September 2016 Human Services Chairs Meeting


Mountain backdrop with city of Portland in foreground NCSL is the only organization to bring together chairs from across the country for a learning experience that meets legislators unique needs as committee chairs.

This second annual gathering of Human Services Chairs will focus on the following main topics: state policies to target assistance to those most in need, multi-generation strategies to reduce poverty and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, budgeting and fiscal policies, hunger and nutrition and effective programs and performance metrics. 

Through this meeting attendees will gain a deeper understanding of new and pending federal legislation on child care and child welfare, build expertise in key policies to make informed decisions about anti-poverty strategies, consider early learning strategies leveraging recent changes from the federal ESSA legislation and child care reauthorization, discover workforce development connects to human services programs and employment services and community college systems, identify policy strategies and current opportunities to meet the needs of children and parents and create a personal plan for action to address human services policy issues.


Go back to the Human Services Homepage. 

Time Sessions

1-2 p.m.

Hilton Portland and Executive Tower | Room: Skyline I, Floor: 23 

2-2:45 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

2:45-3:45 p.m. 

Brain Science: Interventions and Policy Implications for Serving Parents and Children

Speaker: Sarah Watamura, PhD, University of Denver, Colorado



3:45-4:45 p.m.

Federal Updates: What’s Happened or Happening in DC

Speaker: Joy Johnson Wilson, NCSL, Washington, D.C.



5:30-6:30 p.m.

Joint Reception with Education Chairs

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Dinner (Joint with Education Chairs): Foster Care and McKinney-Vento Provisions in ESSA: What Legislators Need to Know

Speakers: Joy Wilson, NCSL, Washington, D.C.

Lee Posey, NCSL, Washington, D.C.

Pre-reading: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Resources, U.S. Department of Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program: Non-Regulatory Guidance, U.S.

THURSday, Sept. 8

8-8:30 a.m.

Hilton Portland and Executive Tower | Room: Skyline I, Floor: 23

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Early Childhood Development, Toxic Stress & Supporting Positive Parenting:  Implications for Policy

Speaker: R.J. Gillespie, M.D., The Children’s Clinic, Oregon

Pre-reading: Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Lifelong Consequences of Trauma


[Presentation] [Handout]

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Child Care Development Block Grant: Opportunities and Challenges Created by Reauthorization

Speaker: Rachel Schumacher, Office of Child Care, US DHHS, Washington, D.C.


Pre-reading: Implementing The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014



10:45-11 a.m.


11 a.m.-Noon

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): How is the Money Spent and How Can it be Used to Reduce Poverty in a Multigenerational Approach

Speaker: Rochelle Finzel, NCSL, Denver 

Pre-reading: State TANF Spending 2015 Fact Sheet, US DHHS, Office of Family Assistance



Noon-1:45 p.m.

Lunch: Utilizing Community Colleges to Connect Human Service and Employment Programs to Improve Student Outcomes and State Workforce Needs (Joint with Education Chairs)

Speaker: Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, CLASP, Washington, D.C.

Representative Margaret Doherty, Oregon

Pre-reading: Bolstering Non-Traditional Student Success by Center for Post-Secondary and Economic Success



1:45-2:45 p.m.

Using Science to Address Child Welfare Workforce Challenges 

Speaker: Michael Cull, Department of Children’s Services, Tennessee 

Pre-reading: What’s it Really Like to Work at DCS

Tennessee’s DCS Workers Get Their Say



2:45-3 p.m.


3-4 p.m.

How to Get and Keep the Best Foster Parents -- And What Works for Foster Youth? 

Speakers: Annie Blackledge, Mockingbird Society, Washington

Cathy Apgar, Mockingbird Society, Washington

Representative Ruth Kagi, Washington


Pre-reading: Mockingbird Family Model
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment
Effective Practices in Foster Parent Recruitment, Infrastructure, and Retention



4-5 p.m.

Paying for Performance: Financing and Budgeting Strategies to Achieve Results

Speaker: Representative Toby Barker, Mississippi

Moderator: Kristen Pendergrass, Pew–MacArthur Results First Initiative, Washington, D.C.


Pre-reading: The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative – Fact Sheet

Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Guide for Effective Government – Report

Results First Clearinghouse Database – Issue Brief

Legislating Evidence-Based Policymaking: A look at state laws that support data-driven decision-making – Issue Brief

A Guide to Evidence-Based Budget Development – Issue Brief


[Presentation 1] [Presentation 2]


Dinner on Your Own


8-8:30 a.m.

Hilton Portland and Executive Tower | Room: Skyline I, Floor: 23

8:30-10 a.m. 

Substance Abuse: How is the Opioid Epidemic Impacting Human Services and What States Can Do About It

Speaker: Jennifer Plumb, M.D., M.P.H., University of Utah School of Medicine, Utah

Senator Joshua Miller, Rhode Island


Pre-reading: How Does Your System Respond to Parental Substance Use Disorders in the Child Welfare Caseload?

Substance Use in Pregnancy, Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 2016

Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, NCSL Compilation of Resources

State Response to Pre-Natal Substance Exposure: State Legislation

Resources on Opioid Use Disorders in Pregnancy and Infants Prenatally Exposed to Opioids, National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

Rx for America’s Opioid Addiction, Presentation from NCSL’s 2016 Legislative Summit Deep Dive session.

[Presentation 1] [Presentation 2] [Presentation 3] [Bill Summary]

10-10:30 a.m.

Wrap-Up and Next Steps


Additional Meeting Materials