CYF Update

Children, Youth and Families News
Friday, November 13, 2020



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 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.

Lutheran Services in America Updates

Congregate Care Initiative

Lutheran Services in America is proud to announce the Congregate Care Initiative, in collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Harvard University’s Leadership for a Networked World. Nine exemplar organizations will convene virtually on December 4, 2020 for the first of five sessions to learn from each other and explore what it would take to eradicate unnecessary use of congregate care, and improve outcomes when congregate care is necessary. A white paper outlining learnings from the cohort and best practices in congregate care will be available in the late summer of 2021.

Congratulations to Beverly Jones and LCFS of Illinois!

The Illinois DCFS has appointed LCFS of Illinois VP and COO Beverly Jones co-chair of the Child Welfare Advisory Committee (CWAC). Prior to this new appointment, Beverly has been an active member of CWAC and has co-chaired several sub-committees.

In the recent announcement, DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith said of Beverly, "Your expertise and perspective continue to be critical in the team’s deliberations. I appreciate your dedication to CWAC and look forward to what you will accomplish in your leadership role."

Congratulations Beverly!

LCFS of Illinois is also being recognized for its excellent work, and has moved to the final round of the Council on Accreditation’s 2020 Innovative Practices Award. Read more about LCFS’s program, and cast your vote for the finalists here.

Advocacy Updates

LSA Advocacy Update

McConnell Seeking to Restart COVID Relief Bill Negotiations: In a busy week in Washington, DC, Joe Biden, declared president-elect by several news agencies over the weekend, has begun to form his transition team, while President Trump has sought to challenge the election results in a number of closely contested states.  On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that he would like to resume negotiations on passing a COVID-19 relief package but acknowledged that he and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remain far apart on its size and composition.  Mr. McConnell supports a relatively modest $500 billion bill, while Speaker Pelosi has not moved away from the more than $2 trillion in spending passed by the House in early October, and differences remain on key provisions such as support to state and local governments, school aid, and vaccination distribution funding.  Prospects therefore remain dim for passage until after Mr. Biden takes office on January 20th.  The president-elect has said that passage of a relief bill is an immediate priority.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday on a challenge to strike down the Affordable Care Act.  If struck down, coverage of more than 23 million people under the law, primarily through Medicaid expansion in several states, could be in jeopardy.  Based on the justices' questions during the hearing, it appears that the court will uphold the law, but a decision will not be handed down until June 2021. President-elect Biden campaigned on a promise to defend and expand the law, and the incoming Congress could be considering legislation related to the act early next year.
Lutheran Services in America continues to work with other nonprofit organizations to urge passage of a COVID-19 relief bill now with additional Paycheck Protection Program funding and other support to aid them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supreme Court, Put the Needs of Children in Foster Care First

On Nov. 4, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could jeopardize the wellbeing of more than 400,00 children in our foster care system. This case — Fulton v. City of Philadelphia — could upend decades of best practices in the field of child welfare and leave fewer foster families to care for children who need them. Read more here

Virtual Meetings and Resources

Book Launch with LSA's own Héctor Colón - "From Boxing Ring to Boardroom: 5 Essential Virtues for Life and Leadership"
Date: Wednesday, December 2nd
Time: 1 - 2PM EST

Join us as we hear from Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan’s president and CEO, Héctor Colón, about his experiences overcoming adversity to achieve personal and professional success in international boxing and as a nonprofit leader, as discussed in his book, “From Boxing Ring to Boardroom: 5 Essential Virtues for Life and Leadership.” Register here.

Understanding Racial Trauma and Institutional Racism to Improve Cultural Responsiveness, Race Equity, and Implicit Bias in Child Welfare Cases

Date: Thursday, November 19th
Time: 11 am ET

Join the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities for a discussion that will focus on policies that promote well-being, strong families, and the prevention of child maltreatment. Essential to this conversation is the understanding that systemic injustices in our society limit access and opportunity for some children and families. Register here.

Family First: Readiness Assessment, Planning, and Implementation

Together with child welfare leaders, Chapin Hall experts are facilitating the engagement and meaningful participation of cross-sector stakeholder groups to develop Family First implementation plans and have compiled resources from this work. Learn more here

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

State-Level Data for Understanding Child Welfare in the United States

This comprehensive child welfare resource from Child Trends provides state and national data on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving, and adoption from foster care. Read more here

What Happens to Some LGBTQ Teens When Their Parents Reject Them

Some advocacy groups have long believed that gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers are overrepresented in the city’s foster care system, and that many struggle to find support in it and at home. A new survey has confirmed that impression: It found that more than a third of New York City’s young people in foster care identify as LGBTQ. Read more here

For Rural Youth, Mental Health Care Can Be Tough to Find

A new study published in JAMA Network Open found that rural areas of the United States have fewer mental health services for young people. Previous studies have reported that they also have higher rates of youth suicide than urban areas do. Read more here.

Cluster RCT of Embedded Parenting Intervention to Prevent Recurrence and Reduce Impairment in Young Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

The current cluster randomized trial examines the efficacy of embedding two different parenting interventions within child protection services for young children (0 to 4) who have been exposed to domestic violence and who are at moderate to high risk for recurrent experiences of maltreatment. Read more here

Family Child Care Providers: Unsung Heroes in the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting child care crisis for low-income families who make up the majority of essential workers highlight the indispensable role of family child care providers. Many family child care programs remained open during the pandemic shutdowns, even as child care centers closed. The crisis exacerbated conditions for an already vulnerable workforce. Read more here

Recommendations for Completing a Virtual Home Visit

When it is not possible to complete Family Spirit home visits in-person, participants may complete lessons and assessments virtually (by phone or video chat) and, if applicable, receive their incentive(s) for doing so. These recommendations from Family Spirit apply to programs with permission from their organization to conduct virtual home visits. Read more here.

Keeping Youth Out of the Deep End of the Juvenile Justice System

From 2013 through 2018, the Foundation funded a developmental evaluation of this reform to better understand what worked well, what could be improved, and lessons for the field. During the evaluation period, 12 local jurisdictions across the US pursued deep-end reform, receiving grants and tailored, technical assistance from the Foundation. They pursued a range of deep-end reform activities including improving probation practices, enhancing decision making throughout the juvenile justice (JJ) system, expanding diversion and service options, and increasing youth and family engagement. Read more here

Federal Grant Opportunities

Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Community-Based Organizations

The CDC supports the development and implementation of high-impact HIV prevention programs, including PrEP and nPEP services. Read more and apply here.

Closing date: Nov. 20, 2020.

Head Start/Early Head Start Grant Programs

Head Start grants are awarded directly to public or private nonprofit organizations, including community- and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies within a community. Check for current funding opportunities in your state. 

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.

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.