CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, March 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 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

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgivable Loans

The application period for PPP forgivable loans expires March 31. Two types of loans are currently available: “First Draw” loans for entities with fewer than 500 employees who have not already received funding, and “Second Draw” loans for entities that have already received and spent an initial PPP loan, have no more than 300 employees, and can demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross receipts. Note, there is a temporary period until March 10 where only entities with fewer than 20 employees are eligible to apply but once that exclusivity period ends, entities with over 20 employees will again be able to submit PPP applications until March 31. 

We also anticipate that if the American Rescue Plan COVID relief bill becomes law, on or before March 14, a third type will become available for nonprofits with 500 or more employees across multiple locations, but with no more than 500 employees at a single one of those locations. Additional funding is being made available exclusively for this category but we expect the application period to end March 31. For additional information, please check our website and contact your lender. 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

Congress Moves Forward on Next COVID Relief Package

On Saturday, February 27, the House of Representatives passed by a narrow margin another large COVID relief package based on the proposal known as the “American Rescue Plan” put forth by President Biden. Action on the bill will now move to the Senate. Democrats have opted to move this legislation under a process known as “budget reconciliation” given their very slim majorities in both chambers, as passage of bills in the Senate under budget reconciliation is not subject to the filibuster and thus requires only a simple majority, rather than 60 votes. Congressional leaders currently aim to pass a final bill by March 14. While details of what’s currently included in the package are subject to change as the Senate considers the measure, significant provisions for our network include: an expansion of the subsidy for reimbursable unemployment benefits to 75% (from 50%) and an extension of the expiration date of the program through August 29, 2021; an expansion of Paycheck Protection Program eligibility for organizations with multiple locations who employ no more than 500 people per location; and an increased 7.35% FMAP during the pandemic for home and community-based services for states that engage in certain activities. In addition, the bill includes an extension of temporary unemployment benefits and enhanced weekly benefits. The House version of the bill also included a phased increase of the minimum wage, but this provision has been deemed by the Senate Parliamentarian to violate the specific rules governing bills considered under the “budget reconciliation” process and is unlikely to be included in the final package. More information can be found in our detailed summary, and we hope that you will join us in urging lawmakers to retain the elements of this package that help nonprofit front line providers and continue to work toward addressing all our remaining priorities. 

Meanwhile, the two key Senate committees with healthcare jurisdiction held confirmation hearings last week for Xavier Becerra, President Biden's nominee to be HHS Secretary. A Senate vote on confirmation has yet to be scheduled. President Biden has also nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the next Administrator for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Ms. Brooks-LaSure worked in President Barrack Obama's Administration to help with the initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Introduces Legislation to Help Children, Youth and Families Faced with Homelessness Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

On February 4, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation that would create a new emergency funding stream overseen by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide flexible funding for community-based organizations to meet the unique needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and additional long-term repercussions of the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible uses of funds would include, among other provisions: health and safety needs, including PPE, food, hygiene supplies, and mental health services; housing-related needs, such as eviction prevention, utility payments, motel stays, and housing placement assistance; staffing for outreach and case management; education, training, and employment-related needs; and emergency child care. Given the potential of this legislation to help support the important work many of our member organizations are doing to lift up children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness, we hope you will join us in asking your senators to cosponsor the bill and ask for a vote on it soon. (Note that if the form does not populate for either or both of your Senators that means that they are already co-sponsors of this legislation.)

Redeemer Center for Life is attempting to reduce the economic disadvantage for North Minneapolis residents, with a focus on racial, economic and gender equity to help residents retake control of development in their community. Read their story here.

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Reading the Tea Leaves - Fortune Telling an Uncertain Future for Senior Services

March 10th, 2021 1 - 2 PM EST Register here to participate

Andy Edeburn of Premier Consulting will lead a discussion on “Reading the Tea Leaves—Fortune Telling an Uncertain Future for Senior Services” where he will share changing market trends, regulatory environment, federal and state funding, and more and outline options that providers should consider given their configuration of services. Read more here.

