Human Services

New Law Will Cap Phone Call Prices in Prisons and Jails

It marks a major win for advocates who have for years argued incarcerated people are getting overcharged for calls. But it will also crimp a revenue source for states and localities.

Why a Federal Funding Deal Matters So Much for States and Localities

A full-year budget package would set spending levels for key programs and could also include important policy changes.

A Last-ditch Effort to Revive the Expanded Child Tax Credit

The more generous credit, in place for part of last year, helped slash child poverty rates and likely boosted state and local economies and tax revenues. Democrats are trying to bring it back before losing control of Congress.

States Offer Supplemental Wages to Retain Child Care Workers

COMMENTARY | Ensuring eligible employees enroll to receive the pay benefit can be a challenge. New research offers three strategies that can help.

Mayors Call on Congress to Extend Expiring Pandemic Era Food Aid

Millions could lose food stamp benefits with the end of the federal Covid-19 public health emergency this summer.

How Cities Are Addressing Mental Distress

Successful programs include partnerships between social workers and first responders, incorporate data and recognize larger social factors affecting health and well-being, like racism, experts say.

The States Where Afghan Evacuees Will Resettle

Forty-six states will receive Afghan evacuees, including special immigrant visa holders who assisted the United States military.

The States Offering to Help Resettle Afghan Refugees

Governors in both parties say their states are ready to assist displaced people who helped the U.S. and are fleeing the Taliban.

The Best and Worst States for Child Well-Being

Massachusetts took the top spot in the KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, while Mississippi ranked 50th.

One-Fourth of Low-Income Immigrant Households Avoided Public Benefits in 2020

Despite financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, some households did not seek benefits because of concerns due in part to the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule.

Report: 1 out of 6 Americans Stay in Jobs They Hate to Keep Their Health Insurance

Black employees and people making less than $48,000 per year were more likely to not quit to ensure continued access to health benefits, according to a West Health-Gallup survey.

Welcome to the New Progressive Era

COMMENTARY | Progressives thought they knew what a Biden presidency would look like. How did they get him so wrong?

What Lies Ahead for State Health and Human Services Programs

COMMENTARY | States and counties will face complex health and human services challenges over the next year.

How Social Work is Changing in the Covid Era

COMMENTARY | The pandemic has forced the entire social work industry to rapidly evolve and adapt to a virtual environment.

Supreme Court to Hear Dispute Over Same-Sex Foster Parents

Catholic Social Services is fighting Philadelphia’s decision to stop working with the foster agency because it will not place children with same-sex couples.

From Worcester to Anaheim, Cities Embrace the Role of Poet Laureate

Cities of all sizes are appointing poets laureate, a typically volunteer position tasked with promoting culture, art and the written word within a community.

For Public Health Agencies, Hiring in Competitive Field is Particularly Challenging

Hiring managers say competition with the private sector and other factors make it difficult to recruit and retain staff. A new Center for State and Local Government Excellence report details ways that local governments have succeeded despite these challenges.

There Could Be Millions More Americans Living in Poverty Than Officially Reported

New research suggests poverty statistics do not fully account for how price inflation differs for the rich and poor.

Welfare Money Is Paying for a Lot of Things Besides Welfare

COMMENTARY | Instead of giving cash assistance to poor families, states are widening the racial divide.

State Lowers Degree Requirements for Child Welfare Case Workers

The move in Oregon comes amid concerns about workforce diversity and recruiting and retaining employees.