Human Services

Senate Passes Debt Ceiling Bill, Approves New Work Requirements for Benefits

States will have to meet stricter rules for those receiving food stamps and welfare assistance. Some worry it will actually hamper states’ ability to help people get back to work.

The Pros and Cons of the Debt Deal for States and Localities

The deal doesn’t claw back billions of dollars promised under the infrastructure and climate laws, but it does keep federal spending flat and adds work requirements for food stamp recipients.

County Wants to Employ Ex-Offenders and ‘Break the Cycle’

A unique jobs website lists available Shelby County government jobs for people with arrest or conviction histories in an effort to fill job vacancies and reduce recidivism.

Funding for Rental Assistance is Ending, But Need Continues

Some states are working to develop programs that will pick up where pandemic-era programs are leaving off.

The Fight to Reverse Increasing Maternal Mortality Rates

The U.S. has some of the highest mortality rates in the world. A study in North Carolina found approaches that are making a difference.

How to Ensure Millions of Children Don’t Lose Medicaid Coverage Erroneously

COMMENTARY | More than 5 million children could lose their Medicaid benefits during the public health emergency’s Medicaid “unwinding.” The U.S. has the data and experience to prevent this.

States Should Improve Opportunities for Older Youth in Foster Care Systems

An Annie E. Casey Foundation report said more investments are needed toward job training, post-secondary education and stable housing for those in foster care between the ages of 14 and 21.

An Outdated Tracking System Is a Key Factor in Texas’ Foster Care Shortcomings

The decades-old system foster care officials use to track and monitor the health records of the nearly 20,000 children in their custody is both outdated and unreliable—so much so, advocates say, that children have been harmed or put at risk.

States Take Up Bills to Confront Youth Homelessness

From couch surfing to living in the streets, it is easy to overlook young people experiencing homelessness. That’s changing.

New Data Sheds Light on Impact of Expanded SNAP Benefits on Households

A Census survey found that 1 in 4 households where enhanced food aid ended March 1 now report “sometimes” or “often” not having enough to eat.

States Vote to End Subminimum Wage

Advocates for people with disabilities see progress in leveling pay and ending work segregation.

Efforts Spreading to Curb Generational Incarceration

Spaces for imprisoned parents to bond with their kids and bills to keep them geographically close to those children are gaining traction across the nation.

State & Local Roundup: Massachusetts Fights 'Hunger Cliff' with SNAP Boost

Plus: Tennessee expels Black lawmakers; Liberal Democrats score wins in the Midwest; Connecticut governor insults Houston; and more news to use from around the country.

How Do Benefits Enrollment Sites Stack Up?

Civic tech organization Code for America analyzed state social services websites for customer experience. A few states stood out.

Oregon Provides Child Care Support for Construction Workers

The program subsidizes child care in an effort to bring more workers into the construction trade.

What Will Congress Do About SNAP Benefits?

Some want to see an increase in food stamps to account for rising food prices. Others want to tighten work requirements. A compromise is certain as the two sides work toward a must-pass farm bill.

Four Ways to Improve Refugee Resettlement in the US

COMMENTARY | Geopolitical unrest and the detrimental impacts of climate change will continue to increase the flow of refugees requiring resettlement. Here’s how state and local governments and nonprofits can effectively prepare to meet increased demand.

L.A.’s Scoring System for Subsidized Housing Gives Unhoused Black and Latino People Lower Priority Scores

An investigation by The Markup found racial disparities in L.A.’s intake system for people experiencing homelessness.

Colorado Expands Unemployment Insurance—And Others Are Watching Closely

Colorado’s low-cost approach to getting benefits out the door quickly could provide a model for adapting or modernizing public assistance programs elsewhere.

A New Lawsuit Seeks the Right to Reimburse Stolen Food Stamp Benefits

SNAP recipients have sued the USDA to undo a rule that bars New York from using federal funds to replace stolen food stamp dollars. A ruling could set a nationwide precedent.