November 18, 2022

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Hello Donna,

November is National Adoption Month! Thousands of teens across the country need permanent families and you can make a difference by raising awareness in your community. Find resources from the Child Welfare Information Gateway to help drive attention to this issue.

Check out the latest episodes of our newest podcast, Disrupt the Dialogue, featuring powerful conversations with BIPOC leaders in health and human services. Our latest episodes feature LaRae Cantley of Full Frame Initiative and CT DCF Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes. Listen on our podcast page or search for Disrupt the Dialogue on your favorite streaming platform.

The latest Catalyst blog post is the fifth in our series, "The Core—A Cutting Edge Blog Series Getting to the Core of Modern TANF Reform," taking a detailed look at Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Erin Oalican shares the process of creating a mission and vision for Reach Up, Vermont’s TANF Program at the Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division.

TWIW will take a hiatus next week for the Thanksgiving holiday and the week after for an APHSA staff work retreat. Look for us back in your inbox on December 9. In the meantime, we’ll keep you apprised of any important updates, and you can also stay up to date with us on Twitter. We wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!

Child and Family Well-Being

With a Focus on Prevention and Kinship Care, Number of Children Entering Foster Care Decreases for the Fourth Consecutive Year

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) shares the new national foster care and child support data released in the first week of November. For the fourth consecutive year, the number of children entering foster care has decreased and for the second consecutive year, the number of children adopted from foster care decreased. The data, compiled and published by ACF, is from the annual Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).

Read Press Release

Read AFCARS Report  

HHS Announces More Than $100 Million in Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Funds to Improve Mental Health Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced more than $100 million in funding for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The funding will go towards mental health emergency preparedness, crisis response, and expansion of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline services. 

Read Press Release

Public Call for Program and Service Recommendations

The Prevention Services Clearinghouse has announced its public call for program and services recommendations. They are requesting programs for mental health, substance abuse, in-home parent skill-based, and kinship navigator programs and services for systematic review. The deadline to submit a recommendation is November 22.

Read Notice & Submit Comment

Employment and Economic Well-Being

APHSA Comment Letter to CMS

Last week, APHSA sent a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the CMS Eligibility Rule, focusing on the impacts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies and emphasizing program alignment to reduce burden and confusion for clients and staff.

Read Letter

TANF-ACF-PI-2022-07 Afghanistan Parolees - TANF Eligibility Date Extended

The parole eligibility date for Afghanistan citizens and nationals who assisted the U.S. government overseas, who were relocated to the U.S. under emergency evacuation or who were paroled into the U.S., has been extended through December 16, 2022. This change was enacted via the Continuing appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act 2023 (Public Law 11-180), which was passed on September 30, 2022. The previous eligibility date had been September 30, 2022, as established in section 2502 of Public Law 117-43. The policy update indicates which individuals are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in the same manner as a refugee would be, until March 31, 2023. All other information in TANF-ACF-PI-2021-06 remains unchanged.

Read Guidance

Open Public Comment Period for a Re-Established Matching Program Between the OCSE and SWA

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is re-establishing a matching program with State Workforce Agencies (SWA) that administer the Unemployment Compensation benefits program (UC). The matching program would provide SWAs information from OCSE’s National Directory of New Hires. The purpose of the data matching is for SWAs to establish or verify an individual’s eligibility for assistance, reduce payment errors, and prevent other errors. The initial term of the matching program is 18 months, with an option for renewal for an additional year. There is an open public comment period until December 15.

Read Notice & Submit Comment

USDA Announces Proposed Changes to WIC

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released proposed changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The changes include increasing fruit and vegetable benefits, expanding whole grain options, introducing canned seafood, and decreasing recommendations for dairy.

Read Press Release

Upcoming APHSA Events

APHSA Peer Learning Webinar: Healing and Transformation within EDI Leadership

Join us along with our APHSA EDI Peer Community as we share innovations that are transforming the health and human services field by eliminating disparities and increasing positive outcomes for communities of color. Our panel will share practices currently making change in the health and human services sector, while also sharing perspectives on managing the emotional and psychological dimensions of the work. How can a trauma-informed lens couple with EDI strategies to not only advance equity but also healing among leaders, staff, and service recipients? The webinar will close with a roundtable discussion with all panelists.

Friday, December 9, 1:00-2:30 PM EST

Register Today

Upcoming Partner Events

Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding: What to Know and How to Prepare, A Partner Education Monthly Series

Join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the last in their series of calls running through December 2022 on the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding, to share what agencies and partners should know and guidance on how to prepare for the forthcoming unwinding.

December 7, 12:00 PM EST

Register Today
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