Families First
The Within Our Reach Office at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is working with a coalition of national associations to look at the different ways each association is working to support states, identify gaps, and begin to coordinate FFPSA implementation efforts. While there will be more to come, Theresa Covington, director of Within Our Reach, encourages you to participate in these Casey Family Programs webinars:

Session 1: Prevention

Monday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. CT

The first session will detail New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services’ introduction of 11 evidence-based and evidence-informed practice models into its continuum of preventive services.


Session 2: Child Welfare Service Continuum

Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. CT

The second session will offer Ohio’s approach to evidence-based interventions to address a range of child and adult concerns, in particular mental health and substance use disorders.


Both webinars will be recorded and available on Casey Family Programs' website after the sessions.

H.R. 6 - SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act

While we wait on the president’s signature, we’ve begun digging deeper into the opioid bill H.R. 6 - SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. The following trauma related excerpts are from the committees’ staff’s 27-page summary:

Section 7073. Programs for health care workforce. Among many other educational requirements, this provision updates mental and behavioral health education and training grants to support trauma-informed care.

Section 7131. CDC surveillance and data collection for child, youth, and adult trauma.This provision authorizes CDC to support state efforts to collect and report data on adverse childhood experiences through existing public health surveys.

Section 7132. Task force to develop best practices for trauma-informed identification, referral, and support. This provision creates an interagency task force to make recommendations regarding best practices to identify, prevent, and mitigate the effects of trauma on infants, children, youth, and their families, and to better coordinate the Federal response to families impacted by substance use disorders and other formers of trauma. It requires the task force to develop a set of best practices regarding prevention strategies, identification of trauma, community-based practices, and state- and local-level partnerships to support children and their families. 

Section 7133. National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. This provision increases the authorization level for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. Funding will provide technical assistance, direct services to communities, and will support evaluations and dissemination of best practices in trauma-informed care for children and families.

Section 7134. Grants to improve trauma support services and mental health care for children and youth in educational settings. This provision authorizes the Secretary of Education, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to make grants to link educational agencies with mental health systems in order to increase student access to evidence-based trauma support services to help prevent and mitigate trauma that children and youth experience. It requires the Secretary of Education to conduct a rigorous, independent analysis and disseminate findings from the grants.

Section 7135. Recognizing early childhood trauma related to substance abuse. This provision requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to disseminate information, resources, and if requested, technical assistance to early childhood care and education providers and professionals working with young children on ways to recognize and respond appropriately to early childhood trauma, including trauma related to substance use.

The above sections highlight only the trauma informed provisions the Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance, alongside coalitions like the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) and members advocated for. The bill contains several other provisions relevant to our members, which are summarized in the staff summary document of the full 600-page bill

Contributions in Exchange for State or Local Tax Credits (SALT) Comment Period Ends

Over the past week, in preparation for the concluding IRS REG-112176-18 comment collection period of Oct. 11, we held several calls with members who had varying concerns on the proposed SALT rule. From members who received donations, in exchange for donor state tax credits, for facilities improvement to those who ran education programs, the message was clear, the potential to reduce charitable giving and adversely affect operations is big. It was also evident the degree to  which member organizations may be affected is very specific to the program, the donor, the donation size, and the state. Because each situation was unique, we encouraged every member to submit comments to the IRS by letter or via the portal to best help the IRS understand the unique challenges each member may face. The Alliance Public Policy Office issued a letter outlining our concerns that the SALT cap could burden the sector further by diminishing states’ resources. The IRS received more than 7,700 comments via the online portal alone. 

The original comment notice also set a hearing date for Nov. 5. The public hearing will be held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224 and the Public Policy Office will follow up with an update after the hearing. 

H.R. 2422 - Action for Dental Health Act of 2017 

A bill introduced in May 2017 by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill) to amend the Public Health Service Act to improve essential oral health care for low-income and other underserved individuals by breaking down barriers to care, and for other purposes passed the Senate with an amendment by voice vote. Passage included amendment S.Amdt.4057 to, among other modifications, rename the bill Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 and amend the Section 340G of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 256g) to include the establishment or development of models for the provision of dental services to children and adults, such as dental homes. The bill heads to the president for signature. Within the bill are several grant opportunities for community-based organizations (CBOs) to facilitate the provision of dental services to underserved populations.

Recently Proposed Legislation

These bills remain in committee and unchanged at present:

S.2945 – Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018

S. 3231 – Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act of 2018

S.3503 – American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018 

If you have a position or interest in any of these listed, or there are others on you radar, email the Alliance Public Policy Office.