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Budget and Spending Debates Continue

During the State of the Union Address, President Biden took the opportunity to address the debt ceiling negotiations, noting that there had been proposals to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security spending. Republicans vehemently and loudly denied such plans, and in one of the few bipartisan moments of the night, both parties seemed to

Impacts of Major Youth Transition Program

On February 14th, 2023, Mathematica announced the release of their collaboration with the Social Security Administration on the five-year impacts of a focus aimed at assisting youth with disabilities achieving economic security in their transition into adulthood. Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) is the largest cross-agency initiative that involved a

Webinar: Farm Bill 101

On Wednesday, February 15th, First Focus on Children and The Education Trust hosted a webinar to educate on struggles that may arise with the reauthorization of the FARM Bill this year. Katie Bergh, Senior Policy Analyst for the Food Assistance Team at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, spoke about her previous experience with

Ways Courts Can Actively Engage Children and Youth

The Quality Improvement Center (QIC) on Engaging Youth in Finding Permanency recently released a new publication regarding the ways children and youth can be engaged in child welfare proceedings. Below are tools that courts can use to authentically and directly engage with children to best determine what they want and what options will work best

Unwinding Medicaid Continuous Coverage: Requirements & Red Flags

On February 14, 2023, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) hosted a webinar to provide awareness in identifying red flags as states begin their unwinding period for the continuous coverage provision. NHeLP is a national non-profit law firm that is “committed to improving health care access, equity, and quality for underserved individuals and families” and

House Hearing: The State of American Education

On February 8th, 2023, The House Committee on Education and the Workforce held its first hearing of the year, titled “American Education in Crisis.” The hearing called attention to the challenges the education system still faces after recovering from the pandemic. Witnesses were Virgnia Gentles of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum,

Senate Hearing: Protecting our Children Online

On February 14, 2023, the Senate held a full committee hearing in an attempt to discover how to protect our children online. Several witnesses who spoke about either lived experience, scientific research, or implementation practices, stressed the importance of addressing the danger of social media and its role in the mental health crisis. Led by

Childhood Adversity and Health Disparities

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that childhood adversity leaves a mark on the brain, changing regions that process stress and trauma. By analyzing MRI scans, researchers found small differences in certain brain structures that they believe could accumulate over time and lead to mental health problems later. Black children were

New Executive Order on Racial Equity

On February 16th, 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order to support the advancement of racial equity and service to underserved communities, specifically in federal agencies. Ambassador Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Advisor, and Shalanda Young, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, hosted a briefing on the content of the

SAMHSA Webinar on Behavioral Health Disparities

On February 16, 2023, SAMHSA held a virtual round table discussion focused upon behavioral health disparities within the Black community. Moderated by Brandon Johnson, several guest speakers spoke about their personal experiences and subsequent work in reducing the stigma and taboo associated with receiving therapy in Black communities. This problem is urgent, as the Black

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