CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, April 16, 2021



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 Caitlyn Gudmundsen 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.

LSA Updates

Winter Issue of Front Line Heroes Series Released

Lutheran Services in America has released the Winter issue of our Frontline Heroes series, a collection of stories highlighting the brave efforts of our members’ frontline workers. Read the full issue here

LSA Webinar Today: Understanding the Impact of Systemic Racism on Black Families

Today, April 16 from 1 to 2 pm EST Register here We know children thrive when they are raised in loving, stable families. Yet throughout American history there have been many forces that have actively destabilized black and brown families. Slavery, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and poverty are some of the many examples of policies and practices that have actively separated children from their families. Please join us for this captivating, original presentation by Dr. Harry Singleton, theologian, author, and one of the most passionate and informed voices on race and religion in America as he elevates the historical and cyclical impact that systemic racism has on children, families, and communities of color, and the considerations we as faith-based organizations must make if we are to disrupt its cycle. Register here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Hub

As Lutheran Services in America continues to update its COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Hub, we are asking members to share strategies to increase access and reduce barriers to COVID-19 vaccination.  Please submit your organization’s programs or strategies to Special Enrollment Period 2021

LSA’s partners at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have released new resources for the Special Enrollment Period, lasting through May 15. Read more here

Advocacy Updates

Advocacy Update

President Biden outlined his FY 2022 federal budget proposal last Friday with $1.52 trillion in discretionary funding, an 8.4% increase over the current level. The administration’s proposal includes $551 million for home and community-based services, doubles funding for the Lifespan Respite Care program, and increases resources and services for older adults and persons with disabilities. The proposal would make a substantial investment in affordable housing, including $180 million to support 2,000 units of new, permanent affordable housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Overall, the proposal would significantly increase funding for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor. The president’s blueprint is the first step in the federal budget process, and the administration is expected to release a detailed proposal in the coming weeks for Congress to consider.   Meanwhile, Lutheran Services in America has joined with several charitable nonprofits to seek passage of the WORK NOW Act, introduced last month by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Linda Sánchez (D-California). The bill would create a new $50 billion grant program to help nonprofit organizations to retain and hire new employees to meet the increased need for services through the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition is currently building congressional support for the measure.

The Improving Adoption Outcomes and Affordability Act Gaining Support

Utah's freshman Rep. Blake Moore, R-District 1, has joined with congressional colleagues in an effort to facilitate the adoption. The Improving Adoption Outcomes and Affordability Act was recently introduced in the U.S. House by Moore and Representatives Lloyd Smucker, R-PA, and Don Bacon, R-NE. That proposal would authorize the federal Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to state and local governments; public or private adoption agencies; and faith-based organizations for the purpose of enhancing medical support services and mental health resources for new mothers who are considering adoption. Read more here

Virtual Meetings and Resources

LSA Strength & Service Series Webinar: OSHA's Respiratory Protection Program - What You Need to Know

April 27th, 2021 1 -2 PM EDT Register here

In the aftermath of the pandemic, employers continue to prioritize the health and safety of their employees, especially those who cannot work remotely or practice physical distancing at work. This is particularly true of healthcare providers, whose employees are still at risk of contracting COVID-19 and variants of the virus. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — the standardizing body of health and safety in the workplace — requires employers in the U.S. comply with a worksite-specific respiratory protection program to protect employees from inhaling hazardous materials or other harmful contaminants while on the job. This has meant added pressure for skilled nursing, long-term care, and other healthcare facilities to properly document COVID-19 cases, complete necessary N95 mask training with staff, and submit timely reports to maintain compliance. Not doing so can result in citations and financial penalties that are costly and difficult to challenge.

During this webinar, Johnson, Kendall & Johnson will explain the four main components of an OSHA compliant respiratory protection program as they pertain to COVID-19 protection in healthcare settings, and what organizations can do to ensure their continued compliance. Attendees will also learn about recent OSHA citations in healthcare, how and when to record COVID-19 cases on the OSHA 300 log, and how to navigate OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting home page.

