• February 2020
  • Vol. 21, No. 1

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Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act

The Children's Defense fund released a technical guide that aims to help child welfare agencies, policymakers, and other stakeholders with a range of strategies for implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (FFPSA). The act centers on three principles: helping families whose children are at risk of removal stay together safely, ensuring children in foster care live in the most family-like situation possible, and improving access to high-quality residential treatment opportunities.

The guide is a question-and-answer-style resource that provides information about the provisions of the law and the congressional intent behind it. It is based on a careful review of statutory language, agency guidance, and additional analysis by multiple organizations and partners involved in the support and passage of the legislation. The guide is organized into the following nine sections:

  • Keeping Children At Risk of Entering Foster Care Safely With Their Families
  • Meeting the Needs of Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders Including Opioids
  • Investing in New Supports for Relatives Caring for Children
  • Prioritizing Foster Family Care
  • Attending to the Needs of Children in Non-Family Settings
  • Meeting the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care
  • Extending and Enhancing Services to Support Permanency and a Successful Transition From Foster Care to Adulthood
  • Requirements and Opportunities for Tribal Nations Under the Family First Act
  • Additional Important Changes for Children and Families Made in Family First

FFPSA is considered the starting point for child welfare reform, and implementation of the provisions of the act can be a long process that requires coordination and collaboration among federal, state, tribal, and local governments and other stakeholders as well as consideration of the ultimate impact on the children and families involved.

To read the guide, Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act: A Technical Guide for Agencies, Policymakers and Other Stakeholders, visit https://www.childrensdefense.org/policy/policy-priorities/child-welfare/family-first/implementing-the-family-first-prevention-services-act/www.childrensdefense.org/policy/policy-priorities/child-welfare/family-first/implementing-the-family-first-prevention-services-act/.

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