and influence of their organizations. Convene with the best of the Alliance’s national network and recognized thought leaders around key topic areas for achieving a stronger sector.

February 22-25 | Savannah, GA
2020 Alliance National Conference Call for Presentations
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities seeks proposals for the 2020 Alliance National Conference, October 19-21 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. This event is for cross-sector human services leaders who are eager to learn, collaborate, and co-create solutions that advance innovative practice, policy, and research designed to achieve a healthy and equitable society.

Deadline for submissions is February 25.
OFA Webinar: Improving Employment Outcomes for TANF Recipients with Substance Use Disorders
The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) will host this webinar outlining employment-focused strategies that can contribute to, rather than inhibit, substance use treatment and features experts with backgrounds in research and practice on working with TANF recipients who have substance use disorders. Speakers will discuss national trends in substance use disorders and strategies to move those with substance use disorders towards treatment, employment, and economic stability.

Wednesday, February 26, 1:00-2:30 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.