Touchstones of Hope: Self-Determination (Part 1)

March 16th, 2021 10:00 AM PST Register here

Learn about legal and legislative efforts for affirming jurisdiction in caring for Indigenous children in Canada and the United States including available options, rights and responsibilities, and other considerations for those wishing to assert their inherent jurisdiction over child wellbeing and child welfare services. This dialogue is the third in a seven-part, bi-monthly, dialogue series inviting Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples from the United States and Canada to actively engage in conversations about the five principles that are the foundation of the Touchstones of Hope: self-determination, holistic approach, culture and language, structural interventions, and non-discrimination. The dialogues will explore topics related to the Touchstones principles and how these principles can be applied in the reform of child welfare.

Webinar on Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches

March 22nd, 2021 1:00 PM CT Register here

While Americans agree that child abuse and neglect is unacceptable and are more likely than ever to consider child development an important policy issue, it can be difficult to build the public understanding and political will we need to effectively prevent, identify, and address childhood adversity. As communicators, we still encounter persistent dilemmas in deciding what to say, how to say it, and what to leave unsaid. 

Join Dr. Julie Sweetland, senior advisor at the FrameWorks Institute, for a guided tour of this timely, powerful new guidance. Since joining FrameWorks in 2012, Dr. Sweetland has led reframing initiatives on issues like human services, health equity, and two-generation approaches to family well-being. Her strategic insight has helped leading advocates, policymakers, and scientists frame their issues in ways that drive change.

COVID-19 and Poverty in the US

March 25th, 2021 1 -2 PM EDT Register here

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to vast income disparities that exist in our country. Health and human service organizations across the U.S. are seeing increased demand for services as they care for vulnerable populations reeling from the spread of the virus and economic crisis. Please join us for this presentation from The University of Notre Dame Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), who will share results from their groundbreaking study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in the U.S. and how they can support your programs to address poverty at the local level.

Understanding the Impact of Systemic Racism on Black Families

April 16th, 2021 1 -2 PM EDT 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.

Listen to the New Limited Podcast From the Center for the Study of Social Policy

Welcome to the New Neighborhood, a limited series podcast that explores some of the dramatic changes taking place across the country as people work to reinforce a sense of community, support young children and families, and work to build equity within communities. Each episode features emerging innovations that will create a society where all children and their families can thrive. Listen here.

Listen to the Podcast, EPPiC Broadcast: Empowering Parents and Protecting Children

In this episode Who Gets to Decide? With Melissa Moschella Jim talks with Melissa Moschella, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, where her teaching focuses on bioethics and the moral and political status of the family. Melissa is also the author of To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education, and Children’s Autonomy. Listen here.

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

Biden Taps New York Official to Lead U.S. Children's Bureau

Biden has appointed Aysha Schomburg, a senior official for New York City’s child welfare and juvenile justice agency, to lead the U.S. Children’s Bureau. Schomburg was added to the bureau’s staff list. Read more here.

Lutheran Sunset Ministries is determined to rebound after one of the most harrowing experiences in its 65-year history. Read their story here.

National Foster Care Month Website Now Live

Explore this year’s resources and find promising emerging best practices and evidence-based tools to help you support children, youth, and families involved with foster care! This year, we are sharing how increased collaboration between the courts and child welfare systems—coupled with youth engagement—can lead to improved outcomes for all. Check it out here: National Foster Care Month - Child Welfare Information Gateway

State Index of Youth Homelessness

True Colors United and the National Homelessness Law Center released the 2020 State Index on Youth Homelessness. The State Index on Youth Homelessness ranks and scores laws and policies related to preventing and addressing youth homelessness in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The State Index takes into consideration state laws and policies, systems level responses to youth homelessness, and the overall environment for youth and young adults in the state. See how your state scored here

Data Equity Framework

We All Count continually develops tools, case studies, practices, and systems to improve equity in data science. They pursue independent research, study on-the-ground data work, partner with experts, and consult with communities to continually improve and update their understanding of what ‘equity’ means in data science. This information is combined to create the Data Equity Framework, a living, feedback-responsive system for addressing data project equity which is continually updated, added to, and refined. Read more here

Bolstering Family Income is Essential to Helping Children Emerge Successfully From the Current Crisis

Tens of millions of people, especially in households with children, are struggling to put food on the table, make rent, or cover basic expenses. At least 10 million children have a family member who is unemployed or who lacks paid work because of the pandemic. Children’s alarming rates of food and housing hardship risk inflicting sustained harm to the well-being and potential of a generation, but a strong package of income support policies can lower this risk and help more children realize their potential. While relief measures enacted last year have helped, it is clear that throughout the crisis millions of families with children have struggled and that without more help, hardship will remain high for months to come. A focus on improving family income, much like making investments in underfunded schools, holds promise for rebuilding children’s prospects of success, and will be a prudent policy even as the pandemic recedes. Read more here.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry's proud legacy fuels their fight to put out the fires of systemic racism in their community and nationwide. Read their story here.

