October 2, 2020
The first week of October is Mental Illness Awareness week; you can find advocacy resources and ways to encourage discussions about mental health here. And, World Mental Health Day is October 10, providing an opportunity to discuss what needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. During this incredibly busy time, please be sure to practice self-care and take time to fulfill your own emotional needs regularly.
Today, APHSA submitted a response to the Federal Interagency Council on Economic Mobility’s Request for Information (RFI). The Council, comprised of key agencies responsible for services that support the economic well-being of Americans, will use feedback received to guide its priorities to promote economic mobility through federal administrative action. APHSA’s comments reinforce the structure and approach the Council should take to creating structures and areas of investment that can achieve the greatest impact through interagency collaboration.
We are hiring - check out our recent job openings in our Career Center, including listings for a SNAP E&T Project Manager, Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator, Organizational Effectiveness Consultant, and Data and Technical Assistance Specialist/Analyst.
Legislative Updates
Senate Passes Continuing Resolution HR 8337

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a short term-budget bill and President Trump signed it on Thursday afternoon, temporarily avoiding a government shutdown and extending $1.4 trillion in federal funding until December 11. The bill includes, among other things, an extension of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) through FY 2021 and an expansion of P-EBT to children in child care. In addition, the bill includes key waiver extensions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Child Nutrition programs. The resolution also extends the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, allowing first quarter payouts to be made to the programs during that time.

House Democrats Vote on Revised HEROES Act

On Thursday, the House passed a revised version of their COVID-19 relief package, the HEROES Act. The revised bill, HR 8406, includes $2.2 trillion in COVID-19 aid, and among other provisions, $10 billion to support anticipated increases in SNAP participation and program costs related to flexibilities; emergency flexibility for state TANF programs related to work participation rates and time limits; $11 billion for emergency assistance to children and families issued through the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG); and $65.2 billion to the Administration for Children and Families to support child care, child welfare, and prevention services. It is not anticipated that an additional aid package will be fully passed before the November 3rd election.

Child and Family Well-Being
Department of Education Awards ESF Discretionary Grants

Last week, the Department of Education announced student-centered grant awards to spur worker development, entrepreneurship, and economic growth during COVID-19 recovery. These awards have allowed eight states - Alabama, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Hampton University (in partnership with Virginia) - to receive $126 million from the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF). This funding will be used to leverage the expertise and facilities on college campuses to create entrepreneurship, development, and innovation.

Urgent Call to Action Following Drastic Decline in Care for Children Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last week, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) data revealing that, during the COVID-19 public health emergency, rates for vaccinations, primary, and preventive services among children in Medicaid and CHIP have steeply declined. A decline in preventative services for children can lead to negative long-term health and well-being outcomes for the nearly 40 million children covered by Medicaid and CHIP.

ACF Releases Guidance on Monitoring Process for Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has released their guidance for the 2021 fiscal year monitoring process for Head Start and early Head Start programs. This guidance says that all monitoring reviews that take place during the 2020-2021 school year will be conducted virtually.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
Request for Comments - TANF Expenditure Report, ACF-196R

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is requesting a 3-year extension to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Expenditure Report Form, ACF-196-R. This form is used by State TANF administrators to report quarterly expenditure data as well as request quarterly grant funding. ACF has requested comments from states regarding the necessity of and utility of data collection, the accuracy of the burden assessment, and other information. Comments are due by November 21.

Data Snapshots on the 2015 Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Programs and Clients

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released a report showing Data Snapshots from the Interim Report on the 2015 Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Programs and Clients. Since 2005 Congress has funded more than $150 million each year in healthy marriage (HM) and responsible father (RF) grants. The office of family assistance (OFA) is currently figuring out ways to best support families through these grants.

FY 2021 Federal Offset and Pre-Offset Notice Program Fees

The Dear Colleague Letter DCL-20-09 FY 2021 Federal Offset and Pre-Offset Notice Program Fees lays out the specific regulations and guidelines within the federal offset and pre-offset notice program within the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Every year, the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Services (BFS) reviews its operational costs and fee structure. This year’s review showed an increase in tax refunds and administrative offset fees.  

Alabama Approved for D-SNAP

On September 30, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved Alabama’s request to operate the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in three counties (Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile) in response to the impact of Hurricane Sally that made landfall on September 14. This will provide increased support for people in need of food assistance.

