This page provides key COVID-19-related guidance and information from HHS for human services program providers and stakeholders, particularly state and local government agencies and faith and community-based organizations. It also provides COVID-19 resources from select interagency organizations of which is HHS is a member.
The list of guidance, information, and resources was last updated on December 16, 2020.
Click on the links to jump to the each office’s content, summarized in the parentheses next to the link.
- Administration for Children and Families
- Children’s Bureau (child welfare program flexibilities, grant resources)
- Family and Youth Services Bureau (Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Family Violence Prevention & Services, Runaway and Homeless Youth and Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention programs)
- Office of Child Care (Child Care and Development Fund; resouces for states, territories, and tribes)
- Office of Child Support Enforcement (flexibilities, FAQs, Economic Impact Payments)
- Office of Community Services (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Community Services Block Grant)
- Office of Family Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
- Office of Head Start (administrative resources, vulnerable families, CARES Act)
- Office of Human Services, Emergency Preparedness and Response (US Repatriation Program)
- Office of Regional Operations (digital resources, CARES Act income and ACF programs, funding flexibilities)
- Office of Refugee Resettlement (waivers for cash and medical assistance and other supports for refugees)
- Administration for Community Living (Aging and Disability Networks and Grants , as well as Older Americans Act programs)
- Health Resources and Services Administration (Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program)
- HHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives (communities of faith and other community-based organizations)
- HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (case management, technical assistance, and social capital in virtual settings and more)
- HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (nutrition programs)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (substance use and mental health disorder treatment, intimate partner violence, and child abuse)
- Interagency Organizations
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
- ACF released an updated Information Memorandum on grant flexibilities in conducting human services activities related to or affected by COVID-19 (July 24).
- The Children’s Bureau (CB) has published a guide on best practices for remote or virtual court hearings in child welfare cases, program instructions on the Funding Certainty Grant and Stafford Act Flexibility for certain title IV-E requirements, and tips to prepare state reviewers to conduct Child and Family Services Reviews (May 2020). CB partnered with the CDC to conduct a webinar on child welfare worker safety (June 11). CB also published a number of letters:
- CB published a letter to the field encouraging agencies and courts to continue working together to provide critical judicial oversight in child welfare proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic (December 4).
- HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan wrote a letter urging governors to work with child welfare leaders. CB urged child welfare leaders to work with governors to classify child welfare workers as Level 1 emergency providers so they can access personal protective equipment (April 17).
- CB published a letter to state court administrators and chief justices to encourage engagement of their Court Improvement Programs through telework and video-conferencing (April 14)
- CB also published several letters to child welfare leaders on:
- Flexibility allowing title IV-E prevention program services to be adapted to a virtual environment (November 20).
- Filing petitions to terminate parental rights, service delivery strategies, and support to adoptive families. (June 23)
- Existing flexibilities in the title IV-E program (April 27)
- The use of federal funds to purchase cell phones and personal protective equipment (April 17)
- Flexibilities toward fingerprint and caseworker requirements (April 15)
- Postponement of Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews and National Youth in Transition Database reviews (April 10)
- New flexibilities for Kinship Navigator grants and Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Transition grants (April 1)
- Flexible means of convening required hearings during COVID-19 public health emergency (March 27)
- New guidance on caseworker visits via videoconferencing and information on program improvement plans, eligibility reviews, investigations, and other legislative and regulatory flexibility (March 18)
- Housing support for youth when universities and colleges close due to COVID-19 (March 12)
- The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) published several resources (by program):
- For Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention grantees (APP): FYSB published FAQs for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention program grantees (June 22)
- For Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (FVPSA) grantees:
- CARES Act Supplemental Funding Application Upload Instructions (August 24)
- FVPSA Formula Grants CARES Act Supplemental Funding Guidance: Allowable Uses and Reporting Instructions for State Admins and Tribes and for State DV Coalitions (May 14)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline CARES Act Supplemental Funding Guidance: Reporting Instructions and Allowable Uses (May 14)
- For Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) grantees:
- Guidance for Youth Homelessness Service Providers (August 3)
- FY 2020 coronavirus supplemental funding reporting requirement guidance and examples of allowable uses guidance (May 11)
- FAQ on flexibilities (May 4)
- The Office of Child Care (OCC) posted the following documents:
- An updated summary of waiver approvals for states, territories, and tribes (November 24)
- An updated FAQ sheet on COVID-19’s impact on agencies and participants (November 13).
