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The Federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) (Public Law 115-123, Title VII) was enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018.
This is landmark legislation and the most significant child welfare law to pass in 20 years. Family First dramatically alters the federal financing structure for child welfare programming (Title IV-E) towards prevention services by allowing federal reimbursement for mental health services, substance use treatment, and in-home parenting skill training for children and youth determined to be at imminent risk of foster care and their parents and/or kin caregivers.
Family First provides an opportunity for system reorientation and DCYF is using the FFPSA implementation as an opportunity to ensure that the Department has the right services to meet the needs of families and prevent the removal of children from homes. By reorienting our child welfare systems around prevention and expanding the evidence base in child welfare we will be improving family stability and well-being.
DCYF has identified eight (8) candidacy populations for Family First prevention services because of each group’s higher risk of foster care entry or re-entry. These include families open to DCYF with children in the home, siblings in care, children and youth recently reunified, families served through the Family Care Community Partnerships, children post-adoption and post- guardianship at risk, and juvenile justice youth living in the community.
Rhode Island's goal is to design and submit our 5-year Family First Prevention Plan during the summer of 2021. Our Family First Prevention Plan is intended to be a vital part of a larger Rhode Island prevention continuum and is core to promoting our family and child well-being vision and will help pave the way to allow more children to safely be served in their homes, families, and communities.
When the plan is final, it will be posted on this Web page.