While lawmakers and advocates were busy pushing for advances to child welfare in Virginia during the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., quietly passed the greatest changes to child welfare policy since 1980. The Family First Prevention Services Act reforms Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, the federal child welfare financing streams that provide services to families at risk of entering the child welfare system. The bill aims to prevent children from entering foster care by allowing federal reimbursement for mental health services, substance use treatment, and in-home parenting skill training before children are removed from their home. It also seeks to improve the well-being of children already in foster care by providing incentives to states to reduce placement of children in congregate care.
This act specifies evidence-based requirements that entail meeting “promising,” “supported,” or “well-supported” criteria that are similar to the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare requirements.
A full listing of changes can be found by clicking here.
Virginia is getting organized to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act through the Three Branch Institute. The institute is designed to bring the three branches of government together to develop an action plan to address the most pressing child welfare issues. Voices is excited to serve on this committee that will work to implement the Family First Act. We will provide updates on this work over the next several months!
It is going to take action by our state legislature to make all of these opportunities a reality. Voices intends to advocate for Virginia to implement the full list of opportunities presented in the Family First Act.
The Voices policy team will host a Family First Prevention Services Act 101 webinar at 10 a.m., July 12. Please sign up online here.
If you cannot participate in the live webinar, we will record it and post it online afterwards.
To participate in the webinar:
By Phone: (855) 212-0212, access code: 534-607-162
By Computer: https://join.startmeeting.com/emily536
If you have any issues with registering, please email Allison Gilbreath directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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