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NACo Human Services & Education Steering Committee Report - 2013 Annual Conference

Posted Date: 
August 5, 2013
Carl Seilstad, Fergus County Commissioner

On 7/20/2013 the NACo Human Services and Education met in Fort Worth Texas. The first half of our meeting was held jointly with the Justice and Public Safety Committee. The topic of the joint meeting was a presentation by Scott Santoro on Human Trafficking.  The National Association of Counties has partnered with Homeland Security in combating Human Trafficking. I reported on this after last year’s conference and the issue still exists. There are approximately 27 million victims worldwide and has been estimated to be a 32 billion dollar industry. When you imagine this type of money you can see why our youth from every community, county, state and worldwide are at risk. There are educational materials on line at www. trafficking. They call their efforts the Blue Campaign and if you do a search for blue campaign the information should come up.

Proposed Resolutions that were passed were;

  1. Re-authorizing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant. This grant expires at the end of this fiscal year.
  2. Resolution on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This is a carryover resolution that was passed last year that urges congress to come up with Immigration reform.
  3. Resolution in support for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.
  4. Resolution in support of the Community Services Block Grant.  This program has been targeted for serious cuts and program changes. The resolution supports full funding as well as the programs formula grant structure.
  5. Resolution in support of the Social Services Block Grant. This resolution had the same intent as the one I listed in #4.
  6. Resolution in support of the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. The Aging population growth is increasing the demand for services to older Americans. The resolution asks for strengthen the Act through additional funding.
  7. Resolution to Strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The SNAP program is up for reauthorization this year.
  8. Resolution Supporting the Recognition of Prostituted Children and Youth as Victims of Sexual Exploitation. This resolution would recognize youth who are victims of sexual exploitation as children in need of protective services.
  9. Resolution on the Reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant. NACo supports this reauthorization which will include enhanced program flexibility, and increase access to quality and safe child care.
  10. Resolution in support of the International Collection of Child Support Obligations. This resolution would support legislation to streamline and make more uniform the process for collecting child support obligations from non-custodial parents living outside the US.

Over all this was a very good conference; however it seems that our requests keep getting longer as money becomes tighter. One good example is the older Americans Act. As our population gets older consequently there is a need for more money for services. We all face this same situation in our own counties. It seems the revenues stay the same and the demand for service and the costs continue to increase. As always when I am not in my own Committee meetings I like to sit in on other meetings. I always have an interest in Public Lands and Energy. The people we have representing us on our entire committees do an outstanding job of looking out for the best interest for those at home. I would like to take the opportunity to thank MACo for allowing me to sit on one of these committees.

Carl Seilstad | (406) 535-5119 |