The NCSL Blog


By Sarah Hill

DID YOU KNOW: NCSL's Legislative Summit is only one month away! Stay tuned to NCSL's blog in the coming weeks for a sneak peek at what the Children and Families Program will be doing in Los Angeles.

girl smilingNCSL’s Children and Families program covers many human services issues, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, welfare and poverty.

NCSL Resources

2018 Health and Human Services Chairs Meeting: This invitational meeting, sponsored by NCSL in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, brought together chairs of the health and human services committees from around the country to strategize about improving safety net systems through policy innovations and opportunities.

Additional resources are available on connecting health and human services across the lifespan, understanding how and why events in infancy and childhood have long-term consequences, a look at the correlation between parental substance use and child welfare and more.  

Human Trafficking: An Overview of Services and Funding for Survivors: The service needs of human trafficking survivors are immense. NCSL’s latest resource on human trafficking, “An Overview of Services and Funding for Survivors,” details the general approach to the delivery of services to human trafficking survivors, the wide array of services, state approaches to service delivery and how these services are funded.

Guide for Child Support Professionals: State legislators address issues from A-Z, agriculture to zoning. NCSL’s latest child support report, “A Guide for Child Support Professionals,” is designed to help child support professionals and directors understand how state legislatures work and how state legislators gather information and develop policies related to child support.

National Reports and Resources

Housing Resources

President Donald Trump signed the Family Self-Sufficiency Act into law on May 24. The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) law, which passed with bipartisan support, permanently reauthorizes the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, combines the housing choice voucher and public housing programs, and expands eligibility to include families in privately owned properties subsidized with HUD project-based rental assistance. The FSS program provides federal support for participants who agree to work toward leaving assisted housing by increasing their earned income. Coordinators for the FSS program connect households receiving assistance with the providers of services such as education, child care and job training.

An Economic Opportunity Program (EOP) in Multnomah County, Ore., is giving low-income individuals the opportunity and assistance needed to develop career goals that lead to self-sufficiency and housing stability. A new report describing the program and summarizing its results, Aligning Housing and Workforce Systems in Multnomah County: Economic Opportunity Program Rent Assistance Results, shows a high return on investment for the local community. Recipients of rent assistance through the program increased their annual income by triple the total amount of the rent assistance disbursed. Further, 76 percent remained housed 12 months after the end of their rent assistance and are not expected to return to the public system for housing assistance in the future.

Health Management Associates sponsored a webinar this month titled Partnership Opportunities for Payers, Providers and States: Supportive Housing for High Utilizers. Watch the webinar to learn more about how Medicaid managed care plans, health systems and states have teamed up with community-based organizations and housing authorities to consider a wide variety of supportive housing initiatives. Research indicates that supportive housing initiatives improve health outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness, mental health, and substance use disorders. It also reduces utilization of emergency room services, inpatient bed days and community justice involvement.

Sarah Hill is a Research Analyst II with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers family law, welfare and poverty issues.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.