CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, March 19, 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 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 for the login and password.

LSA Updates

Annual Membership Meeting & Award Ceremony

Lutheran Services in America will hold its Annual Membership Meeting and a NEW awards ceremony on March 24 from 3-3:45 p.m. EDT. Member CEOs will cast votes for two member CEOs for the Lutheran Services in America Board of Directors and approve the FY 2022 budget and dues schedule. Winners of the first Lutheran Services in America annual awards will be announced at the Annual Membership Meeting:

  • The Innovator Award recognizes a member organization that is pioneering new solutions, technology or business practices to solve complex issues. This member is forward-thinking and extending beyond its own mission to strengthen the Lutheran social ministry network across the country. Ultimately, their breakthrough solutions are designed to lift up the nation’s most vulnerable people and help ensure that all Americans can live abundant lives.
  • The Micah Award recognizes a member organization that is leading the way in its work in addressing justice, mercy and equity. This member’s leadership in race equity, inclusion and diversity is truly inspirational and best exemplifies the spirit of Micah 6:8, “Act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Register here to attend.

LSA Joins Non-Profit Coalition in Applauding #Relief4Charities American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act, now signed into law, includes several provisions of importance to the charitable nonprofit sector. The leading coalition of the nation's nonprofits celebrates many helpful aspects of the law and urges Congress and the Administration to quickly take action to enact further #Relief4Charities. Read 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

Expanded Eligibility for first-time Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgivable Loans

The application period for PPP forgivable loans expires March 31Applications must be submitted to lenders by that date. Click here for further details and application materials. Currently available are: “First Draw” loans for entities with fewer than 500 employees who have not already received funding, AND 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; 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. 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

House passes sweeping child abuse prevention bill

The House on Tuesday passed a sweeping child abuse prevention bill, setting up deliberations in the Senate as experts and advocates raise alarm about unreported abuse during the coronavirus pandemic. The Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which cleared the House by 345-73, represents a legislative overhaul of the flagship bill addressing child welfare in the US. The new legislation would require the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for tracking and reporting child fatalities along with near-fatalities as a result of maltreatment. Read more here

Reps Kildee, Bacon Introduce Legislation to Help Foster and Homeless Youth Attend and Complete Higher Education

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, and Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, have introduced new legislation, the Fostering Postsecondary Success for Foster and Homeless Youth. The Fostering Postsecondary Success for Foster and Homeless Youth Act would create: 

  • A recognition program through the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to identify and highlight colleges and universities with tailored campus-based supports for foster and homeless youth. By designating higher education institutions as “Foster and Homeless Youth Friendly” and profiling them on ED’s website, this program will recognize institutions for their commitment to students and help these students navigate the college-going process. 
  • A national Center for Fostering Postsecondary Success for Foster and Homeless Youth, to provide technical assistance to postsecondary institutions as they create and maintain campus-based supports and disseminate best practices across the country. 

More on the bill here and here

Congressmen Don Young and Ruben Gallego Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Native American Children

Last week, Congressmen Don Young (R-AK) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) introduced the Native American Child Protection Act (NACPA). This bipartisan legislation authorizes three programs aimed at ensuring that Tribes have the tools they need to treat, prevent, investigate, and prosecute instances of family violence, child abuse, and child neglect involving Native American children and families. The original version of these programs passed as part of then-Senator John McCain's Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, but the programs were never fully funded and have not been reauthorized by Congress. Read the press release here

Lee, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Continue to Protect Faith-Based Child Welfare Providers

Senator Mike Lee joined Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and 21 of their colleagues in introducing the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, a bill to protect organizations that provide adoption and foster care services from discrimination based on their religious or moral beliefs. "Religious institutions and faith-based groups have long provided some of the best adoption services in the country," said Sen. Lee. "This bill will protect their right to keep doing so in accordance with their beliefs, and ensure that children are not unnecessarily prevented from being adopted into loving homes." Read the press release here

Warren, Wyden, Blumenthal, Markey, Murphy Introduce Legislation to Address Long-Term Student Needs Related to COVID-19

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) today introduced the Educational Equity Challenge Grant Act to create a $100 billion application-based grant program over the next ten years to help accelerate academic progress and address students' social, emotional, mental, behavioral, and physical health needs related to COVID-19. Read the press release here

Sen. Casey, Rep. Schrier Push for Emergency Funding to Protect Children From Abuse and Support At-Risk Families

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families are under stress in ways that can increase the risk of child abuse or neglect. Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders mean that children who are at risk of abuse are separated from mandatory reporters, such as teachers, at the same time that local child protective services and non-profits that prevent child abuse are facing new challenges. These challenges include the risk posed by conducting home visits and the expenses involved with implementing new technology to administer virtual visits. To help support at-risk families and keep children safe, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), along with seven Democratic colleagues, introduced the Emergency Funding for Child Protection Act, which would provide $500 million in emergency funds for local child protective services and $1 billion for community-based child abuse prevention programs. U.S. Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA-8) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Read the press release here

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Webinar on Reframing Childhood Adversity: Promoting Upstream Approaches

March 22nd, 2021 2:00 PM EST 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.

