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Information from the Welfare Peer TA Network

Announcing – The Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy, March 2015

The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) invites nominations of state, territory, and local Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies to participate in the Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy (the Academy). State, territory, and local TANF agencies may nominate themselves. Nominations are due by March 17, 2015.

The Academy will engage up to seven teams of key leaders, administrators and stakeholders from a select group of TANF jurisdictions to develop and implement TANF program improvements over an 18-month period. The Academy will support state and local TANF programs to improve employment outcomes and strengthen service delivery. The Academy is a response to demonstrated interest of states and counties to redesign and re-energize TANF programs to ensure that families receive needed services and supports for successful transition to employment and economic stability.

A facilitated webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern, which will explain OFA's vision and expected outcomes for the Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy, as well as discuss the benefits of TANF agency participation. Webinar presenters will also review the nomination process for participation in the policy academy, the benefits of participation, and expectations throughout the Academy timeframe. A facilitated question and answer session will allow interested agencies to ask questions about the information provided.

Register for the Webinar

View the Dear Colleague Letter [PDF - 159 KB] Read More Information [PDF - 160 KB]

Funding Opportunity: Social Innovation Fund FY 2015, February 2015

The Office of Community Services (OCS) has released a new funding opportunity by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNNCS). This opportunity is for a Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The SIF grant will be made available to programs aligned with CNCS' three focus areas: 1) Youth Development, 2) Economic Opportunity, and 3) Healthy Futures within low-income communities. All applications are due by March 17, 2015, 5:00PM ET. Applicants are also requested to complete a Notice of Intent by February 20, 2015.

Notice of Intent General Information

Protect Your Child From Measles, 2015

The elimination of measles in the United States in 2000 is one of public health's most celebrated success stories. But as recent outbreaks have revealed, there is still reason to be concerned about measles. Make sure your child is protected from the measles. You can protect your child against measles with a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is proven to be very safe and effective. Some adults need measles vaccine too. Find out who needs the vaccine here. Measles spreads easily through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Pockets of unvaccinated communities are especially at risk for large outbreaks. While most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination, the current outbreak highlights the importance of vaccination, as the majority of the adults and children in the outbreak reportedly either did not get vaccinated or did not know whether they had been vaccinated. One thing we are most certain of, the measles vaccine is safe and very effective. Two doses of measles vaccine are 97% effective, and even one dose is 93% effective. Find out where to get vaccinated here.

For more information, please see: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USHHS/bulletins/f0cac3

Working with African-American Individuals, Couples, and Families: A Toolkit for Stakeholders, 2014

This National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families toolkit uses a backdrop of significant historical events as a foundation for understanding perspectives, improving communication, and strengthening relationships with those in the African American community. This toolkit is grounded in current research and draws on the experience of practitioners to provide practical suggestions for engaging and serving this population, particularly for incorporating healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive family-centered approach to promoting self-sufficiency.

For more information, please see: http://tinyurl.com/african-american-toolkit-p

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Research and Resources from the Field

ACF Programs Receive Boost from FY 2016 Budget, February 2015

The newly released Fiscal Year 2016 Obama Administration's Budget includes numerous proposals aimed at helping low-income families and communities. Some of the proposals in the Budget address child care assistance for low-income families, domestic violence, restructuring Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and much more.

For more information, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2015/02/acf-programs-receive-boost-from-fy-2016-budget

Fourth Quarter Caseload Data, February 2015

The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) has posted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload and application data for the first, second, third, and fourth quarters of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. In the fourth quarter of FY 2014, there was a monthly average of 1.60 million families receiving TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) assistance, representing approximately 3.8 million recipients. The monthly average number of TANF applications received in the fourth quarter of FY 2014 was 286,916.

For more information, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/resource/caseload-data-2014

Family Engagement Inventory, January 2015

The Family Engagement Inventory (FEI) is an interactive web-based tool aimed at familiarizing professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, and other professions with the competencies for family engagement as it relates across the different fields of practice. The primary purpose of the FEI is to combine knowledge in a way that supports professionals in engaging with families.

For more information, please see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2015/01/family-engagement-inventory-now-live

Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children's Defense Fund, January 2015

This report discusses a study conducted by The Children's Defense Fund and the Urban Institute. The purpose of the study was to estimate the rate at which child poverty could be reduced by using various comprehensive policies. Some of the policies included increasing the minimum wage, expanding subsidized housing and child care, and more.

For more information, please see: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/2000086-Reducing-Child-Poverty-in-the-US.pdf

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