CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, June 25, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS CYF UPDATE

  • LUTHERAN SERVICES IN AMERICA UPDATES
  • ADVOCACY AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
  • VIRTUAL MEETINGS AND RESOURCES
  • CHILD WELFARE, JUVENILE JUSTICE, EDUCATION AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NEWS
  • FEDERAL GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Lutheran Services in America 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 Paula R. Young at pyoung@lutheranservices.org.

To view all previous issues of our CYF Update newsletters, 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 pyoung@lutheranservices.org for the login and password.

Lutheran Services in America Updates

CEO Summit: Save the Date, January 23rd - 26th, 2022

Join us—in person—for our exclusive forum for CEOs with a shared mission: the Lutheran Services in America CEO Summit 2022, in Tampa, Florida, January 23-26. Tap into the power of our strong network to gain actionable insights, share learnings and innovative ideas, and build meaningful connections, all within a trusted environment. Find more information here.

Against the Odds: A Remarkable Story of Strength and Resilience

During a year of trial and tribulation, Lutheran social ministry met the enormous challenge of the pandemic head-on, sustained by our faith and commitment to our shared mission and hope for the future. We thank and acknowledge our friends, members and partners for their generous support and commitment in 2020. Lutheran Services in America is sharing its story about the strength and resilience that defined our network last year with the release of our 2020 Annual Report.

The report highlights achievements in key areas, including our advocacy campaigns, Frontline Hero stories, the launch of bold new initiatives that empower families and close gaps in care for older adults, our push to advance innovative new models of care through the Lasting Change Campaign, and much more.

Experience the story of Lutheran social ministry in our interactive 2020 Annual Report.

Lutheran Services in America Honors Results Innovation Lab Leaders with Inaugural Beacon and Scion Awards

Lutheran Services in America, a national network of 300 health and human services organizations that improve the health and quality of life of one in 50 Americans each year, presented the inaugural set of two new awards during a virtual member recognition ceremony today to leaders within its Results Innovation Lab. Lutheran Services in America honored three peer coaches from the Results Innovation Lab with the Beacon Award and three leaders with the Scion Award. Learn more 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 awashington@lutheranservices.org.

Advocacy and Legislative Updates

Bipartisan infrastructure package gains support of President Biden, separate HCBS bill introduced

President Joe Biden on Thursday endorsed the bipartisan infrastructure bill drafted by a group of 10 Republican and Democratic senators, while also saying he would not sign it into law unless legislation enacting his other priorities from the American Jobs Plan was sent to him as well.  The bipartisan framework includes close to $600 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and other traditional infrastructure projects.  Biden’s support marks significant progress for the package, but passage through Congress still faces a difficult trajectory.  While both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have announced their support for the bill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not.  Pelosi has further said the House will not pass the bipartisan bill until after the Senate sends them legislation including the rest of Biden’s broader proposal, which would have to pass under budget reconciliation.  That procedural track would require the support of all 50 Democratic senators, and the votes of moderates like Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are not guaranteed.  Likely to be included in that second package, among other “human infrastructure” priorities like child care, paid leave, and housing funding is newly introduced legislation enacting the $400 billion in home and community-based supports (HCBS) that the President included in his original proposal.  Under the terms of that bill (the Better Care Better Jobs Act, S. 2210/H.R. 4131), states would get a permanent 10% FMAP bump to deliver HCBS.  To earn it, they would have to address HCBS payment rates to promote recruitment and retention of staff and demonstrate a strong maintenance of effort so that the new money actually goes to HCBS. 

Lutheran Services in America has been advocating in support of key provisions of the American Jobs Plan, particularly the $400 billion HCBS investment and a provision for $213 billion for affordable housing and homelessness services, and is urging the inclusion of the WORK NOW Act legislation (S. 740) to provide nonprofit health and human services organizations funding to pay wages, salaries, and benefits to retain staff and meet services’ demand.  Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert calling for inclusion of these key initiatives in the package.

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Building a Resilient Workforce to Address Trauma and Enhance Well-being: Operational Supports

The session, held on April 29, 2021, includes a conversation with Nancy Carre-Lee, Deputy Director for Child Protection and Permanency Operations about the New Jersey Department of Children and Families' operational approach to building resilience in the workforce and peer-led small group discussions.  Watch it here.

Wrestling Ghosts & Parenting with ACEs Zoom Discussion Link & Chat Notes

This is a recording from June 15th and is the last discussion of the Transform Trauma with ACEs Science Film Festival series. Our special guest was the Wrestling Ghosts documentary producer and director, Ana Joanes, who spoke about the film and parenting with ACEs. Watch it here.

Webinar Recording: Economic Barriers for Transition Aged Youth

This was a Congressional briefing on economic barriers for transition aged foster youth. Learn about stories from young people, formerly in foster care, about their struggles with the system and how to better help young adults aging out of the foster care system.  Watch the recording here.

Podcast: In Pursuit of Non-Reformist Reforms with David Kelly

On this week’s podcast, we discuss the decline in reunifications during the early pandemic, a potential legal counsel law in Congress, a new national campaign to connect current and former foster youth with pandemic assistance, and juvenile justice reforms in Michigan and New York. Listen here.

