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Family First Prevention Services Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Public Law (P.L.) 115-123 on February 9, 2018. FFPSA supports the use of evidence-based practices to promote the well-being of children, youth, and families and to prevent unnecessary foster care placements. FFPSA revised many sections of Title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act, including federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance.

The Family First Transition Act, signed into law on December 20, 2019, provides support for states and jurisdictions as their child welfare systems develop prevention-focused infrastructure important for FFPSA implementation.

For detailed information and guidance on FFPSA implementation and on the Family First Transition Act, see the following Federal Guidance Program Instructions and Information Memoranda. For questions, contact the Children’s Bureau Regional Office specific to your state.

FFPSA addresses a wide range of issues, including the development of national model licensing standards for foster family homes, expansion of services for youth aging out of the child welfare system, and funding for evidence-based kinship navigator programs. FFPSA presents a unique opportunity to support children and families experiencing substance use disorders. FFPSA authorized new optional Title IV-E funding for time-limited (one year) prevention services for mental health/substance abuse and in-home parent skill-based programs for: (1) a child who is a candidate for foster care, (2) pregnant/parenting foster youth, and (3) the parents/kin caregivers of those children and youth. The creation of the Title IV-E prevention program is an unprecedented step in recognizing the importance of working with children and families to prevent the need for foster care placement and the trauma of unnecessary parent-child separation. FFPSA presents a unique opportunity to support children and families experiencing substance use disorders.

  • Highlighted Resource

    • Planning Title IV-E Prevention Services: A Toolkit for States

      U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, March 2020

      This toolkit aims to help states develop a plan for Title IV-E prevention services and implement a comprehensive array of services to prevent foster care placement by combining Title IV-E prevention services reimbursement with Medicaid and other funding mechanisms. The toolkit includes five sections: (1) Identifying and engaging partners; (2) Assessing population, service needs, and service coverage; (3) Determining priorities, goals, and actions; (4) Understanding roles of funding and decision points; and (5) Developing a plan for Title IV-E prevention services.

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Contact Us

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare offers free technical assistance to a various of systems on making policy and practice changes to improve outcomes for families affected by substance use disorders and involvement with child welfare services. To learn more about technical assistance services or if you have a question please email NCSACW at ncsacw@cffutures.org or call toll-free at 1–866–493–2758.

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