- Updated guidance on new waiver requests and renewals (September 23)
- An update to the CCDF quarterly financial report for states and territories (ACF-696) including reporting on CARES Act child care funds (September 21)
- Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) child care annual aggregate and instructions (ACF-800 Report) (August 12), as well as clarifications for report CCDF direct services on the ACF-801 report during the COVID-19 response (August 18)
- Letter to mayors detailing resources on child care as their cities reopen (June 12)
- Summary of waiver approvals for states, territories, and tribes (June 8)
- COVID-19 legislation guide and a letter to CCDF administrators on how to use the guide (May 28)
- Tip sheets for states and territories and for tribes on how to use CCDF amendments and waiver flexibilities (April 24)
- Information about flexibilities in the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) law and CCDF FAQs in response to COVID-19 (March 13 updated August 10)
- Compilation of state-specific resources to find and pay for child care on ChildCare.gov (May 2020)
- The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) published the following documents:
- Letter announcing an open comment period regarding a proposed flexibilities request form (November 10)
- Letter outlining flexibilities for state and tribal child support agencies (May 28)
- List of FAQS for child support programs (April 23)
- Letter to state and tribal IV-D agencies on the economic impact payments under the CARES Act (April 13)
- The Office of Community Services (OCS) published the following documents:
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Dear Colleague Letter on information collection and reporting for CARES Act and other supplemental funding (November 23); Information memorandum (IM) on COVID-19 flexibilities extended for FY 2020 (November 5); and emergency guidance for state CSBG lead agencies and eligible entities providing community support in response to COVID-19 (April 13)
- Supplemental funding guidance (May 8) and initial COVID-19 program guidance for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) (April 1).
- The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) released questions and answers about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and COVID-19 (March 24) and questions from grantees about how Tribal TANF programs can respond in the pandemic (July 22).
- The Office of Head Start (OHS) has published the following resources:
- FAQs about OHS staff compensation, including information on CARES Act funds (October 4)
- Information memorandum on transportation services and vehicles during the pandemic (June 22)
- Strategies for supporting families experiencing homelessness and housing stability during COVID-19 (June 5)
- Ways to support children with disabilities, their families, and education staff from distance (June 5)
- Answers to grantee questions about local operations decisions (May 21)
- Information on CARES Act funding instructions (May 21)
- Information on providing meals and snacks to children during the pandemic (May 11)
- Supplemental funding available for Head Start programs (April 14)
- Questions and answers on temporarily repurposing Head Start and Early Head Start centers (March 24)
- Videos and recorded webinars:
- Virtually transitioning from Head Start to kindergarten (July 14)
- Supporting families experiencing homelessness (July 10)
- Helping children thrive during the pandemic (May 30)
- CARES Act Funding for Head Start programs (April 6)
- Use MyPeers to support virtual work (March 20)
- Manage infectious disease (March 12)
- The Office of Human Services, Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) published information about COVID-19 and the US Repatriation Program (March 26).
- The Office of Regional Operations (ORO) published a digital resources inclusion guide for state and tribal human services leaders (October 7), a document listing how ACF programs are affected by the CARES Act income (June) and a compiled list of ACF funding flexibilities to support a virtual workforce and provide personal protective equipment for staff working directly with clients (April 2020).
- The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) published two policy letters: one outlining states’ ability to request waivers related to cash and medical assistance eligibility periods (April 22); and another that highlights flexibilities and allows additional waiver requests for ORR eligible populations (April 24).