Chapin Hall Develops FFPSA Implementation Toolkit

The right tools can help get any job done. That’s why Chapin Hall developed a toolkit to help child welfare agencies implement the first phase of the Family First Prevention Services Act. This kit is based on our work with 23 jurisdictions over the past two years. The Family First Planning and Readiness Toolkit includes a dozen tools to support first phase implementation of this pivotal new policy. The tools help agencies define their strategic direction, engage stakeholders, analyze and visualize data, survey providers, and, finally, develop a comprehensive prevention plan. To learn more about Chapin Hall’s work on Family First, email

New Fact Sheets to Identify Youth Eligible for Pandemic Relief

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new fact sheet, Child Welfare Stimulus Funds: Who’s Eligible In Your State, to help states calculate the number of older youths, ages 14 through 26, who qualify for assistance through the recent federal stimulus package, which includes $400 million in relief for young people in and transitioning out of foster care—nearly 900,000 young people nationwide. These data charts are designed to help states determine how to prioritize this spending. 

Presentation from "Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches"

This PPT presentation accompanied the March 22, 2021, webinar “Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches,” featuring Dr. Julie Sweetland, senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute and author of the new report of the same name. Follow along as Dr. Sweetland takes you for a guided tour of this highly accessible, actionable guide that takes recent science and current communications contexts into account, speaks more directly to racial and social justice, and aligns with efforts to reimagine child welfare systems into child well-being systems. The report also offers guidance for communicating about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and strategies for helping the public to see how prevention works. Read more here

Thriving Families, Safer Children: A National Commitment to Well-Being Podcast

Listen to an exploration of the Thriving Families, Safer Children: A National Commitment to Well-Being initiative.  This two-part series explores how work across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors can assist jurisdictions in developing more just and equitable systems that benefit children and families and break harmful intergenerational cycles of trauma and poverty. 

The first episode features a deeper dive into the initiative, and the second focuses on implementation of the Thriving Families, Safer Children effort. 

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

Stimulus-enhanced child tax credits should start flowing in July, IRS chief says

The Internal Revenue Service is on track to start sending stimulus-enhanced child tax credits to millions of families in July, the agency's head said Tuesday. For this year, families can receive a credit of $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each one under age 18, up from the current credit of up to $2,000 per child under age 17. The enhanced portion of the credit will be available for single parents with annual incomes up to $75,000 and joint filers making up to $150,000 a year. Read more here

Eight States Join in NASHP's Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program Policy Academy to Address Maternal Mortality

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has announced a new, two-year policy academy kicking off in April for state health officials interested in building state capacity to address maternal mortality for Medicaid-eligible pregnant and parenting women, with the goal of improving access to quality care. Through the Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program (MCH PIP), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration, NASHP's Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program Policy Academy will engage eight state teams (GA, ID, IL, IA, LA, PA, SD, and VA). Read the full press release here

US to keep migrant families in hotels amid rush for space

Migrant families will be held at hotels in the Phoenix area in response to a growing number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Friday, another step in the Biden administration’s rush to set up temporary space for them.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was told that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will occupy “several hotels along the southwest border, including in Chandler and Phoenix,” her office said in a statement. Chandler is a Phoenix suburb that’s more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of the border.

ICE declined to identify specific hotels and locations, saying only that its $86.9 million contract announced last month with Endeavors Inc. will provide about 1,200 hotel beds in Texas and Arizona. Migrant families will generally stay less than 72 hours for processing. Read more here.

Federal Court Ruling on Indian Child Welfare Act Goes in Several Directions

In a complex ruling that seems destined for the highest court in the land, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals went in several directions on the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which was passed in the 1970s at a time when between a quarter and a third of all Native children were being removed from their families. In Brackeen v. Haaland, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled in 2018 that ICWA was a race-based law lacking a present-day articulation of its need. Citing a recent Supreme Court ruling on sports gambling, O'Connor also ruled that ICWA unfairly expected states and tribes to enforce federal standards. The Brackeen case centers on three non-Indian families seeking to adopt children of Native American ancestry. Two of the children have parents or grandparents who are enrolled members of tribes; one child's biological father is an unregistered descendant of a tribe. Three states - Indiana, Louisiana and Texas - are also plaintiffs in the case. Read more here.

