CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, February 5, 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 Paula Young 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

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Community-Based Organizations: Getting Started

The CDC has designed a toolkit for organizations serving communities affected by COVID-19 including social service organizations, faith-based organizations, and others to help educate their members about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns. Click here for more information.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Council on Accreditation (COA) Field Comment Period Opens

Field Comment for COA's Behavioral Health and Family Support standards opened on February 1st! The field comment process is central to standards development, as it ensures that the standards are field-driven and reflect how services are provided in the homes and communities where people are receiving services. We appreciate your feedback! COA has revised its suite of behavioral health standards to reflect current practice in office-based opioid treatment and trends in child and adolescent behavioral health. The following standards have been updated and are available for your review on Standards announcements page - Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services (MHSU) 

The family support revisions are focused on ensuring that COA’s standards for family support and preservation reflect current practice in the field for prevention services. The following standards have been updated and also are available for field comment on Standards announcements page

- Family Preservation and Stabilization Services (FPS) 

- Child and Family Development and Support Services (CFD) 

Closes February 12, 2021

Advocacy Updates

President Biden Continues to Issue Executive Orders and Directives as he Works to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic and lay out his Health Agenda

President Biden yesterday signed an executive order to provide a special enrollment period for health coverage of February 15 to May 15 under the Affordable Care Act, aimed at helping people who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also issued a directive for HHS to reexamine a policy that allows states to impose work requirements as a condition of Medicaid enrollment for low-income people. These join his initial directives for federal agencies to use wartime powers to require U.S. companies to make masks and other Personal Protective Equipment, requiring the wearing of masks on federal property, a call to state and local officials to encourage mask wearing and social distancing, and naming a national COVID-19 response coordinator. Meanwhile, the president's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package outlined two weeks ago, the American Rescue Plan, has begun to meet some resistance particularly in the Senate. There appears to be consensus around increased coronavirus vaccination funding but not on $1,400 stimulus payments. Other provisions of the plan include extending and enhancing the unemployment benefit to $400 per week, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, $350 billion in state and local government relief, $15 billion for new grants for small employers separate from the Paycheck Protection Program, $175 billion provided for small business loans and investment, and 100% FMAP for states for the administration of coronavirus vaccines for Medicaid enrollees. As Congress begins to consider the Biden plan, we at Lutheran Services in America will continue our aggressive call for additional Congressional legislation to support our members’ business and continuity and will update you on our advocacy and how you can take action.

Finalized Rule Removes Non-Discrimination Protections

On Tuesday, January 12, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule that revokes nondiscrimination regulations in HHS-funded grant programs based on sex, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The rule, which was proposed in November of 2019, will particularly impact foster youth and families who could have received services, by allowing organizations not to serve LGBTQ+ youth and allowing taxpayer-funded programs to deny otherwise qualified foster and adoptive parents solely on the basis of their religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. The final rule takes effect on February 11th, no update from the Biden administration has been shared at this time. Read more here

Committee Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse

United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor - January 25, 2021 Today, House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), and Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) joined Committee Republicans in introducing legislation that strengthens federal efforts to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. The Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Stronger CAPTA) provides greater funding and establishes new tools to combat the rising rates of child maltreatment over the past decade Bill Fact Sheet Press Release

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Lutheran Services in America's Strength and Service Series

Strength & Service Series: Crisis Fatigue in the Workforce: A Conversation with Dr. Christine Cauffield Date: February 10th, 2021 Time: 2 - 2:45 PM EDT

Please join us for the first webinar in our Strength & Services Series of 2021. People living in the U.S. are grappling with long-term attacks to their psyche. Just in the last year, we have witnessed race-based violence, a global pandemic, mass unemployment, and political and social unrest. What are some of the ways leaders, themselves exhausted, can best support employees suffering from crisis fatigue? Join us for a webinar with Chief Executive Officer of LSF Health Systems, Dr. Christine Cauffield – who has worked with leaders in police, healthcare, child welfare and others to address the impact of mental health in their own organizations. Register here.

Youth At Risk of Homelessness (YARH2) Webinar and Roundtable Series

Date: February 8, 2021 Representatives from the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work will share their lessons learned in developing and implementing the Enhanced-Youth Transition Planning (E-YTP) model. The E-YTP model is an individualized, youth-driven, strengths-based, and team-based transition-planning process for older youth (ages 14 to 21) in foster care developed for a rural setting. Hear how the program increases the capacity of child welfare workers to develop and implement a realistic transition plan to support youth’s successful transition to adulthood. Register Here.

Federal Funding Webinar

Date: February 17, 2021 Time: 2 - 3 PM EST

Federal agencies are readying their Fiscal Year 2021 grants. Congress is preparing for Fiscal Year 2022. A new President has taken office. Washington is as complex as ever, but our Federal Landscape Webinar will make it simple as we walk you through what to expect out of DC this year, its relevance to you as a youth service provider, and how to best prepare your organization. Youth Collaboratory’s Washington representative, Christopher Fisher, will give you an insider’s understanding into the status of the annual appropriations process, while Youth Collaboratory’s Executive Director Megan Blondin will prepare you to take full advantage of 2021 funding opportunities. This webinar will provide an overview of available federal funding in 2021, including 

· Runaway and Homeless Youth programs,  · Youth Mentoring Grants, and  · Youth Homelessness Demonstration Projects;  · When federal agencies are expected to release FY2021 funding announcements;  · What to expect from Congress in Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations (funding)   Please register here.

