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UWP Update - October 26, 2018
A pop of color at the State Capitol - The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition has helped to turn the state Capitol fountain pink through October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

2017-18 Legislative Session Wrap-Up
 
Last week the 2017-18 legislative session came to a close. In the final days of session, a number of bills were sent to the Governor's desk for signature. In total 89 bills were sent, with 4 of those bill receiving vetoes and the rest being signed into law. Some noteworthy bills include:
 
SB 1095, now Act 158: Allows for alternatives for high school students to demonstrate their readiness to graduate when they do not score proficient on Keystone Exams. Four additional options are offered, ranging from meeting a composite score across the Keystone Exams in algebra, biology and literature, to presenting three pieces of evidence from the student's portfolio that meet grade-based requirements in academic contents areas of the Keystone Exams.  
 
SB 1127, now Act 160: Creates stronger penalties against individuals and businesses that unlawfully trade goods or services in exchange for SNAP benefits.  
 
HB 1386, now Act 82: Provides for instructional certificate grade spans and age levels for special education certificates to allow for an individual holding special education pre-k-8 and 7-12 certificates to have the opportunity to expand the scope of the individual's certificate to meet the additional grade levels by a process that will be determined by the Dept. of Education. This Act also calls for a study by the Joint State Government Commission to report on:  (1) the appropriateness of the fields of certification, including grade span and age level limitations, in improving student outcomes; (2) the creation or elimination of teaching certifications or endorsements; and (3) national trends regarding grade span and age limitations of certification.  
 
HB 1539, now Act 88: Grants temporary guardianship of a child, or children, in 90-day increments for up to one year to grandparents or other family members when the parents are not able to provide care. With this temporary guardianship, caregivers are able to make vital, basic decisions for the care of the child.  
 
HB 2133, now Act 89: Establishes the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, which is an information resource, through a hotline and website, for grandparents and other family members to offer information on support and services available. This program will also serve as a mediator to establish relationships between caregivers and relevant federal, state and local agency staff for the services and supports needed.  
 
Vetoed Legislation HB 2138: Gov. Wolf vetoed legislation that would create work requirements for non-elderly, non-pregnant adult beneficiaries of Medical Assistance (Medicaid) who are eligible on a basis other than disability. Under the proposal, an individual would have satisfied the bill's work requirement by either engaging in 20 hours a week of employment; or completion of 12 job training program-related activities a month.
 
Session is now wrapped up for the year, with focus now on the November 6th elections. The 2019-20 legislative session will kick off in January with a host of new legislators, new leadership and committee chairs.  

State Program Announced to Help Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder Find and Maintain Housing

$15 million dollars will be directed to a housing initiative that will fund eight pilot projects in eligible rural and urban communities. The proposed porgrams must help individuals to become and remain engaged in treatment for opioid use disorder while providing the necessary resources to maintain housing stability. 

A Request for Applications (RFA) for support services navigation and housing services for individuals with opioid use disorder is now available here

One in five people experiencing homelessness has a chronic substance use disorder. Housing instability makes the road to recovery much harder for individuals and their families. Safe, stable housing is an important part of an individual's overall health and well-being. 

This RFA is the first project launched as part of the $55.9 million SAMHSA grant which was secured to bolster the state's response to the opioid epidemic. Additional initiatives included in the grant are focused on expanding services to pregnant women and veterans affected with opioid use disorder, developing the treatment and recovery workforce, and strengthening criminal justice and law enforcement initiatives. 

Thirty counties are eligible for pilot programs under the RFA. They are: Armstrong, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clearfield, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Venango, Washington, Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Philadelphia, Westmoreland, and York. 
PA 2-1-1 Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training 

PA 2-1-1 has scheduled a Child Abuse Mandated Reporter session on Friday, November 16 at the United Way of the Capitol Region in Enola from 10am - 1pm. We extend an invitation to United Ways to send a staff person, your interns, or staff from agencies you work with to join us in our learning on this important topic.
 
This training is an extension of the work PA 2-1-1 is now doing in Coordinated Entry.  While 2-1-1 staff are not mandated reporters, they are often faced with calls where a child is in less than ideal circumstances due to the homelessness of the parent. We want the 2-1-1 staff to be knowledgeable about all of the issues involved so that we can best protect the children. Contact Anne Fogoros for more details. This is an excellent opportunity to extend the skill set of your staff at no cost.

UWP VISTA Project is accepting new partner sites! 

UWP hosted a webinar this week where we talked about bringing together small and mid-sized United Ways to submit a portfolio of AmeriCorps VISTA projects. 

AmeriCorps VISTA members  are volunteers who commit at least one year to work to fight poverty in local communities. They join to build capacity in the community by creating new programs or expanding already-existing ones. United Ways who are looking to build capacity while fighting poverty may benefit from a VISTA member. 

If you're interested in learning more about the VISTA program, please take a look at our recorded webinar. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Amanda Barbarich who will be happy to set up an individual meeting to discuss the VISTA program.  

We are currently accepting projects to add to our portfolio. The portfolio will be submitted in December. To successfully submit, we are asking interested parties to submit concepts for VISTA program sites by November 21st, 2018. You can submit your project concept here.
UWP Winter Webinars
United Way of PA has our Winter Webinar Series all lined up! Registration is open for all the webinars listed below either at our website or via our Workplace by Facebook group. 

End of Year Fundraising Strategies
December 4, 2018 
4:00PM-5:00PM

The holiday season and end of the year are great opportunities for United Ways to increase their donations. Let us help you  make the most of the spirit of philanthropy. UWP will give you helpful tips to make the season go smoothly and maximize your potential! 

We will also be providing custom graphics for social media to all attendees that talk about the good United Way accomplishes state wide in holiday and end of year themes!

Evidence Based Strategies for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic (Rescheduled!) 
January 9, 2019
2:00PM-3:00PM

Prescription drugs are essential to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans living with acute or chronic pain. However, misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose of these products, especially opioids, have become serious public health problems in Pennsylvania. There are methods and programs that have proven successful in communities at fighting the opioid epidemic and this webinar will focus on giving an overview of them. 

Free Tools for United Ways
February 6th, 2019 
2:30pm-3:30pm

Need something to manage your social media pages? What about graphic design software? Some way to manage an upcoming project? 

Sometimes the best tool for the job can be found for free or low-cost, you just have to know where to look. Join us to take a look at some free tools your United Way is eligible to use. 

If you have any questions, or have a topic you would like to see presented in future webinars, please contact Amanda Barbarich via  email or call (717) 238-7365 x206.  

 


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