Upcoming APHSA Virtual Events
APHSA Leadership Corner Series: Conversations to Spark Inspiration and Innovation

Join us virtually on Wednesday, October 14 from 1:00-2:15 PM EDT for our next session, "My Journey from Boxing Ring to Boardroom: 5 Essential Virtues for Life and Leadership," featuring Héctor Colón. There are five essential virtues that influenced Héctor Colón’s path from being bullied, to the boxing room, then to the boardroom. These virtues have transformed him into the person and Servant CEO he is today. In his presentation, you will experience his touching and inspirational story. You also will learn how the 5 essential virtues can change you as a person and a leader too.

If you missed any of our earlier events or may have experienced technical issues, you can access recordings here.
Experience NSDTA 360: New Directions Conference Registration & Awards

The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) will be holding Experience NSDTA 360, a two-day virtual event where we will share our collective work on supporting human services staff in response to the national pandemic.

October 6-7, 2020
Experience AAHHSA 360: Conference Registration

The American Association of Health & Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) will be holding a two-day virtual event to facilitate the exchange of information between attorneys and promote pragmatic innovation in the field of H/HS services. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits will be available with live and on-demand sessions. Group discounts are available. Early registration rates end October 6.

October 20-21, 2020
Upcoming Webinars & Events
APHSA Webinar - Family Well-Being and Child Welfare Services Against the Backdrop of COVID-19

Join us with the National Association for Welfare Research & Statistics (NAWRS) and HHS leaders to discuss COVID-19 effects on Child Welfare services. In the spring and summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought school closures and stay-at-home orders, followed by reports that calls to child maltreatment hotlines were decreasing dramatically. In this webinar, panelists will share research findings about maltreatment reports and substantiations, describe how some systems have responded to changes brought on by the pandemic, and discuss the role of the child welfare system now and into the future.

Monday, October 5, 2:00 PM EDT
An Expert Series Webinar, Child Welfare & the Pandemic: Planning an Incremental Approach to Modernization

Join Child Welfare professionals from IBM Watson Health as they discuss the need for agencies to explore incremental modernization to combat challenges resulting during COVID-19 and beyond. In a time of crisis, child protection and foster care has a mandate to keep children safe and to protect their well-being, and during this pandemic that mandate does not go away - rather, achieving it becomes much more difficult.

Tuesday, October 6, 1:00-1:30 PM EDT
Advancing Health Equity Science, Practice, & Outcomes:
A Culture of Health Listening Workshop

The National Academy of Medicine Culture of Health Program will host a public meeting to examine gaps, barriers, priorities, and opportunities for decision-makers advancing health equity through policy. The Culture of Health Program is a multiyear collaborative effort to identify strategies to create and sustain conditions that support equitable good health for everyone in America.

Wednesday, October 14 , 11:00 AM-3:30 PM EDT
APHSA Webinar - Improving Economic Stability for Young Parents – Spotlight on Kentucky & Massachusetts

Join us along with Third Sector and representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), and the Kentucky Department of Family Support (DFS) to hear how they are working to better meet the needs of young parent families through TANF-funded programs. Examples will include place-based adjustments, cross-agency coordination, and gathering ongoing feedback from participants to inform program improvements. The Kentucky Works Program will share how they are working to establish participant and frontline staff “feedback loops” to better understand the needs of young parents in order to identify more enhanced, targeted TANF funded services to promote economic stability. MA DTA will share their new approach to using TANF funding in flexible and effective ways to support young parents through their Young Parents Program.

Thursday, October 15, 1:00-2:00 PM EDT
APHSA Webinar - Insights for Community Action Agencies (CAAs): Designing Better Programs to Support Young Parent Families

Join us along with representatives from the National Community Action Partnership, Third Sector and the Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council (WEOC) from South Carolina to discuss the importance of elevating young parent families as a priority population and the importance of leveraging a 2Gen approach within Community Action Agencies. A key topic will include how to measure program performance to achieve 2-gen outcomes using ROMA in conjunction with on-going young parent and provider feedback.

Monday, October 19, 12:00-1:15 PM EDT
APHSA Webinar - “If I Knew Then What I Know Now…” COVID-19 Lessons Learned and Planning for the Future

Join us with Maximus for a review of COVID-19 impacts. In an effort to better understand how the pandemic has impacted governments, and to facilitate the sharing of experiences and insights, Maximus conducted a survey of state and county leaders. In this interactive webinar, we reveal the results of the survey and discuss possible implications with our panel of state and county leaders. Join us to listen, learn, and share your insights in this data-driven, peer group discussion. 

Thursday, October 22, 3:00-4:15 PM EDT
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.