CYF Update

Children, Youth and Family News
Friday, April 30, 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 R. Young 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

Lutheran Services in America has a new newsletter focused on racial equity and justice issues. The newsletter is a resource for sharing information and opportunities related to racial diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Lutheran Services in America network. Find the newsletter here. If you would like to submit resources or have questions, please contact Caitlyn  

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 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 and Legislative Updates

Advocacy Update

Administration Releases Outline of $1.52 Trillion FY22 Budget Proposal

On April 9, President Biden released an initial outline of his proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2022.  A more detailed version of the proposal is expected in the coming weeks.  The outline, which calls for $1.52 trillion in discretionary funding (an 8.4% increase over current levels), is the first budget in a decade that will not be bound by the spending caps known as “sequestration.”

Highlights of the proposal include substantial investments in programs benefitting older adults, persons with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, and children, youth, and families: $551 million for home and community-based services, increasing resources and services for older adults and persons with disabilities; $180 million to support 2,000 units of new, permanent affordable housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities; $3.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants; $1.9 billion for  the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to construct and rehabilitate affordable rental housing; $100 million in new competitive grants for States and localities to advance reforms that would reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system; and $200 million for States and community-based organizations to respond to and prevent child abuse.

The president’s outline is just the first step in the process of allocating federal spending for the coming fiscal year.  The Congressional Appropriations Committees will now take the lead in developing legislation that will ultimately set funding levels for agencies and programs beginning on October 1, 2021.

Unaccompanied Children Program

There continue to be several opportunities to contribute including contracting directly with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to expand licensed bed capacity or provide other support services such as buildings, bi-lingual staff, licensed childcare workers, staff who can perform case management, etc. Interested providers can refer to the ACF Fact Sheet and the List of Required Forms for additional information. Find the fact sheet here.

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Strengthening Families Webinar: Concrete Support at the Federal Level: What You Need to Know about the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit

May 13, 2021 3:00-4:00 pm ET

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes a historic one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), providing much-needed concrete support to families with children. Learn about the benefit as well as steps we can take to ensure that this expanded benefit reaches the children who need it most, including children in Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant communities, and is made permanent. Here.

The Unlearning of Child Welfare: Investing in Families: Two Part Series

Dates: May 13 & 20, 2021, 3:00 pm ET

This two-episode webinar series  discusses how investing in families starts with shifting perspectives, challenging traditions, and imagining bold solutions. The webinars will break down emerging research, explore economic interventions, and spotlight leaders in the field that are challenging traditional practices and finding innovative methods for investing in families and producing better outcomes. Learn more and register.

Episode 1: The Economics of Family Well-being, May 13 at 3 p.m. ET

Families are struggling, and have been for a long time—are we doing enough to help? More conversations than ever before are taking place about the state of families in the U.S. and the opportunities to make new investments that strengthen families. Discover what emerging research and thinking are telling us about how we can make targeted investments to improve outcomes for children and families. Register here

Episode 2: Bold Actions for Big Change, May 20 at 3 p.m. ET

Industry disruptors are moving from conversation to action, making innovative investments in communities to strengthen families. Hear how leaders in the field are disrupting the status quo—with bold actions and prevention-based approaches—to create practical and impactful change. Register here

Virtual Event: Stories From the Field: Practical Strategies for Engaging Young People

Join the Children’s Bureau virtual event to learn how child welfare agencies are integrating youth and family voices through individual, practice, and system levels of engagement and in peer mentoring programs. Watch Aysha E. Schomburg, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, deliver opening remarks! Examine strategies to support meaningful youth engagement at the individual and practice level, the peer-to peer-mentoring level, and the system level.  Learn how shifting to a mindset of meaningful youth engagement can shift agency culture to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Register here.

Webinar Recording: Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Transformation, Reentry, and Connections to Employment for Young Adults

On April 1, 2020, CLASP and FHI 360 hosted a webinar on supporting young adults with transformation, reentry, and connections to employment. We discussed how communities are connecting young adults who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to employment, education pathways, and supportive services. Listen here.

Recording: How to Create a Stronger Community for Young People

Sarah Hemminger is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Thread, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that matches select high school freshmen with up to four mentors for 10 years. The approach aims to break the cycle of poor educational and economic outcomes in some communities and replace it with a new cycle of educational attainment, service and well-being. Listen here.

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

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month!

Learn more about the history of the awareness month and what you can do to observe it at National Today! Learn more here. Additional information and resources can be found through the Children’s Bureau, here.

States Take Social Security Benefits Of Foster Care Children To Pay For Services: NPR

Roughly 10% of foster youth in the U.S. are entitled to Social Security benefits, either because their parents have died or because they have a physical or mental disability that would leave them in poverty without financial help. State foster care agencies comb through their case files to find kids entitled to these benefits, then apply to Social Security to become each child's financial representative, a process permitted by federal regulations. Once approved, the agencies take the money, almost always without notifying the children, their loved ones or lawyers. Read more here.

How the $500 Million Family First Transition Fund Will Work

The U.S. Children's Bureau is overseeing the $500 million transition fund approved this year to help states prepare and implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, a major overhaul of child welfare funding. It put out some guidelines for how the money – which comes from the Department of the Treasury – will be allocated and how it can be spent. This article provides a quick rundown of what you need to know about the $500 million pot that is about to go out to state child welfare agencies. Here.

