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Key Takeaways

Survey Results

NCSL surveyed 53 members from November 2020 to March 2021 to better understand the national landscape around Family First. Thirty-four legislators completed the survey—18 Democrats and 16 Republicans—and most reported a high degree of familiarity with Family First and a medium to high degree of involvement with its implementation in their state.

Legislators’ Roles

State legislators play a vital role in implementing Family First by appropriating funds, convening work groups and task forces, aligning state statutes with federal requirements, instituting policies that reduce the need for congregate care and developing appropriate congregate care infrastructure.

Summary of Actions Legislators Can Take:

  1. Authorize implementation of Family First in your state.
  2. Appropriate state funds and take advantage of federal funding options.
  3. Convene task forces and work groups, with or without legislation.
  4. Require state agencies to collect data on your state’s capacity to provide family-based placements.
  5. Promote kinship care through kinship navigator programs.
  6. Improve recruiting and retention of foster families.
  7. Prioritize use of prevention services and programs.
    • In-home parenting programs.
    • Mental health services.
    • Substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
  8. Require assessments and court oversight of congregate care placements.
  9. Require state agencies to develop rules for the operation of QRTPs.
  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.

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