CYF Update

Children, Youth and Families News
Friday, October 16, 2020



LSA CYF members,

If you have any questions, would like to be added to the CYF Update mailing list, or have recommendations for future webinars, please contact Sheila Weber at

To view all previous issues of our CYF Update newsetters, prior webinars on a wide variety of EBPs and other topics, Family First Act resources, and more, please visit our CYF members-only resource page. Contact for the login and password.

Advocacy Updates

LSA Advocacy Update

On October 11, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent a letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to redirect about $130 billion in unused funds from the expired Paycheck Protection Program to allow some businesses to apply for a second round of funding. Negotiations on a broader stimulus package have stalled, however, with House and Senate leadership far apart on how to move forward given major differences, and President Trump sending mixed signals on what he believes should be included in another bill. With the House adjourned and the Senate focused on confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a relief package is unlikely until after the election in November, at the earliest. Nevertheless, Lutheran Services in America continues to call on lawmakers to return to the negotiating table with tweets to senators urging them to support nonprofit provider needs in a package now.   Join us in urging lawmakers to provide additional nonprofit relief NOW by clicking here.

Senators Casey and Young Introduce the Informing Grandfamilies Act

U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the bipartisan Informing Grandfamilies Act, which would help connect grandparents and other relative caregivers with available resources and support to raise relative children. The Act would require states to directly communicate with grandparents who receive or are applying for cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to provide information about additional supports such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Medicaid. The bill would also require states to inform grandparents about potential options for the family to receive financial support on behalf of the child through the child welfare system.  Read Press Release Read Bill

State Legislators Push Reforms That Lead to Data-Informed Policies

Through a peer learning community established by The Pew Charitable Trusts, state policymakers are formalizing relationships with one another to share best practices, troubleshoot common challenges, and develop new ideas. This growing community of states focused on evidence-based policymaking includes elected officials, legislative staff, budget office directors and staff, gubernatorial appointees, and agency staff. Read more here

2019 Report to Congress on the Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act

Read the annual report here

Congress Enacts Bipartisan Bill Improving Intercountry Adoption Information

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed H.R. 1952, the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2019, legislation led by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) to provide updated, quality information to Americans trying to adopt children from other countries. Read more here

Virtual Convenings and Meetings

Lutheran Services in America's Strength and Service Series

Strength & Service Series: Becoming an Antiracist Organization Date: Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 Time: 1 - 2PM EDT

As recent events have cast a bright light on centuries of racial injustice, Lutheran social ministry organizations are asking how they can contribute to a more equitable society. Racial justice and equity require us to take a critical internal look at our leadership, policies, and operations, and have some difficult conversations. Hear from three peer leaders as they continue addressin their organization's role in systemic racism, explore efforts to engage community partners to dismantle racism, and discuss the importance in recognizing and naming the pain that racism causes. During this webinar, your peers will share their successes and challenges in this important work, and explore questions such as, what does it mean to be an antiracist organization? What steps can you take to join in on the journey of becoming an antiracist organization? What tools and resources can help you along the way?

Panelists: - Damyn Kelly, President and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of New York - Michael Bertrand, President and CEO, and Beverly Jones, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois - Paulo Pina, Pediatric Medical Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, NYU Robert I. Grossman School of Medicine, Family Health Centers at NYU Langone

Facilitator: - Andrew Genszler, President and CEO, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry

Registration will be limited to 100 participants. Register now!

E-Book: Creating a Trauma-Informed System of Care: Addressing Individuals, Professionals, and Organizations

This e-book will share:   - What exactly is trauma and how it affects different populations  - Best practices for addressing trauma with the individuals you serve  - Best practices for addressing trauma in your staff (both clinical and nonclinical)  - How to become a trauma-informed organization, including the key elements of the trauma-informed model of care Learn more here.

Behavior with a Purpose, Thoughtful Solutions to Common Problems of Adoptive, Foster and Kinship Youth

The virtual book club was led by the founders of the BE A FOSTER Movement, Ashley Rae and Andrew Klinger, and the authors of Behavior with a Purpose Rick Delaney, PhD. and Charley Joyce, LCSW.  Six one-hour virtual sessions were conducted via Zoom with each session focusing on a chapter of Behavior with a Purpose. Learn more here. The BE A FOSTER Movement also offers is a virtual support group for foster parents, specifically moms. Information on the BE A FOSTER Foster Mom Mixer can be found here.

Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Education, and Behavioral Health News

COVID-19 Threatens Efforts to Safeguard the Vulnerable from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

The non-governmental organization (NGO) sector has made progress in preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (PSEAH). However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, the sector must ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures remain robust and effective. To achieve this, donors must prioritize funding that strengthens safeguarding systems and programming. Read more here

COVID-19 and Child Welfare: Using Data to Understand Trends in Maltreatment and Response

Reports of child abuse and neglect have dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, while economic stressors have risen for families. Between March and May 2020, reports of child maltreatment were between 40 and 60% lower than the same period the previous year. In this new issue brief, Chapin Hall researchers examine what this means for child welfare systems and explores ways agencies can shape adaptive responses to the families they serve. The brief also introduces a new dynamic forecasting tool that allows agencies to estimate changing rates of abuse and neglect based on community-level stressors. The tool helps project unforeseen events so appropriate actions can be taken. Researchers from Chapin Hall say that the recent rise in unemployment due to COVID-19 has increased the risk of child maltreatment. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has shifted detection of and response to child maltreatment. In their new brief, researchers suggest that the delivery of community-based preventive interventions be expanded to identify resources families need to address challenges and safely care for children. Read more here

Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons Learned from a Rapid Review in the Context of COVID-19

This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID-19 and recommendations for future research priorities. Read more here

When Reimagining Systems of Safety, Take a Closer Look at the Child Welfare System

Too often, institutions that are defined on the surface as “systems of care,” actually conceal carceral and racist policies. The child welfare system is a prime example that warrants critical scrutiny. In this moment of societal introspection on the harms of carceral systems, it is important that we broaden our lens and critically appraise not just police but also other systems that may similarly criminalize Blackness and poverty. Read more here.

Even as the Economy Grew, More Children Lost Health Insurance

The share of children with health coverage in the United States fell for the third consecutive year in 2019, according to census data, after decades of increases. The decline occurred during a period of economic growth — before the coronavirus pandemic caused broad job losses that might have cost many more Americans their health insurance. Read more here.

She Will 'Age Out' of Foster Care in Two Months. Her Hope: That Lawmakers Will Make Sure Young People Like Her Aren't Pushed Out During the Pandemic

While much of the country has been waiting to see what stimulus package lawmakers will deliver, if they can agree to deliver anything, people who work with the older foster care population are especially focused on one aspect of that promised relief. They are hoping to see a bill included that would prevent young people from aging out of foster care during the crisis and allow those who have already aged out since it started to reenter. Read more here

A Group of Current and Former Probation Officials Called for America to "Blow Up" the Traditional Model When it Comes to Juvenile Probation and Think of New and Better Ways to Monitor and Support Young People After Arrest

Former New York probation commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said "If we didn't exist, would you invent us?" Read more here.

Suicide Looms Large in Minds of Many Foster Youth

The suicide of any child is a tragedy, but studies show children in foster care are four times more likely than other children to attempt to take their own lives. Suicide risk is correlated with depression, lack of social support and a history of trauma, maltreatment and abuse - particularly sexual abuse. Since maltreatment and abuse are among the top reasons children are removed from their homes, it is not difficult to understand why foster children are at such a high risk of suicide, experts said. Read more here

Federal Grant Opportunities

HHS Now Accepting Applications for $20 Billion in Phase 3 Relief Funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced the availability of $20 billion in additional funding for providers. Eligible providers are encouraged to apply early. Learn more here. The application period closes November 6, 2020

Youth Garden Grant

Youth Garden Grants are awarded to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Awards will include funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Read more hereClosing date: Dec. 18, 2020.

Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) Program

Forecasted HHS-2021-ACF-ACYF-SR-1927-- SRAE funds programs for youth which exclusively implement education in sexual risk avoidance. Programs also teach youth the benefits associated with self-regulation, success sequencing for poverty prevention, healthy relationships, goal setting, and resisting sexual coercion, dating violence, and other youth risk behaviors such as underage drinking or illicit drug use without normalizing teen sexual activity. Learn more here.

Estimated Post date Feb. 24, 2021. Estimated Closing date: April 25, 2021.

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Competitive Grants

Forecasted HHS-202-ACF-ACYF-AK-1929 Department of Health and Human Services Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) funds education programs to youth that must teach both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy. Learn more here. Estimated Post date: Mar. 21, 2021 Estimated Closing date: May 20, 2021.