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
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Lutheran Services in America Updates
Administration for Children and Families Announcement
Deadline: Monday, August 16th, 2021
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), established the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse (hereafter, the Clearinghouse; https://preventionservices.abtsites.com). This Federal Register Notice (FRN) seeks comments by August 16, 2021 on the Clearinghouse's Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Version 1.0. Responses to this FRN will inform potential updates and clarifications to existing standards and procedures. Specifically, feedback is invited on each of the steps and operational procedures of the Prevention Services Clearinghouse systematic review process. Find more information here.
Strength and Service Series: By the (Hand)book - Staying Compliant in a Changing Environment
Tuesday, August 17th, 2:00 PM ET
In 2020, many organizations had to quickly adapt to working remotely, and keep up with rapidly changing new health and safety requirements. There are over 50 new laws that took effect July 1 alone that impact 20 different states. How do you know if your handbook is compliant for federal, state and local laws? Join us for this Strength & Service Series webinar for best practices on updating your handbook, guidance for returning to the office, and how you can stay up to date with legislative changes. Find more details here.
CEO Summit: Save the Date
Sunday, January 23rd - Wednesday January 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.
Advocacy and Legislative Updates
Following Temporary Setback, Senate Leaders Continue Path to Passage of Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills
While Senate Republicans united to block a procedural vote in the chamber on Wednesday which would have limited debate on the $579 billion bipartisan so-called “traditional infrastructure” package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated that he plans to call another vote on the matter early next week. Republicans objected to the timing of the vote, saying they wanted to resolve lingering differences on the substance of the legislation before moving forward, but the Republican members of the bipartisan group negotiating the bill have said they anticipate voting for it when it reaches the Senate floor. Their 10 votes, combined with those of all 50 Democrats, would secure passage.
Meanwhile, work continues on a separate but related track on the budget resolution and $3.5 trillion reconciliation package which would enact many of the “human infrastructure” provisions included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. While the initial outline for the package does not contain much detail on individual policy provisions or specific dollar amounts for programs that it includes, it does contain language indicating that the President’s proposed expansion of Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) will be included. Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reiterated this week his belief that the committee will finalize a budget resolution by early August that can secure the votes of all 50 Democrats, the first step in passing the $3.5 trillion package via the filibuster-proof reconciliation process. This timeline depends on the status of the traditional infrastructure package, however, because if the Senate fails to pass it as a standalone bill, Democrats now plan to combine it with the “human infrastructure” bill for a larger, $4.1 trillion package, which would take more time to finalize.
Lutheran Services in America continues to advocate for the inclusion of key provisions of the President’s proposals in the reconciliation package, particularly the $400 billion home and community-based services (HCBS) investment (which is outlined in the Better Care Better Jobs Act, S. 2210/H.R. 4131) 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
Ensuring Families Receive the Child Tax Credit: Innovative Outreach Strategies and Removing Barriers for Families to Sign Up
Tuesday, July 27th, 2:00 PM ET By July 15th, nearly 39 million families, covering 88% of children, will have automatically received their first month’s Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments, helping them with the cost of raising children. Please join the Automatic Benefit for Children (ABC) Coalition, hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, to learn from state and local community-based organizations who serve families about innovative outreach strategies to raise awareness about the transformational credit and get families signed up. The presenters and organizations include Courtney O’Reilly from Code for America, Darla Bardine the Executive Director of the National Network for Youth, Kat Lilley-Blair from the Family Promise of Colorado Springs, and Pablo Blank the Director of Immigrant Integration from CASA. You will also see a walk-through training for how to assist families using the Non-Filer Sign Up tool. Learn more and register here.
Webinar: Reporting Guide for Study Authors for the FFPSA Clearinghouse
Thursday, July 29th, 1:00 ET This webinar will guide attendees through the Reporting Guide for Study Authors. The guide aims to facilitate the Clearinghouse review process and help study authors describe their studies completely and consistently. The webinar will detail how the Clearinghouse uses study information to determine eligibility for review, assign design and execution ratings, and determine program or service ratings. It will also highlight recommended practices for research reporting. Register here.
Tuesday, October 12th – Thursday, October 14th, 2021 Designed by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation (Alliance-COA), SPARK 2021 is a three-day virtual learning experience that will activate the power of the social sector. It also signals an exciting new era for us and the sector, as we will be launching our new organization during the opening session. Find more information here.
The Imprint Weekly Podcast: Are There Way More Kids in Foster Care Than We Think?
On this week’s podcast the Imprint discuses more plans for rethinking child welfare, universal cell phone coverage for California foster youth and another big experiment planned for the “colorblind” approach to foster care removal decisions. Josh Gupta-Kagan of the University of South Carolina School of Law joins to discuss “hidden foster care,” the practice of informally moving children out of their homes without the involvement of the courts. Gupta-Kagan’s research on this practice suggests that potentially hundreds of thousands of kids enter this form of foster care every year. Listen to the podcast here.
Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Education, and Behavioral Health News
Child Tax Credit Resources
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan passed and ushered in a historic one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that has the power to significantly boost income security, reduce child poverty, advance racial equity, and create a public investment for the good of all children. The Children’s Defense Fund has outlined what you need to know about the CTC expansion and what it means for your family. Find the outline here.
Think of Us - Away from Home Report
Think of Us conducted the Away From Home study, centering the voices of youth with recent lived experiences in the larger conversation about how to approach reform or elimination of institutional placements in foster care. The Away From Home report shares the stories and qualitative data of these youth, resulting in a bold call to action: institutional placements need to be eliminated in the United States. Think Of Us will host the National Readout of Away From Home on Thursday, August 5th at 3:30 PM where you can hear young people share their experiences in group homes, hear the team behind the project share the findings and recommendations, and hear from leaders in child welfare about what this work means for the future. Find more information here.
Former Children's Bureau Head To Work on Child Welfare 'Replacement'
The duo who ushered in new legal support for system-involved families during the Trump administration are teaming up to spearhead a new venture aimed at working with governments interested in a complete overhaul of the child welfare status quo. The goal of the new division, CEO Stacey Obrecht said, is to help states, local jurisdictions or tribes "replace" child welfare. In its place, she said, would be "a family and child well-being system, an anti-racist system that was focused on prevention." Read more here.
Biden's biggest anti-poverty plan is now a reality. Here's how he can make it even better.
Thursday, July 15, 2021, could wind up being one of the most important days in the history of American anti-poverty policy. On this day, most parents in the United States began receiving monthly checks of up to $300 per child -- no strings attached. What's technically happening: The child tax credit (CTC), a policy that has existed in some form since 1997, was expanded with the enactment of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, both in its size (going from $2,000 per child per year to $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17, and $3,600 for children under 6) and in its reach. Read more here.
Analysis: Most states not ready to tackle youth mental health ahead of fall
A Tuesday report from advocacy group Mental Health America (MHA) says that a majority of states are not ready to address youth mental health as schools prepare to reopen for in-person learning in the fall. The analysis reports that just 14 states have fully expanded Medicaid to cover mental health services in schools, and only a handful have legislation requiring mental health education. The lack of access and education make the states unprepared to deal with mental health issues among children, which were exacerbated by the pandemic, the report said. Read more here.
AAP urges in-person learning, masking in updated guidance on safe schools
Keeping masks on in school and urging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are among several coordinated interventions recommended in updated AAP interim guidance that strongly advocates for in-person learning during the 2021-'22 school year. Given the evidence on low in-school transmission rates of SARS-CoV-2 with proper prevention measures and the availability of effective vaccines for those ages 12 years and older, “the benefits of in-person school outweigh the risks in almost all circumstances,” the guidance states. Read more here.
Minority Children have High Rates of Contact with CPS, Research Shows
New research shows that many children have had contact with Child Protective Services (CPS) across the U.S. Findings published the July 19 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, reveal the median rate at which children have contact with CPS "across the 20 most populous US counties is 41.3%." Most contact occurs among minority populations and action is taken disproportionately against minority families. Read more here.
How the Child Welfare System Made Me Prioritize Education Over Myself
Officials in the child welfare system rave about the 3% of foster youth who age out of foster care who go on to become college graduates - while painfully silencing the experience of the rest. Youth who do not attend postsecondary institutions do not seem worth mentioning outside of the statistics of houselessness, incarceration and unwanted pregnancies. When the experiences of foster youth are acknowledged in mainstream narratives, we are painted in broad strokes and divided into the mythical binary of those who survived and later enter institutions of higher learning and those who did not. The danger is when we ourselves begin to believe the myth and measure ourselves against these dichotomous and untrue stories of who we are allowed to be. Read more here.
Federal Grant Opportunities
Partnership Programs to Reduce Maternal Deaths Due to Violence
HHS Office of Women’s Health is soliciting applications for state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) partnership projects designed to identify and reduce deaths among pregnant and postpartum women due to violence. Faith and community-based organizations are eligible to apply. Closing date: Aug. 12, 2021. Find more information here.
Wellness for All, a Power of She Fund, Grant
Grants to support entrepreneurs and organizations committed to making wellness and fitness more accessible and inclusive to communities of female Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Closing Date: Aug. 13, 2021. Find more information here.
Promoting Vaccine Confidence in Local Communities through Partnership with Regional Health Offices
Funding for local public health agencies, and other eligible organizations, to establish partnerships with community stakeholders to increase vaccine confidence among populations with low vaccination rates, including rural communities. State and local governments, faith-based and AI/AN/NA organizations are eligible to apply. Closing Date: Aug. 17, 2021. TA Webinar: July 22, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Login details will be posted here. Find more information here.
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.