Magazine article Policy & Practice

Today's Expertise for Tomorrow's Solutions-Leading Us Down New Paths

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Today's Expertise for Tomorrow's Solutions-Leading Us Down New Paths

Article excerpt

Today's Expertise for Tomorrow's Solutions ... we adopted that tagline about a year ago and I continue to believe that it is truly reflective of what our membership brings to the table every day in pursuit of better outcomes for children and families. As we come together for the APHSA annual Policy Forum, I am reminded of the in-depth knowledge and fierce dedication that leaders in the health and human service field offer to their states and localities as they continuously strive to improve on what we do and how we do it. And, I am struck by the appropriateness of the tagline to what is needed in these times--i.e., the need to draw on what we know works in order to help transform the system as a whole and put us on a new, more sustainable path that results in gainful employment and independence; stronger and healthier families, adults, and communities; and the sustained well-being of our children and youth.

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As we all know, the health and human service system in this country continues to be under extreme pressure. The economic times have placed a greater demand on services while budgets at all levels of government continue to be slashed, with the real probability of additional significant reductions forthcoming at the federal level. Community resources and services--often supported by the private and nonprofit sectors--have been severely impacted too, affecting the ability of us all to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations. While the strain is real, leaders in the field see opportunity in this difficult time, and agree on the need for change.

At APHSA we are committed to supporting our members and their key partners in transforming the current human service system into one that continuously improves and innovates its practices and efficiently delivers meaningful and lasting results. As reflected in our Pathways initiative, our members have a vision for a health and human service system that is integrated, outcome-focused, and centered on how we can support people to improve the outcomes in their lives. Our members offer concrete solutions to national policymakers based on the reality of what is happening in their states and localities and informed by what they know works. In this issue, you will find the first of our specific policy briefs, which focus on how the reauthorization of programs like SNAP and TANF are a means for making important policy changes to achieve a more integrated delivery system. …

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