State Discussion on Policy Priorities 


During the August HSPAI monthly call, the Children and Families team welcomed Governor’s human services policy advisors for an off-the-record discussion about their current portfolios, priorities, and challenges going into fall 2022. During the call, advisors participated in discussions around three topic areas:

  • Collaboration and process improvement between and within state agencies;
  • Improving child and family physical and mental health;
  • Improving child and family economic stability.

State workforce challenges was a standout and recurring theme throughout each of these topic area discussions—recruitment and retention within the direct care workforce continues to be a thorny issue, delaying momentum for implementation of new service delivery models.  States look to scholarships, loan repayment programs, and incentive packages, but retaining staff with enough experience to operate in supervisory and leadership positions remains a large barrier. States also discussed issues around allocating ARPA funds and reported challenges in addressing current issues through sustainable channels (i.e. maintaining salary increases/incentives through regular budget revenues).   Within the topic of child welfare, serving youth with complex behavioral health needs was a shared concern among advisors; advisors noted that issues serving this population expose large gaps between child welfare, juvenile justice, and behavioral health systems.

View the discussion jamboard.