Congregate Care in the Age of Family First: Family Engagement

This Capacity Building Center for States resource can help state agencies, Quality Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs), and other child welfare stakeholders understand the family engagement requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act and thoughtfully plan for meaningful partnership with families and youth in residential treatment programs. Read more here.

As COVID-19 Turns More Children Into Orphans, Siblings Step Up to Fill the Void

When parents are taken by COVID-19, their kids step up to look after siblings. This article shares the stories of how young people are coping and caring for one another as they address the challenges and trauma while grieving loved ones. Read more here.

High Quality Service Standards for Specialized Settings, Key Considerations for Developing Residential Programming for Survivors and Young People at Risk of Sex Trafficking

In this paper, Public Consulting Group summarizes the existing research and recommendations for these types of settings. The report is meant as a reference to help states create or amend service standards for congregate care settings providing services to survivors or young people at risk of sex trafficking, and to inform service providers as they design programming that complies with state standards and help states implement this provision of Family First in a way that prevents the sex trafficking of children and youth and supports survivors in their treatment and recovery. Read more here.

The Experiences of Older Youth In and Aged Out of Foster Care During COVID-19

This report, released by the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice, and Research, explores the experiences of older youth in and who had recently aged out of foster care during COVID-19 and seeks to develop actionable solutions to improve the well-being of this population. The development of the questions for the study was guided by a poll from FosterClub and outcomes from the National Youth in Transition Database survey. The report discuses survey responses from almost 300 youth about their experiences with housing, employment, food and economic security, physical and mental health, and social connections over the course of 1 month during the pandemic. Read more here.

Federal Grant Opportunities

Promise Neighborhoods Programs

Promise Neighborhoods Program provides grants to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in the most distressed communities. Read more here. Closing date: March 5, 2021.

Strategies to Support Children Exposed to Violence

Grants to develop support services for children exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities; and to develop, enhance, and implement violent crime reduction strategies that focus on violent juvenile offenders. Priority will be given to applications that address the challenges in rural communities. Read more here. Closing date: March 8, 2021.

Preventing Trafficking of Girls

This solicitation from the Office of Violent Crimes (OVC) provides funding for organizations to support prevention and early intervention programs for girls who are at-risk of, or are victims of, sex trafficking. Read more hereClosing Date: March 15, 2021.

Mentoring For Youth Affected by the Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction

This program supports the implementation and delivery of mentoring services to youth who are currently abusing or addicted to drugs, youth at risk for abusing drugs, and youth with family members who are currently abusing or addicted to drugs. Read more hereClosing date: March 16, 2021.

Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health

The purpose of this program is to strengthen the capacities of state- and/or local-level organizations to respond to emerging public health issues affecting maternal and child health (MCH) populations. Read more hereClosing date: April 9, 2021.

OJJDP FY 2021 Mentoring for Youth Affected by the Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction

This program supports the implementation and delivery of mentoring services to youth who are currently abusing or addicted to drugs, youth at risk for abusing drugs, and youth with family members who are currently abusing or addicted to drugs. Mentoring services can be one-to-one, group, peer, or a combination. Funding can be used to support new mentoring matches or continue existing mentoring matches at the time of application. Read more hereClosing date: April 13, 2021.

OJJDP FY 2021 Strategies To Support Children Exposed to Violence

This solicitation provides funding for communities to develop and provide support services for children exposed to violence. There are two categories of funding available under this solicitation: Category 1: Project Sites. Funding under this category can be used to develop support services for children exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities; and to develop, enhance, and implement violent crime reduction strategies that focus on violent juvenile offenders. This program development and resource allocation decision by interested applicants should be based on currently available resources to the jurisdiction and gaps in services. 

Category 2: Training and Technical Assistance. In addition to supporting program implementation and direct service activities, the initiative will fund a training and technical assistance provider to support the Category 1 project sites. Read more hereClosing date: April 19, 2021.