How Virtual Reality Training Can Help Combat Racial Bias

Even unintentional racial bias can have long-lasting impact, particularly when making decisions about kids in the foster care system. Training via virtual reality can help eliminate those biases in the field. Achieving a just, inclusive society takes hard work and deep soul-searching by institutions, their leaders and employees, whether they operate within government, academia, the nonprofit world or the private sector. To advance that goal, it is critical that we address issues around racial equity head-on, including in training initiatives where possible. That’s not always an easy or comfortable process, but with proper consideration and guidance, it can be done, and in this respect we see growing promise for virtual reality (VR) as a learning tool. Learn more here.

Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems Increase Youth Homelessness

Reducing the risk of homelessness requires collaboration between child welfare departments and court systems. Service providers can begin by identifying the housing plan for young people leaving a state's system, said Narendorf, combating the issue by thinking through "a preventative lens. Read more here.

New research on Maltreatment of Children With Disabilities from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Over the past decade, there have been widespread efforts to raise awareness about maltreatment of children. Pediatric providers have received education about factors that make a child more vulnerable to being abused and neglected. The purpose of this clinical report is to ensure that children with disabilities are recognized as a population at increased risk for maltreatment. This report updates the 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report “Maltreatment of Children With Disabilities.” Read more here.

Many say now is the time to fight racial bias in foster care.

Bias and racism are widespread in the child welfare system. Black children are taken into foster care at a disproportionately high rate and languish longer before being adopted, reunited with their parents or aging out of the system. Cheri Williams oversees domestic programs for Bethany Christian Services, which released a report Wednesday detailing racial disparities in its programs for the first time and joining in broader calls to combat them. Read more here.

Targeted Universalism in child maltreatment prevention: the promise and the challenge

A growing chorus of voices is calling for a shift of resources away from responding to child abuse and neglect toward preventing its occurrence. Interest is coalescing around a newer idea that would combine universal reach with a response that is targeted based on a family’s risk, sometimes called targeted universalism. Several jurisdictions are already implementing initiatives based on this approach. Governments interested in adopting such a system need to resolve a number of questions concerning the system’s entry point, goals, lead agency, program content, and how to attract and retain the families that are most at risk.  Read more here.

Updated 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide

This resource by Child Welfare Information Gateway is a significant revision of the popular Office on Child Abuse and Neglect publication in more than 15 years. This year’s Resource Guide is all about generating constructive conversations with caregivers, within organizations and communities, and across society as a whole and includes the protective factors while introducing exciting new concepts, examples, and strategies, and recommendations for engaging and incorporating parent voice. The report can be found here.

Building Strong Community Partnerships to Address Social Needs – Insights from the Accountable Health Communities Model

The Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model encourages organizations to align community partners and health systems to address health related social needs. CMS recently released a case study, Building Strong Community Partnerships to Address Social Needs (PDF), that highlights how one organization, Health Net of West Michigan, leverages its advisory board and partnerships to achieve this goal. The case study includes successful strategies for engaging community members, partnering across sectors, structuring advisory board meetings, and taking evidence-based action. Find the case study here

Federal Grant Opportunities

Drug-Free Communities Support Program

Awards funding to coalitions working to reduce substance abuse among youth and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, organizations, and governmental entities. Read more here. Closing date: May 10, 2021.

HRSA National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

The program provides financial assistance to students pursuing primary care health professions training in return for a commitment to provide primary health services in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Eligible degrees or certificates include medicine, dentistry, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery, or physician assistant. Read more here. Closing date: May 11, 2021.

Notah Begay III Foundation Community Empowerment Grants

Grants to Native American communities for community-led, culturally-rooted programs that promote physical activity, healthy nutrition, youth development, and cultural connections. Read more here. Closing date: May 12, 2021.

Maternity Group Home Program Grant

The Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families' Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) announces the availability of funds under the Transitional Living Program’s Maternity Group Home (MGH) grant program (hereafter referred to as the MGH program). The purpose of FYSB’s MGH program is to provide safe, stable, and appropriate shelter only for pregnant and/or parenting youth ages 16 to under 22 and their dependent child(ren) for 18 months and, under extenuating circumstances, up to 21 months. Service providers must accommodate for the needs and safety of the dependent children to include facility safety standards for infants and children on the premises. MGH services include, but are not limited to, parenting skills, child development, family budgeting, and health and nutrition education, in addition to the required services provided under the Transitional Living Program to help MGH youth realize improvements in four core outcome areas. The MGH combination of shelter and services is designed to promote long-term, economic independence to ensure the well-being of the youth and their child(ren). Link to apply here. Closing date: June 18, 2021

Basic Center Program: DHHS ACF

The Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families' Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) announces the availability of funds under the Basic Center Program (BCP). The purpose of BCP is to provide emergency shelter and counseling services to youth who have left home without permission of their parents or guardians, have been forced to leave home, or other homeless youth who might otherwise end up in the law enforcement or in the child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. Find the details here. Application Closed: June 21, 2021

Transitional Living Programs Grant

The Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families' Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) announces the availability of funds under the Transitional Living Program (TLP). The Purpose of FYSB’s TLP grant program is to implement, enhance, and/or support effective strategies for successful transition to sustainable living for runaway and homeless youth ages 16 to under 22 and/or pregnant and parenting youth ages 16 to under 22 and their dependent child(ren). Learn more here - Grants & Funding | The Administration for Children and Families ( Due Date: June 28. 2021