On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) as part of the continuing resolution. This bill will restructure how the federal government spends funds on foster care. FFPSA aims to keep children with their families by promoting evidence-based preventive services and home-based care. Highlights include increasing services to address mental health and substance abuse issues for parents, providing in-home parent-skill-based services, deterring the use of group homes, and offering additional support for relative caregivers. Our current system lacks programs and resources that allow for caseworkers to work with parents and help prevent the breaking up of their families—this bill will allow for more support services to be available to keep families intact, which ultimately leads to better overall outcomes for the children. While the law has passed, there still needs to be guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services and state implementation guidance.
Click here to read the full bill.
Click here for a detailed summary courtesy of the Children’s Defense Fund.