Policy & Practice

A professional journal publishing articles on current health and human services issues for wide audience. Coverage includes social policy issues, reports of significant works of human service practitioners, social work theory and legislation, and editoria

Articles from Vol. 68, No. 1, February

Adequate Funding of the TANF Block Grant Is Critical
The original amount of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant has not been increased since the original program was enacted in 1996. Thirteen years of decline in the buying power of TANF must be addressed in a serious manner during...
Alaka's Initiative Takes Family-Centered Approach to Delivering Services
Our vision at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is to help families become healthy, safe and productive. Every day we get the opportunity to make this vision a reality as families walk through our doors as well as those of our many...
ARRA Benefits States
The Obama administration and Congress are to be commended for their quick action earlier this year when they released a major infusion of funds through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to support low-income individuals and families. Their...
Better Health Care for Children in Texas Foster Care
There was a crisis in Texas foster care five years ago. Children traumatized by abuse weren't always getting the medical and dental care they needed and deserved. Too often, doctors were forced to make important medical decisions without the benefit...
Building Organizational Effectiveness Capacity in Support Functions
Public and private human service leaders spend substantial time developing and implementing organizational improvement plans. Heads of support functions such as training, human resources, quality assurance and information technology serve a vital purpose...
Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Offers Business Ownership Training to Veterans
The National Technical Assistance and Research Center to Promote Leadership for Increasing the Employment and Economic Independence of Adults with Disabilities recently released a brief examining the effectiveness of the "Entrepreneurship Boot Camp...
From the New Chair to Local Agency Directors
It's a privilege to serve as the 2010-2011 chair of APHSA's National Council of Local Human Service Administrators. Some time ago, when I began participating in APHSA's national policy conferences, this new role would have never crossed my mind. During...
Gateway to Health Care Reform: Building on Success
There is little question that the passage of health reform will send many new customers into the insurance marketplace--targeting between 30 million to 50 million individuals who currently do not have health insurance. Some of these individuals will...
Harnessing the Power of IT to Improve the HHS Benefits Process
State health and human service agencies remain overwhelmed with caseload expansion, inquiries, paperwork and reporting requirements as the recession, and its effects on the need for HHS benefits continues to rise. These agencies can make critical...
Helping Our Foster Youth in Transition
Extending the safety net for transition-age youth is vital to their stability today and their future success; it is a wise and responsible investment, one that will help prepare them to live as healthy, productive adults. Despite today's economic...
Keeping Families Together Helps Kids and State
It was the Hefty bag that I remember most. As a foster kid, the young woman said, she would keep her belongings in a Hefty bag, ready to move to yet another temporary foster home. Such was stability for her as a teenager. Now, as a young adult,...
NAPIPM Approves Assessment to Increase Policy Impact
The National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement, one of APHSA's oldest and most active affiliates, has provided dynamic policy and practice leadership on a variety of critical state human service issues including quality...
NASTA's TANF Reauthorization Recommendations
In December 2009, the National Association of State TANF Administrators, APHSA's affiliate for the nation's Temporary Assistance for Needy Family program administrators, presented its recommendations to APHSA's Policy Summit for discussion and preliminary...
Navigating through the Challenge
At the close of 2008, our newly elected governor, Jack Markell, nominated me to serve as Cabinet secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; the largest department in state government. It is an extreme honor to serve in this...
Practical Questions on Service Integration
I am soon to embark on my 40th year as a human service worker, much of it spent as a crusader for service integration. For me, the need for better program coordination was quite simple. As an entry-level parole officer, I had great difficulty navigating...
Public Welfare Lawyers Hold Meeting in Portland
The day dawned bright, clear and cold, the snowy peaks of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams presiding over the landscape, as human service lawyers from around the nation gathered on Dec. 6, 2009, for the 42nd Annual Training and Continuing...
Recession Hits Old Workers Hard
The 2007-2009 recession hit workers hard. The unemployment rate reached 9.5 percent in June 2009, the highest level in 26 years. That translates into 14.7 million adults out of work and actively seeking employment. The true impact on the labor market...
Saving More with Card-Based Payment and Tracking Technologies
With budgets already slashed in the past several years, State human service agencies continue to be pressed to find additional savings. Program administrators are examining each program's business processes, operational procedures and management systems....
Setting the Right Course
Where have we been and where are we going? These questions are always a concern to federal, state and local human service administrators. We often get so immersed in our daily activities that we lose sight of what is important and focus on the crisis...
TANF Employment Services: The Key to Reducing Poverty
As we embark upon reauthorization of the TANF program, there is little doubt that one of the most debated and discussed aspects of the program will be the extent to which adult recipients are expected to work or participate in work preparation services....
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: An Overview
In 1996, Congress and the White House agreed to "end welfare as we know it" and passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. This landmark legislation transformed the longtime cash payment entitlement program, Aid to...
Unlocking the Black Box: Why Transparency Can Transform the Way We Govern
Government has become increasingly complex, particularly the provision of human services. Overlapping and sometimes contradictory layers of federal, state and local regulations, policy and practice make administration of human services a mysterious...
Unsung Heroes
Anne Heiligenstein, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, went to Afghanistan and Iraq to establish a women's teacher training institute in Kabul and a children's hospital in Basra. Jane Hansen, former director...
Use of Funds
Using the flexibility inherent in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and state maintenance-of-effort funds, states provide a variety of benefits and services to assist low-income families and children. This flexibility has contributed...
Welcome to the YouTube Age
A few weeks before the first Recovery Act reporting date hit in October, the Tennessee Department of Human Services' ARRA executive team paid a visit to the Communications Office. The team needed help telling the story of how the Recovery dollars are...
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