Family First Updates And New Legislation

2/4/2020

The Title IV-E Prevention Services (Family First) Clearinghouse has released ratings on thirteen prevention programs. Click on “Find a Program or Service” to see the full list. Eight of the programs are supported or well-supported, two are promising and three do not currently meet criteria. Click on FAQ under "What's New" to see the next programs and services planned for the systematic review.

President Donald Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) in February 2018. The Family First Prevention Services Act is included in the legislation and has the potential to dramatically change child welfare systems across the country. Now states, territories, and tribes with an approved Title IV-E plan have the option to use these funds for prevention services that would allow “candidates for foster care” to stay with their parents or relatives.

The law also seeks to curtail the use of congregate or group care for children and instead places a new emphasis on family foster homes.

Since the introduction of Family First, NCSL has identified 81 bills introduced in 30 states; out of those 24 states have enacted 47 bills. For more, see NCSL's 2019 Legisbrief Family FIrst: Federal Child Welfare Law.

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Family First Prevention Services Act 2019 and 2018 Legislation

Arizona

AZ HB 2747 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the department of child safety to issue a report to the legislature on the department’s efforts to implement Family First.

Arizona

AZ SB 1548 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Requires the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to submit a report, by January 2, 2020, to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on DCS efforts to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act and outlines requirements for the report.

Arkansas

AR HB 1469 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Amends the definition of “foster home” to align with Family First. This includes adding the reasonable and prudent parenting standards to the definition and limiting a foster home to fewer than six.

California

CA AB 74 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Gives authority for the state finance department to provide increased funding to the state department of social services in the event of unanticipated costs due to Family First. (See also: CA AB 190 pending and CA SB 73 pending)

CA AB 109 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Allows the Department of Finance to increase expenditure authority to support unanticipated costs related to the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

Colorado

CO SB 254 (Enacted 2018)

Requires the state department to perform an analysis and cost projections to determine the fiscal impact of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First). Child welfare allocation formulas must support the implementation of promising, supported, or well-supported practices as required by Family First. Each county must perform an analysis of available in-home, family-like and out-of-home placements by July 1, 2019. By July 1, 2020, the department must report to the Joint Budget Committee on county utilization rates of those placements and provide an analysis of projected federal reimbursement pursuant to Family First. Creates a child welfare services task force to analyze laws and rules to ensure alignment with Family First.

CO SB 31 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Concerns the composition of the child welfare allocations committee; increases the number of members on the child welfare allocations committee who are appointed by county commissioners; decreases the number of members on the committee who are appointed by the department of human services.

CO SB 195 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Creates the Office of Children and Youth Behavioral Health Policy Coordination in the office of the Governor. Creates the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Policy Coordination Commission and the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Advisory Council in the office. Specifies the duties, powers, and composition of the commission and the council and makes an appropriation.

CO HB 1193 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: The bill amends existing programs that provide access to substance use disorder treatment to pregnant and parenting women. The bill creates child care pilot programs for parenting women engaged in substance use disorder treatment.

CO HB 1308 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: The bill authorizes the department of human services (department) to establish and implement a foster care prevention services program for families with children and youth who are candidates for foster care but who can safely remain at home with receipt of foster care prevention services. Eligible recipients of foster care prevention services include children and youth and their parents, legal custodians, legal guardians, and kin caregivers when their needs are directly related to the safety, permanent placement, or well-being of the child or youth. If a child or youth is placed in a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP), the court or the administrative review division of the department is required to review the assessment and needs of the child or youth and determine whether placement in the QRTP is appropriate. The bill requires the county department of human or social services (county department) to submit certain evidence to the court during each review and permanency hearing of a child or youth placed in a QRTP. The county department may provide foster care prevention services to a child or youth and the parents or kin caregivers of the child or youth upon the receipt of a report of intrafamilial abuse or neglect or human trafficking. The bill adds the federal Family First as a program to be administered by the department. The bill adds foster care prevention services to the definition of child welfare services.

