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February 2023Vol. 24, No. 1 Family First Prevention Services Act Celebrates 5 Years

Since 2018, the Family First Preservation Services Act (FFPSA), which was signed into law as part of Public Law 115–123, has helped states enhance their support services for families to help children remain at home, reduce the use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and families. On the eve of its 5-year anniversary, the Children’s Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would like to acknowledge the efforts of states so far in creating their plans and achieving their goals for the preservation of families involved with child welfare.

FFPSA amended the title IV-E programs to create new optional IV-E funding for time-limited prevention services for mental health, substance use, and in-home parent skills-based programs for children or youth who are candidates for foster care, pregnant or parenting youth in foster care, and the parents and kin caregivers of those children and youth. States and title IV-E-eligible tribes interested in claiming the new funding submitted Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans to the Children’s Bureau for review of compliance with FFPSA requirements. As of January 12, 2023, 50 title IV-E prevention program 5-year plans have been submitted and 39 plans have been approved.


To support development of Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans, ACF established the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse to systematically review research on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements. The clearinghouse, developed in accordance with FFPSA, rates programs and services as “promising,” “supported,” “well-supported,” or “does not currently meet criteria.” As of December 2022, the clearinghouse has reviewed 129 programs and services, and 62 of these programs have been rated as promising, supported, or well-supported.


As of October 1, 2019, states and tribes with an approved Title IV-E Prevention Service Plans have been able to claim title IV-E for a portion of trauma-informed, evidence-based mental health services, substance use services and in-home parent skills-based programs. The Capacity Building Center for the States offers an infographic of the evidence-based programs included in the approved Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans. For more information on valuable FFPSA resources from the Center for States, visit its website. You can also read the article “Resources to Support Title IV-E Prevention Program Planning” in the Strategies and Tools for Practice section of this issue.