Challenges and Possibilities

Article excerpt

The late March 2010 APHSA/NAPCWA Spring Conference was a resounding success, with a much-better-than-expected turnout for important speakers such as DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CMS Director Cindy Mann and Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Carmen Nazario. The air was filled with energy and excitement, as the conference came in the wake of the passage of the health care reform. With the interlocking policy issues that connect health care, child welfare and income assistance programs, the conference was also filled with many questions and a sense that much bigger things are on the horizon, and our members are gearing up for them.

It is with this exciting possibility that we started 2010. Health care reform opens up a whole new world of possibilities for disparate human service sectors to collaborate and align themselves across categorical silos and improve services for all those in need, whether it be the homeless, children or medically needy individuals. TANF and child welfare reauthorizations are due for congressional action this year, although the November elections make it difficult for Congress to deal with them all. …