WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following is a statement from Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of the newly merged Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation:

“Passage of The American Rescue Plan Act signals a new beginning for so many American families who have struggled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic challenges,” commented Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of the newly merged Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation. “The human and social services field has played an essential role throughout the pandemic in answering the needs of individuals and families despite the challenges we have faced as a sector. 

Now, with the passage of this bill:

  • Midsize and larger social sector organizations who had been shut out of earlier relief funding will have access to critical support. 
  • The $350 billion in state and local funding will enable us to continue critical partnerships with government to respond to the changing needs of communities. 
  • The childcare sector, which has experienced tremendous disruption, enrollment drops, and extra costs, will see $40 billion in childcare stabilization funding. 
  • A new Child Tax Credit Expansion, which economists predict will cut childhood poverty in half by providing for the basic needs that enable all families to thrive, becomes available. 
  • The $350 million infusion for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which is a significant and historic investment in front-end prevention and supports for families, will help keep children out of the foster care system and at home with their families in communities. 
  • Direct payments to working class Americans, supplemental unemployment benefits and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit will provide funding for individuals and families who are working hard to weather this storm and continue to give back to our economy and our nation. 
  • Additional investments in expanding health care coverage, nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP), and new dollars for rental and utility assistance will give individuals and families the extra support they need to move toward full recovery. 

We applaud the Biden administration and the Congress for addressing the economic challenges brought on by this pandemic and their ongoing commitment to the well-being of all Americans. The coming months will continue to pose challenges, but this important legislation will propel a speedier and more equitable recovery for communities across the country.”

About the Newly Merged Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation (COA)
The merged Alliance and COA and resulting new organization will convene and catalyze a dynamic, inclusive, multifaceted network of human/social services organizations that leverages the collective experience of the field and research to spark a current in the sector and drive continuous evolution and improvement. Our goal is to activate the power of the social sector and create a unified, intrepid, just, and purposeful network that propels our field forward so all people can thrive. The new organization will provide a range of offerings and learnings to actively shape the future of the sector through policy, advocacy, knowledge exchange, certification, accreditation, connection, and ongoing iterative and reflective interactions.