USDA Food Program Purchase Listening Session

March 22nd, 2021 2 - 5 pm EST Register here Join the USDA for a listening session to provide groups and individuals an opportunity to share their views on how USDA can best serve people in need of food assistance and the industry regarding the development, coordination and implementation of a food purchase and distribution program intended to provide additional aid to nonprofits serving Americans in need of nutrition assistance. 

LSA Webinar: COVID-19 and Poverty in the US

March 25th, 2021 1 - 2 pm EST 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.

Working Together: Partnering with Communities to Navigate Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

March 25th, 2021 1:00 pm EST Register here. In this webinar, which is part of a CDC Foundation special series specifically tailored to Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and their partners, presenters will discuss how they collaborate with CBOs to navigate what can be a difficult path toward getting shots in arms.

LSA Webinar: 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.

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

Investigating youth suicides among children involved with the welfare system

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 5 to 21 years in the United States. Between 2010 and 2019, suicide rates among this group increased 40%. Youth involved in the child welfare system experience an even greater risk of suicidal behavior, yet research on this vulnerable population is minimal. Read more here.

Opinion: Black Families Are Outraged About Family Separation Within the US. It's Time to Listen to Them.

Outraged calls for racial justice have come to a new battleground: child welfare. In the reckoning on racism triggered by George Floyd’s killing, decades of complaints from Black families hurt by the child welfare system are bubbling over into public protest. The harms of the child welfare system are unconscionably and disproportionately imposed on families of color, particularly Black families, and these family separation practices have demonstrably bad outcomes for the children. Read more here

What We've Learned About The Child Brain

Since he first began studying the brain in stroke patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, cognitive neuroscientist Damien Fair has become a star in the field of pediatric and adolescent brain development. His work has led to a greater understanding of mental health disorders and the impact of trauma, including intergenerational trauma, on the young brain. Read more here

Administration for Children and Families Releases Program Instruction ACYF-CB-PI-21-04

The Children’s Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families released a Program Instruction (PI) related to the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that was enacted in December of 2020. This PI provides guidance to title IV-B/IV-E agencies and Court Improvement Grantees on actions to protect and support youth/young adults currently or formerly in foster care including addressing temporary requirements to allow youth over 18 to remain or re-enter foster care, the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee), and Financial and Reporting Information for the Chafee and ETV Program Additional Funding. Read program instruction here

USDA Extends Free Meals to Children through Summer 2021 Due to Pandemic

The USDA announced an extension of waivers to allow students to receive free meals during the summer months. The extension is intended to provide clarity and certainty for program operators as they begin planning for the months ahead. The waivers, originally extended to June 30, 2021, have been extended to September 30, 2021. Read more here

Child Trends Releases New Child Welfare Financing Survey

Child Trends released a new edition of their biennial nation survey of child welfare expenditures to promote a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that agencies face in serving vulnerable children. The Child Welfare Financing Survey for state fiscal year (SFY) 2018 provides a national and state-by-state analysis of the composition of, and changes in, child welfare agency expenditures. State leaders can use the survey findings to understand how COVID-19, the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, and renewed mainstream attention to race equity may affect spending in the coming years. The new report finds that child welfare agencies spent little on prevention in 2018 compared to other services and activities. Read more here

FEMA Ordered to Help With Influx of Migrant Children at US-Mexico Border

The Biden administration is turning to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help managing and caring for record numbers of unaccompanied immigrant children who are streaming into the United States by illegally crossing the border with Mexico. FEMA will support a government-wide effort over the next three months to safely receive, shelter and transfer minor children who arrive alone at the U.S. southwest border, without a parent or other adult, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Saturday. Read more here.

How COVID-19 Supercharged a Foster System Crisis

Right now, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States and many of those kids’ parents have been struggling to navigate family courts and social-service bureaucracies upended by the pandemic. Advocates for parents in marginalized communities say the alarms raised about hidden abuse reflect ingrained biases in child protective services, too eager to remove kids from their homes and drag parents to court in the name of saving children. Read more here

Federal Grant Opportunities

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.