January 22, 2021
On Wednesday, our country witnessed the inauguration of the 46th U.S. President. With the peaceful transition of power now complete, the attention of our nation must return to addressing the profound challenges before us.
Health and human services leaders are already at work—laying the tracks necessary for all communities to thrive. For our part, APHSA is proud to share our recommendations designed to meet the most pressing needs of families and communities at this time while making a down payment for a brighter future. Through our initial transition blueprint, and its subsequent policy brief, we set forth the building blocks required to lay a strong foundation essential to weathering the current crises. Read more in the special statement we released yesterday.
We’re looking for a consultant experienced in racial equity training for leaders and teams to provide (virtual) learning and planning to advance our internal culture of racial equity and racial justice. Proposal deadline is Wednesday, January 27. Learn More.
Legislative & Regulatory Updates
Executive Orders and Presidential Actions

January 20-22nd, since President Biden’s inauguration, he has issued a series of executive orders and presidential actions aimed at pandemic recovery, the economy, and other important issues. Below is APHSA’s summary of the main executive orders impacting human services:

Department of Education Extends Pause on Federal Student Loans

At the request of President Biden, the Acting Secretary of Education has extended the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and is continuing to stay the interest rate at 0% until September 2021.

Extension of Federal Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium

President Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until March 31, 2021. As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans (SFHDLP and SFHGLP).

Withdrawal of Proposed Rule: Strengthening Work in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Administration of Children and Families has withdrawn a proposed rule, Strengthening Work in TANF. The proposed rule was in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13828 which directed HHS to review all regulations and bring them into line with the Administration’s principles, which include strengthening existing work requirements. This proposed rule will no longer move forward.

Child and Family Well-Being
Children’s Bureau Releases Several Information Memorandums to States

Civil Legal Advocacy to Promote Child and Family Well-being, Address the Social Determinants of Health, and Enhance Community Resilience

The Children’s Bureau has released a new Information Memorandum that highlights the importance of civil legal advocacy in advancing child and family well-being; addressing the social determinants of health; enhancing community resiliency; and to encourage state, territorial, and tribal human services entities to work together to support access to civil legal advocacy.

Sharing Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

The Children’s Bureau has released a new Information Memorandum (IM) that shares lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight opportunities for child and family serving agencies to create equitable, proactive, and integrated approaches to support the health and well-being of children and families. The IM calls for transformational leadership across all sectors to promote equity, wellness, family integrity, and healing as we move into a new administration.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA Announces Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development, and Marketing and Regulatory Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Stacy Dean, Justin Maxson, and Mae Wu as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS), Rural Development, and Marketing and Regulatory Programs, respectively. The Deputy Under Secretary for FNCS remained unfilled during the Trump administration. Dean was previously the Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research and policy institute in Washington, DC.

ACF Report on Housing Instability for Noncustodial Parents

The Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a brief and an infograph including estimates of the percentage of noncustodial parents who are eligible for and receive housing assistance. The documents also included opportunities for child support agencies, public housing agencies, Continuums of Care, and other partners to further address the needs of noncustodial parents for housing.

Reporting Requirement of Unemployment Compensation (UC) Recipiency Rate for Certain Allotments Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Department of Labor (DOL) released a Training and Employment Notice (TEN) to remind states of the requirement to report on unemployment compensation (UC) recipiency rates in states that are receiving Allotment I of the emergency administrative grant funding under Section 4102(a) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Division D, Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Access Act of 2020 (EUISAA).

ACF Research and Evaluation Agenda

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released ACF’s Research and Evaluation Agenda. The agenda covers nine ACF program areas including Child Care, Child Support Enforcement, Child Welfare, Head Start, and Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency. For each program area the agenda outlines an overview of the program, past research and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, examples of broad questions and how those questions are being addressed, and future plans.

NEW PATHS Announces SNAP Putting Families First Award

NEW PATHS is awarding an individual, agency, or organization that has showcased exemplary customer service with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Putting Families First Award. Nominations are due by February 28, 2021 and the winner will receive one paid registration to the NEW PATHS annual training conference and the APHSA SNAP Directors annual conference along with a recognition award at each conference.

APHSA Partner Updates
The Bipartisan Policy Center Shares Policy Briefs

The Bipartisan Policy Center shared two policy briefs focused on state policies that can support and stabilize the child care businesses. During the pandemic—when the child care market is more fragile than ever—these practices can support child care access and ensure child care is available for children and parents.

  • Increased Payment Rates to Support Child Care explores how states used the 2018 increase of Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to increase payment rates for child care subsidy. The brief concludes that while 43 states have increased rates since 2018, significant investments are still needed to meet the true cost of providing child care.
  • Payment Practices to Stabilize Child Care shows how grants and contracts for child care subsidy payment can both support programs and increase child care quality. Grants and contracts are largely underutilized—across all states, 92% of child care subsidy is distributed by portable certificates. While certificates support parent choice, they also can destabilize the child care market as funding follows children who exit programs. By incorporating some grants and contacts into their child care subsidy programs, states have an opportunity to bolster the economic foundation of the child care market.
RFP - Coordinating SNAP & Nutrition Supports
APHSA is partnering with Share Our Strength to offer a new grant opportunity for state SNAP agencies to increase coordination between their SNAP program and other nutrition supports to reduce childhood hunger. The demonstration project will fund 3-5 states and APHSA will serve as the grant administrator to support cohort learning. The RFP is due by January 29.
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
APHSA Third Thursday 360: Virtual Mini-Series of Health and Human Services Collective Learning

Join us on the Third Thursday of each month for our exciting new virtual mini-series! Slated to take place through June 2021, each event will offer rich content equivalent to a day spent at a traditional conference with an array of sessions and networking opportunities. ​Bringing policy, practice, and program together on one platform, this unique series will showcase best practices and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and will also zoom in on agency management in child welfare, SNAP, TANF, IT, performance management, and child care.

Thursday, February 18, 12:30-5:15 PM EST

Certificates of attendance will be provided for the pursuit of continuing education (CE) credits. Pay once for entire series! Group discount available for five or more registrants. Learn more!
Using Data for Justice: How Changemakers Can Center Racial Equity in COVID-19 Recovery

Join the Urban Institute for a special installment in their conversation series, Evidence to Action, as part of their launch of the Racial Equity Analytics Lab, which equips equity-focused changemakers with data and analyses to design and advance race-conscious policies that remedy structural racism and to hold governments and institutions accountable for choices that perpetuate oppressive systems.

Monday, January 25, 4:30-5:30 PM EST
Route Fifty's State of the State Virtual Event

During this virtual experience, Route Fifty will explore the biggest trends and challenges in state government, while diving deep into verticals like technology, finance and the economy, and public safety. Hear from public sector leaders from across the country such as governors, chief technology officers, chief information officers and more.

January 25-27, 2021
AHPSA Webinar - Creating the “Next Normal” in Human Services: Redesigning Service Delivery to Increase Capacity and Meet Demand
It is critical that human services agencies process requests for services with limited in-person contact as quickly as possible to provide supports to all qualifying customers impacted by COVID-19. Join Change & Innovation Agency for a roundtable discussion with human services colleagues as they discuss their experiences leading their agencies through these unprecedented times and how they are creating the “next normal” in service delivery by transforming operations to meet workload demand - now and for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, January 28, 2:00-3:15 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.