April 30, 2021
We are proud to share the latest installment of our Cornerstone for Resilient Communities and a Revitalized Economy transition brief series. Core Principles for TANF Modernization highlights how we can build common ground on what families need to thrive and how TANF can align with other key building blocks of well-being to achieve the outcomes we desire. Our TANF North Star Map of Core Principles illustrates the renewed vision of what TANF can be and embedded within them are the values of equity, inclusion, and the limitless possibilities of human potential.
APHSA is currently looking to fill these roles: Project Director for Advancing Family Economic Mobility; Policy Fellow, Technology and Analytics; and Human Resources Coordinator. Positions are located in Arlington, VA but currently available for 100% virtual work.
Legislative Updates
American Families Plan Announced

On Wednesday, President Biden announced the American Families Plan which includes $1.8 billion in investments in children, families, and the economy. These include investing in high-quality and affordable child care and its workforce, expanding the Summer EBT program to all eligible children, permanently extending tax credit expansions established by the American Recovery Act, granting eligibility to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of drug felonies, tying unemployment insurance funding to economic conditions, and creating a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. In addition, the plan includes investing in universal pre-school and two years of free community college. APHSA will work closely with members in the coming days and weeks to unpack the many ways the plan impacts human services agencies and the people they serve.

Building an Economy for Families Act

On Wednesday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal released the Building an Economy for Families Act. Among other provisions, the Bill would provide universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers; increase funds for the Child Care Entitlement to States program; establish a Child Care Information Network (CCIN) for parents and caregivers to access information about available child care slots; and provide a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers to raise wages of essential child care workers. It would permanently extend the American Rescue Plan’s historic expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and create a new Worker Information Network (WIN) to assist workers in accessing paid leave, unemployment insurance benefits, and child care. As Congress considers the Administration’s proposed American Families Plan, the bill reflects a marker that deviates in the length and structure of investments in child and family services.

Safe Home Act Reintroduced

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) reintroduced the Safe Home Act, which seeks to give states the ability to investigate unregulated custody transfers (UCT) of adopted children. UCT occurs when parents transfer custody of their adopted child without going through the child welfare system, bypassing background checks and home studies. The bill would classify UCTs as child abuse, giving the states more ability to act for the best interest of the child.

Child and Family Well-Being
Learning Collaborative: Improving Timely Health Care for Children and Youth in Foster Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in coordination with the Children’s Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), will launch a Foster Care Learning Collaborative on Improving Health Care for Children and Youth in Foster Care. This Learning Collaborative will support state Medicaid agencies in improving health outcomes for the foster care population. The first webinar in the series is Monday, May 10th on “The Role for Medicaid in Improving Outcomes for Children and Youth in Foster Care.”

Employment and Economic Well-Being
USDA Announces New Effort to Provide Nutrition Assistance to Children in Summer 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released guidance for the expansion of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program over the summer. All children eligible for free or reduced-price meals will qualify for the temporary nutrition benefit—loaded onto an EBT card that can then be used to purchase food— as well as children under age six that receive SNAP. USDA also published an analysis of the estimated impact of this effort on individual states.

FNS Opens Grant Applications and Enhances SNAP Customer Service

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced that $5 million in competitive grants are being made available to improve access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and enhance program quality and efficiency. The SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants (PTIG) will be awarded through an application process that now requires applicants to include considerations of racial equity and inclusion in their project proposals. Applications must be submitted by June 22.

USDA Enhances Administrative Funds to States to Improve SNAP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing states with $1.135 billion over three years from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act to support and enhance their administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). State agencies may use the administrative funds for a variety of purposes, including investing in technology to improve access to SNAP benefits, exploring opportunities to better reach vulnerable populations, and improving reporting on program outcomes to enable data-driven decision making. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is currently in the process of distributing allocation memos to states.

USDA to Incentivize Purchase of Fruits and Vegetables Under WIC for Four Months with American Rescue Plan Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has offered states, tribal nations, and territories the option of boosting the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cash-value voucher benefit for fruits and vegetables by more than three times the current amount for up to four months. Additional funds from the American Rescue Plan will allow state agencies to temporarily provide up to $35 per child and adult, per month, to increase the purchasing power of WIC participants and help them buy more healthy fruits and vegetables. A list of the state agencies that have opted-into the increase can be found on USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website.

USDA Expands Nutrition Assistance for Seniors Amid Pandemic with American Rescue Plan Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will be providing nearly $37 million in additional support to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to increase food assistance to low-income seniors. In addition to funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, states and Tribal nations will receive up to $2.6 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to support increased administrative costs resulting from the pandemic. Expanding CSFP—which provides nutritious, domestically-sourced USDA Foods to low-income persons 60 years or older—will help combat food insecurity among seniors during the pandemic.

APHSA Partner Updates
Alliance-COA SPARK 2021 Call for Presentations

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities seeks proposals for its Fall Learning Experience on September 14 - October 8. Focused on a commitment to advance equity, this virtual learning experience is designed to inspire individuals and organizations in their efforts to implement innovative practice, policy, and research. They welcome proposals that effectively address the most persistent challenges and barriers to effective practice, leadership, and change. Deadline for submission is May 7.

Upcoming APHSA Events
APHSA Third Thursday 360: Virtual Mini-Series of Health and Human Services Collective Learning

Join us on the Third Thursday of each month through June - building on our January-April sessions, we're continuing with topics on Child Welfare, SNAP, TANF, IT, Performance Management, Child Care, & more. It's never too late to join in as your registration allows full access to the entire series!

Thursday, May 20, 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!
APHSA Webinar - Addressing Health Equity During the COVID Pandemic: A Discussion with the State of California

Join us along with BerryDunn and the California Department of Public Health for an honest reflection of the challenges each state faces and strategies they have employed to reduce their largest disparities during the COVID pandemic.
Over the last year, state health and human services departments have been working to manage the pandemic and the many facets of emergency response. During this moderated discussion, we will learn how California approached addressing health equity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2:30-3:30 PM EDT
Save the Date! 2021 conferences are being designed to fit the hybrid event model with both in-person and virtual options. More details and registration deadlines to come. Visit our Events Page for all our upcoming events.

Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference (EMWB)
August 22-25, Milwaukee, WI

Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) September 26-29, Cincinnati, OH

National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA)
October 3-6, Spokane, WA
Upcoming Webinars & Virtual Events
CSG Capitol Ideas Presents: A Year of Recovery

Join the Council of State Governments (CSG) along with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in conversation with emergency managers and state health officials as they discuss state response to COVID-19, lessons learned and how their industries are more important than ever.

Thursday, May 6, 2:30-4:30 PM EST
NAPA Annual Social Equity Leadership Virtual Conference

Join the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) for the 20th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference. This virtual conference provides a space to discuss how public administrators can develop a broader understanding of social equity and recognize social equity's implications within the administrative context. You will have the opportunity to engage in the discussion through a range of educational lectures, workshops, live plenaries, keynote and lunchtime speakers, on-demand panels, and power social hours.

June 9-11, 2021
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.