Webinar Recording: Your Family or Its Health: Intersections Between the Healthcare and Foster Systems

This webinar, focusing on the intersections between health care and foster systems, features Lisa Sangoi as a panelist. Lisa is the Co-director and Co-founder of Movement for Family Power and was a keynote speaker at the upENDing the Children Welfare System: The Road to Abolition virtual convening.

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

How Jurisdictions Can Keep Youth Out of the Deep End of Local Juvenile Justice Systems

This blog shares new findings from a multiyear developmental evaluation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s work to prevent out-of-home placements, or youth involvement in the “deep end” of the local jurisdiction’s juvenile justice systems, can help inform communities’ decarceration efforts both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. While Covid-19 has infected more than 2,500 incarcerated youth, evidence has that placing youth in juvenile justice facilities has harmful consequences for them, their families, and their communities. These consequences are particularly extreme for youth of color. Read more here

January 20th's Front Line Hero was Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois for their efforts to neutralize racism within America's child welfare system. Read their article here.  

Civil Legal Advocacy to Promote Child and Family Well-Being, Address the Social Determinants of Health, and Enhance Community Resilience

The purpose of this information memorandum (IM) is to highlight the importance of civil legal advocacy in advancing child and family well-being; addressing the social determinants of health; enhancing community resiliency; and to strongly encourage state, territorial, and tribal human services entities to work together to support access to civil legal advocacy. Learn more here

Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act: What to Watch in 2021

Enacted in 2018, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) significantly reformed the child welfare system and allowed states to use Title IV-E funds to reduce out-of-home placements for children and youth. When those placements are necessary, the FFPSA authorized specific types of allowable congregate settings, including qualified residential treatment programs (QRTPs). States now have until October 2021 to implement these allowable congregate settings or risk losing Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments, which fund room and board and other activities in these approved settings. Learn more here.

Anti-Poverty Policies Can Reduce Reports of Child Neglect

Providing economic relief to struggling families can lead to another positive effect -- fewer cases of child neglect, according to new research by the University of Washington. A 10% increase in a common benefit for low- to moderate-income working families, the Earned Income Tax Credit, led to a 9% decrease in the annual number of reports of child neglect made to child welfare agencies over a 14-year study period. That's a significant impact, researchers say, and can inform future social policies. Learn more here

Recommendations from ACF Youth Engagement Team: Improving Permanency & Well-Being

Strong equity practices include listening and acting on the advice or communities who are most impacted by systems. In 2020, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Children's Bureau developed the ACF Youth Engagement Team in order to integrate youth voice into ACF's ALLIN Foster Adoption Challenge, a national effort to achieve permanency for waiting children and youth. This report documents the work and contribution of that group. Read more here.

January 5th's Front Line Hero was Lutheran Child & Family Services of Indiana/Kentucky for continuing to assist children and families throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read their article here.

Building Your Unsystem

Alia is a child welfare transformation organization. They have worked with agency leaders to think boldly and take action to undo systems that do not work for children. This report shares key lessons from the patterns that have emerged, and phases which became clear. Some work in the transformation process predicates other work, and Alia can now predict where you will see challenges in your change efforts and can therefore suggest ways to prepare. Read more here

Federal Grant Opportunities

OJJDP FY 2021 Court Appointed Special Advocates Training, Technical Assistance, and Subgrants Program

This program will expand the national membership and accreditation program for state and local CASAs and make available training and technical assistance to support existing and new state and local CASA programs across the nation and CASA services in communities where representation rates are low, the numbers of abused and neglected children are high, and service systems do not meet the needs of children and families. In addition, the program will provide training and technical assistance in volunteer advocate recruitment and retention, volunteer advocate training, data collection and reporting, sustainability, and program standards. Learn more here Deadline: February 12, 2021 11:59 PM 

Application JustGrants Deadline: February 26, 2021 11:59 PM

Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations

NOT-MH-20-073 -- The National Institute of Mental Health seeks time-sensitive input from all interested parties on the most innovative research and research priorities to inproce menatl health outcomes among racial/ethnic minority and health disparities populations. Learn more here.

Response date: Oct. 30, 2020.

Refugee Family Child Care Microenterprise Development Program

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites eligible entities to submit competitive grant applications for funding under the Refugee Family Child Care Microenterprise Development Project (RFCCMED). Through the RFCCMED program, ORR will provide funding for applicants which, through internal capacity and partnerships, will provide refugee participants with training and technical assistance in professional child care, microenterprise development, and financial literacy; assist refugee participants in navigating the child care licensing process; and provide direct financial assistance as needed to enable participants to prepare their homes for child care business operation. The three main objectives of RCCMED are to 1) help refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency by establishing licensed family child care (FCC) businesses; 2) help refugee families gain access to licensed FCC businesses which will meet the early care and developmental needs of refugee children; and 3) assist refugees in learning how to navigate mainstream child care services. Learn more hereEstimated post date: March 10, 2021 Estimated application date: May 9, 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

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