Aged Out: How We're Failing Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care: Insights and Recommendations

“Aging out” occurs when youth taken under the state’s custody are still in the foster care system when they reach the age of majority or when they have graduated from high school. Thousands of youth between eighteen and twenty-one age out of foster care each year as essentially “legal orphans,” with no connection to family or a supportive network, and very poor life prospects. Longitudinal studies across the country show very high rates of homelessness, incarceration, unemployment, and lack of access to health care among former foster youth. These outcomes are disproportionately worse for Black, Native, and Brown youth, as well as queer and trans youth.

Between fall 2019 and spring 2020, Think Of Us partnered with Bloom Works (Bloom) as well as five locations across the United States to better understand the transition process for youth aging out of foster care. The initial goal was to identify gaps in the system that Think Of Us could address in its next phase of product development. However, Think Of Us gathered many unanticipated insights that the team wanted to share with the broader child welfare ecosystem. Read the full report here

New Arkansas Law Concerns the American Academy of Pediatrics

Last week Arkansas became the first state to ban physicians from giving hormones or puberty-delaying drugs to transgender people under age 18. Nineteen other states have introduced similar legislation, and some of the bills outline strict penalties. The state senate sponsor of the Arkansas bill, Alan Clark, has said that puberty blockers and hormone treatments are “at best experimental and at worst a serious threat to a child’s welfare.” But medical and scientific organizations say his claim is wrong. They include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Endocrine Society. These groups represent thousands of clinicians and researchers nationwide. Among them, the AACAP recently argued that “state-based legislation regarding the treatment of transgender youth that directly oppose the evidence-based care … is a serious concern” that endangers young people. Read more here

The Social Work Profession: Findings from Three Years of Surveys of New Social Workers

From 2017 to 2019, the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity surveyed a sample of social workers completing their master of social work (MSW) degrees. With nearly 3,400 responses, representing an estimated 4.3% of all MSW graduates over those 3 years, and with the benefit of post-survey weighting of the response sample to more closely resemble all new MSWs completing training in the United States, the results provide a good picture of the new social work workforce in America. This includes their demographic and educational backgrounds, the types of jobs they are taking, the populations they are serving, their experience in the job market, and their satisfaction with their new jobs. Read the full report here

A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains

Some scientists believe the new monthly payments in the pandemic relief package could fundamentally change children's lives -- via their brains. It is well established that growing up in poverty correlates with disparities in educational achievement, health and employment. But an emerging branch of neuroscience asks how poverty affects the developing brain. Read more here

Federal Grant Opportunities

National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities

Grants to address COVID-19 and advance health equity in racial and ethnic minority groups and rural populations. Award recipients and their partners must implement a coordinated and holistic approach that builds on culturally, linguistically, and locally tailored strategies and best practices to reduce COVID-19 risk among health disparity populations.  *Note: “Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop partnerships and collaborate with key partners who have existing community or social service delivery programs for African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native American or other racial and ethnic minority groups or people living in rural communities.”  Read more.  Closing date: May 3, 2021.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

Grants to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. Read more hereClosing date: May 4, 2021.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

Grants to support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. Read more here. Closing date: May 7, 2021.

Drug-Free Communities Support Program

Awards funding to coalitions working to reduce substance abuse among youth and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, organizations, and governmental entities. Read more hereClosing date: May 10, 2021.

HRSA National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

The program provides financial assistance to students pursuing primary care health professions training in return for a commitment to provide primary health services in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Eligible degrees or certificates include medicine, dentistry, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery, or physician assistant. Read more hereClosing date: May 11, 2021.

Notah Begay III Foundation Community Empowerment Grants

Grants to Native American communities for community-led, culturally-rooted programs that promote physical activity, healthy nutrition, youth development, and cultural connections. Read more hereClosing date: May 12, 2021.