- The ACF COVID-19 landing page, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/coronavirus, links to additional resources, and a joint letter with the Health Resources and Services Administration on resources for families and human services programs (May 28).
Administration for Community Living (ACL)
- ACL created an updated landing page for COVID-19 resources (September 14).
- Information for the Aging and Disability Networks and Grants FAQs on COVID-19 can be found on https://acl.gov/COVID-19.
- ACL released a comprehensive Older Americans Act COVID-19 guidance reference (June 23).
- ACL also published an FAQ with information about providing groceries through Older Americans Act programs (May 20).
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
- Links to FAQs on COVID-19 and HRSA programs are consolidated on https://www.hrsa.gov/coronavirus.
- HRSA published COVID-19 FAQs for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, as well as grantee FAQs concerning COVID-19 grants policies.
HHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives (Partnership Center)
- The Partnership Center shared the Center for Disease Control’s interim guidance for communities of faith, as well as a list of states’ reopening guidance with information specific to faith-based communities.
- The Partnership Center shared via their newsletter the link to CDC’s interim guidance on unsheltered homelessness for service providers and local officials (August 6).
HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
- ASPE published two briefs on COVID-19 and Economic Opportunity: one on inequities in the pandemic’s labor market consequences and another on the broader economic impact on families and communities (April 2021)
- ASPE published a report on how COVID-19 has intensified nursing home workforce challenges (October 19).
- ASPE published projections of poverty and program eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic (October 16).
- ASPE published a brief describing the Impact of COVID-19 on Medicare Health Services and Payments (September 29).
- ASPE published a two-page brief on the important role social capital plays and how to leverage it during the pandemic (June 2020).
- ASPE published a brief describing the rates of chronic health conditions associated with a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 among people with a history of homelessness (June 25).
- ASPE published two reports: one with insights from the Great Recession on employment and wages in the child care industry (May 27) and another on low-income workers’ eligibility for emergency paid family leave (May 28).
- ASPE published a one-page factsheet on how organizations working with individuals reentering society from incarceration can help this population receive an Economic Impact Payment if they are eligible (May 26).
- ASPE published a brief on improving human services programs through virtual technical assistance, as well as a fact sheet on considerations and resources for doing virtual case management in human services programs (April 1).
HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
- ASPR published information on federal programs that provide nutritional services to at-risk individuals and a table that lists federal nutrition programs and their categories of recipients (April 27).
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- The SAMHSA COVID-19 site, https://www.samhsa.gov/coronavirus, has many resources for those providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment, including opioid treatment programs, on their COVID-19 site.
- SAMHSA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services jointly published a resource on leveraging existing health and disease management programs to provide mental health and substance use disorder resources (June 29).
- SAMHSA published information and FAQs for their discretionary grant recipients, including re-budgeting guidance and how to handle costs related to cancelled events, travel, and other activities (March 24). SAMHSA also published information on social distancing’s effect on intimate partner violence and child abuse during COVID-19.
As a member of the following interagency organizations related to human services, HHS would also like to make stakeholders aware of these additional websites with COVID-19 resources.
Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs
- Youth.gov has consolidated resources to support youth and families on youth.gov/coronavirus and engage.youth.gov/coronavirus.
- A guide to federal broadband access resources has been published on youth.gov, with targeted information human services providers, educational institutions, and individuals and families that need access to technology due to the COVID-19 pandemic (October 16).
U.S. Interagency Council on Economic Mobility
Information from Council members can be found on the following sites:
- Department of Agriculture, specifically the Food and Nutrition Service
- Department of Education
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Labor
- Department of Treasury, specifically the Internal Revenue Service and guidance on the assistance from the CARES Act
- Social Security Administration
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
- list of questions and answers (March 16) in an effort to support children and youth experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- USICH also has a COVID-19 landing page, https://www.usich.gov/covid-19, with a wide variety of resources for homelessness services systems.
- USICH published a webinar recording that addresses funding for non-congregate shelter opportunities (April 23).