December 4, 2020
We hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving break and were able to spend some time with people you care about, whether in-person or virtually.

APHSA stands ready to work with the incoming Federal Administration and Congress to address the profound economic, health, and inequity challenges before us as a nation. We proudly share our latest resources setting forth why human services sit at the Cornerstone for Resilient Communities and a Revitalized Economy and how federal policymakers can help meet the most pressing needs while laying the necessary tracks to enable social and economic mobility so all families and communities can thrive.
Administrative Updates
HHS Issues RFI on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) to inform its decisions regarding which regulatory flexibilities used in its COVID-19 response should be kept temporary or made permanent. HHS intends that some regulatory changes will remain temporary while others will be made permanent, or permanent with modification. It may not be possible for some changes to be made permanent absent statutory changes; however, HHS is still interested in comments to help gauge the need for such changes. Comments are due by December 28, 2020.

Information Collection Activity on Human Services Programs in Rural Contexts Study

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is seeking data on the challenges and unique opportunities of administering human services programs in rural contexts. ACF proposes to conduct key informant interviews during site visits to 12 rural communities. The department seeks comments on whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the agency's functions, including whether the information shall have practical utility.
Comments are due by January 29, 2021.

Child and Family Well-Being
Court Rules Immigrants Must Make Court Appearance Within 10 Days

A federal court in New York has established a 10-day appearance for immigrants after they are taken into custody. The ruling, the first of its kind, curbs the ability for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain a person indefinitely. In 2014, the average time between detainment and appearance was 2 weeks, but in 2018 it was over 2 months. The ruling will likely be appealed.
Bipartisan Push to Pass Child Welfare Bills Before New Year

A group of bipartisan lawmakers have banded together to urge Congress to pass the Jenna Quinn Law and the Supporting Family Mental Health in Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The Jenna Quinn law would help ensure individuals who work with children have tools and resources to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse. The Supporting Family Mental Health Act would make improvements to the delivery of mental health services for children and families in contact with the child welfare system.

Employment and Economic Well-Being
GAO COVID-19 Report: Federal Efforts Could Be Strengthened by Timely and Concerted Actions

The Government Accountability Office issued a report, COVID-19: Federal Efforts Could Be Strengthened by Timely and Concerted Actions, providing updates on its oversight of federal actions supporting public health, individuals, and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report included 16 recommendations to federal agencies including the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), The Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Treasury Department, and highlighted the need for agencies to take immediate action to both address the ongoing health crisis and the economic impact of the pandemic.

ACF Releases Instructions for TANF Program Data Reports Through 2023

The Administration of Children and Family (ACF) issued new instructions for completing forms ACF-199, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Data Report, and ACF-209, SSP-MOE Data Report. These forms and instructions are effective for reporting from FY2021 through November 30, 2023.

Updated Interstate Child Support Policy

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued an updated child support policy, AT-20-14: Interstate Child Support Policy. The update incorporates interstate policy from the 2010 Intergovernmental Final Rule, addresses requirements of the 2008 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), and discusses the 2019 revised versions of the Intergovernmental Forms approved by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

FNS Posts Q&A on Quality Control Related Provisions in Continuing Resolution

On October 1, 2020, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law. It included an extension for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) waivers including for certification periods, reporting, interviews, and Quality Control (QC) reviews. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released guidance on the waiver of quality control reviews to specify how states can utilize the extender waiver.

APHSA Partner Updates
RFP - Coordinating SNAP & Nutrition Supports

We are partnering with Share Our Strength to offer a new grant opportunity for state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (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 grants administrator to support cohort learning. The RFP is due by January 29, 2021 with an accompanying informational webinar to be held on December 10; see Events section below.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Releases a Report on Benefits Cliffs

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has produced a video animation that serves as a primer on benefits cliffs, showing how some working families experience a barrier when career advancement puts them above the income-eligibility threshold for public assistance programs. The Bank also recently held a summit, Reframing Benefits Cliffs: Solutions for an Inclusive Recovery and has made the session recordings available.

Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
APHSA Leadership Corner Series: Conversations to Spark Inspiration and Innovation
Our Leadership Corner sessions have concluded for 2020, yet stay tuned! We'll be back in 2021 with more virtual events. If you missed any of our earlier sessions or experienced technical issues, you can access recordings here.
CompTIA HHS Tech Committee December Meeting

Join CompTIA For December's Health & Human Services Technology Committee meeting, where they will be releasing their 5th Annual State of the State HHS Technology Programs Survey. Guest speakers will participate in a panel to discuss their own experiences, offering their insights and agency context to the survey results and industry trends.

Thursday, December 10, 2:00-3:30 PM EST
APHSA Webinar - Coordinating SNAP and Nutrition Supports Grant Opportunity

Join Share Our Strength and APHSA for an informational webinar that will detail RFP requirements for the Coordinating SNAP and Nutrition Supports to Reduce Childhood Hunger grant opportunity and will include a Q&A session. All materials and the recorded webinar will be sent out after the meeting.

Thursday, December 10, 3:00 PM EST
Census Bureau Hosts News Briefing to Announce 2020 Demographic Analysis Estimates

The U.S. Census Bureau will hold a virtual news conference to announce the release of the 2020 Demographic Analysis population estimates, which include national-level estimates of the population by age, sex, and select race and Hispanic origin groups as of April 1, 2020.

Instead of collecting responses to a questionnaire like the 2020 Census, Demographic Analysis uses birth records, death records, data on international migration, and Medicare enrollment records to estimate the size of the U.S. population. By releasing these estimates ahead of the first 2020 Census results, Demographic Analysis offers an independent measure of the population for comparison with the official census counts once available. A live media Q&A session will immediately follow the briefing.

Tuesday, December 15, 1:00 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.