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

Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

The Supreme Court issued an unanimous ruling in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, finding in favor of Catholic Social Services, which argued that its religious liberties were being violated when its contract with the City of Philadelphia was cancelled because the agency refused to certify same-sex couples as foster parents. The narrow ruling will only apply to the specific contract between Philadelphia and Catholic Social Services and not to state and local non-discrimination policies more broadly. The ruling still allows local, state, and federal governments to maintain laws and policies that prohibit discrimination in taxpayer-funded services. Read more here. Listen to a podcast here. Read more here. Listen to a podcast here.

States should use funds from the American Rescue Plan to aid foster youth (Opinion)

While most attention toward the American Rescue Plan has centered on expenditures for public schools, transportation, vaccine distribution, and even the arts, there is significant funding sent to states for higher education grants and human services, including foster care. It is better to make short-term investments in foster children, especially those who age out of the system, than see them repeat the cycle of their parents who wind up in prison, homeless, or with alcohol or drug issues and are unable to care for a new generation of children, who wind up in foster care. Read more here.

The Pandemic Kept Kids in Foster Care Longer, Records Show

The coronavirus pandemic coincided with major drops in foster care exits, reunifications and adoptions last year, according to an Associated Press analysis of child welfare records from 34 states. The global news cooperative’s analysis discovered that reunifications between parent and foster child fell by at least 8,700 between March and December of 2020, compared with the same period the year prior. Experts said the drop-offs are almost entirely due to the pandemic’s interruption of court schedules, as hearings went virtual or court administrators simply shut down in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, other critical services fell by the wayside or were delayed. Read more here.

Sens. Brown, Blunt, Durbin and Reps. Beatty, Wagner Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Housing Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking

U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - June 15, 2021 Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), as well as U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), introduced legislation that would commission a study reviewing current homelessness and housing services for survivors of trafficking. The Trafficking Survivors Housing Act of 2021 would require the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to commission a study and report in partnership with federal agencies, survivors, and the organizations that serve them on the availability and accessibility of homelessness and housing services for survivors of trafficking. Read more here.

Fighting Institutional Racism at the Front End of Child Welfare Systems

Children’s Rights has released Fighting Institutional Racism at the Front End of Child Welfare Systems, a comprehensive report examining the history of institutional racism in child welfare systems and identifying actions to bring about meaningful and lasting change. The report outlines nine strategies to disrupt the unnecessary surveillance, investigation, and removal of Black children from their families. Read the full report here. Read A summary of the advocacy report here.

Child Neglect: a misused and misunderstood term

There is much confusion around child neglect. Opponents of the current child welfare system are fond of stating that most children reported to child protective services (CPS) are suffering from neglect, not abuse, that neglect is synonymous with poverty, and therefore that children are commonly being removed from home because of poverty. While neglect is clearly related to poverty, a careful analysis suggests that the removal of children due to poverty alone is rare. To know more about this most common form of maltreatment, it is necessary to collect more specific data on the types of child neglect that are found when a neglect allegation is substantiated. Nevertheless, child welfare must recognize the important role of poverty in promoting child neglect and the role of poverty alleviation programs in child neglect prevention. Read more here.

Expanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis

A permanent expansion of the child tax credit could lift more than 4 million children out of poverty, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The advocacy group's annual report, which measures child wellbeing in all 50 states, found that expanding the tax credit would help millions of children whose families were hard hit by the coronavirus recession. About 12 million children in the U.S. live below the poverty line. Continue reading here.

Federal Grant Opportunities

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

The program supports officer and public safety and violence reduction through social service and other partnerships that will enhance and increase law enforcement responses to people with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Read more here. Closing Date: July 6, 2021.

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Competitive Grants

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families' (ACYF) Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) will be accepting applications from local organizations and entities, including faith-based organizations or consortia, for the development and implementation of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) in states that did not accept FY2010 and FY2011 allocations for State PREP. The purpose of this program is to support projects that educate youth, between the ages of 10 and 19 years, and pregnant and parenting youth under age 21, on abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV/AIDS. Projects are also required to implement at least three of six adulthood preparation subjects. Learn more here. Closing Date: July 15, 2021

Title V Competitive Sexual Risk Avoidance Education

The purpose of Title V Competitive SRAE is to fund projects to implement education exclusively on sexual risk avoidance that teaches youth participants to voluntarily refrain from non-marital sexual activity. The plans should address the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by refraining from non-marital sexual activity and engaging in healthy relationships.  The SRAE legislation requires unambiguous and primary emphasis and context for each of the topics to be addressed in program implementation. Additionally, there is a requirement that messages to youth normalize the optimal health behavior of avoiding non-marital sexual activity. Learn more here. Closing Date: July, 15, 2021

ACT on Health Equity: Community Solutions Challenge

Grants to nonprofit organizations positively impacting underserved populations through regional and local community-based programs focused on community health and well-being, youth STEM education, and career readiness. Learn more here. Closing Date: July 16, 2021

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Community Selection

As part of the Continuum of Care program, HUD will select up to 50 communities to participate in the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program to develop and execute a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. At least 8 of the selected communities will be rural. Learn more and apply here. Closing date: July 27, 2021.

Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program

Grants and technical assistance to help individuals and communities recover from natural and human-caused disasters through community outreach and access to mental health services. Learn more here. Ongoing opportunity.