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February 2023Vol. 24, No. 1Resources to Support Title IV-E Prevention Program Planning

Written by the Capacity Building Center for States

In February 2018, the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) was signed into law with the potential to radically reform child welfare. The
FFPSA incentivizes jurisdictions to reduce the use of congregate care and allows payment of federal title IV-E funds for programs and services to prevent children from entering foster care. Jurisdictions must have a 5-year title IV-E prevention program plan approved by the Children's Bureau to use these funds, which are available for mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services and for in-home parenting skill programs. Implementing the FFPSA and prevention plans will help jurisdictions improve the quality of services and supports to strengthen and keep families together, build the capacity of communities to support children and families, and ensure children and youth grow up in safe and loving families. By the fifth anniversary of the FFPSA, most states, eligible tribes, and territories have opted into the use of title IV-E funds for prevention programs and are in various stages of the planning and implementation process. Wherever jurisdictions are in this process, the Capacity Building Center for States has readily available resources to support plan implementation; build infrastructure to sustain and improve efforts; enhance community collaboration; and, for those just starting out, support plan preparation and revision.


Implement and Sustain Prevention Plans

Find resources to put plans into action and navigate both the technical and adaptive challenges of prevention planning and implementation.

  • Prevention Planning Into Action—Find resources to help you tackle common adaptive challenges and identify collaborative, data-driven, and equity-centered approaches to planning and delivering prevention services.
  • Strategic Planning in Child WelfareFind tools to help you identify opportunities to align your prevention plan with other federal and internal agency processes and support coordinated strategic and long-term planning, monitoring, and review processes.
  • Continuous Quality Improvement and ImplementationFind resources, such as learning experiences, peer networking opportunities, practical guides, and tools, to support child welfare leaders as they implement and manage change.

Engage Others in Planning

Build a more racially equitable, prevention-oriented approach to child welfare by engaging youth, families, and collaborative partners in planning.

Enhance Kinship Programming and Reduce Congregate Care

Lessen the trauma that results when children are placed in out-of-home care by supporting kin caregivers and reserving customized congregate care for children and youth with complex clinical or behavioral needs.

Learn From People With Experience

Find out what works and which pitfalls to avoid by listening to other people’s experiences.  

Start Here if You're Just Beginning to Plan

Get everyone on the same page with resources to help you build common understanding among collaborative partners about prevention services and change management.

  • Change and Implementation Prevention Planning Crosswalk—Read this to guide your thinking about specific considerations for applying change and implementation topics to your prevention work. Pay special attention to the following sections of the crosswalk as you think about how to get started with prevention planning: Readiness, Teaming, and Problem Exploration.
  • Working Across the Prevention Continuum to Strengthen Families—Learn about what an integrated, comprehensive, prevention-focused approach looks like along a three-tiered prevention continuum and how you can establish common understanding of the continuum among community partners, legislators, child welfare agency staff, caregivers, youth, and other partners.

Looking for more support?

Find resources to help your agency form collaborative partnerships and establish a vision for prevention on the Center for State’s Prevention-Focused Systems page. To learn more about key provisions of the FFPSA and find tips and strategies to support implementation, check out the Center for State’s FFPSA and Advancing the Children’s Bureau’s Vision: Family First Prevention Services Act pages. For technical assistance to support your agency’s response to the FFPSA, contact your state’s Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative liaison.