Georgia

GA HB 30 (Enacted Chapter 3 2019)

Summary: Provides funds to assess the readiness of congregate foster care settings to become accredited qualified residential treatment programs pursuant to the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

GA HB 31 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Appropriates state funds for the state's child welfare automated information system to reflect Family First changes and appropriates state funds for a state Family First project management team to oversee implementation of Family First.

GA SB 225 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Adds a definition for “family and permanency team” to statute. Aligns Georgia standards for “qualified individuals” and “qualified residential treatment programs” with the standards in Family First. Creates procedures for placing a child in a qualified residential treatment program in line with the procedures in Family First.

Hawaii

HI HB 1005 (Pending)

Summary: Exempts the spouse and child abuse special fund from the central services assessment and administrative expense assessment. Amends the spouse and child abuse special fund to allow reimbursements received from the U.S. Department of Health and human services, administration for children and families, in the year following the fiscal year in which the Title IV-e funds were expended, to be deposited and expended for state funded share of spouse or child abuse and neglect prevention.

HI SB 1231 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: The department of human services seeks to retain Family First federal reimbursements and all Title IV-E federal reimbursements to secure a stable source of funding for child abuse and neglect prevention, intervention, and other services.

Illinois

IL HB 2154 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the state develop a plan for the development of specialized therapeutic residential treatment beds similar to a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in Family First, within 12 months of the bill’s effective date. Requires the state to submit a plan to the federal government to maximize funding available under Family First for mental health and substance use disorders treatment services.

IL HB 2572 (Pending)

Summary: As Illinois begins to plan for implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, the establishment of psychiatric residential treatment facilities, and the implementation of the N.B. Consent Decree, the Governor's Office shall establish, convene, and lead a working group that includes the Director of Healthcare and Family Services, the Secretary of Human Services, the Director of Public Health, the Director of Children and Family Services, the Director of Juvenile Justice, the State Superintendent of Education, and the appropriate agency staff who will be responsible for implementation or oversight of these services. The working group shall meet at least quarterly to foster interagency collaboration and work toward aligning these services and programs, including provider requirements to deliver these services and the outcomes they must meet, in order to (i) create one children's mental health system that is consistent with system of care principles and that spans across State agencies, rather than separate siloed systems with different requirements, rates, and administrative processes and standards; and (ii) prevent out-of-home placements where possible. (See also: IL SB 1633 pending)

IL HR 362 (Adopted 2019)

Summary: Urges the state to support the federal Family First Prevention Services Act in order to decrease the number of newly enrolled children in the foster care system by utilizing federally-reimbursable services to families at risk of entering the child welfare system.

IL SB 391 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Through a working group led by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services that includes the Department of Children and Family Services and residential treatment providers for youth and emerging adults, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, within 12 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, shall develop a plan for the development of specialized therapeutic residential treatment beds similar to a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, for youth in the Family Support Program with high-acuity mental health needs. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Department of Children and Family Services shall work together to maximize federal funding through Medicaid and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act in the development and implementation of this plan.

IL SR 403 (Adopted 2019)

Summary: Directs the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit to evaluate the Department of Children and Family Services’ compliance with its obligations to protect and affirm LGBTQ children and youth. Details provisions of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act requiring the Department of Children and Family Services to address disparities such as the overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system, to recruit and support homes affirming of a youth’s orientation or identity, and to establish a system of accountability for homes that do not provide affirming care.

IL SR 422 (Adopted 2019)

Summary: Urges the state to support the goals and provisions of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act to help decrease the number of children entered into foster care.

Iowa

IA HF 766 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Creates a workgroup tasked with determining the impact and role of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act relative to the various funding streams and services under the purview of the workgroup, and recommend statutory and administrative policies and rules to coordinate the duties of the work group with implementation and administration of the federal Act.

Kansas

KS HB 2103 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Concerns children and minors and relates to placement of a child in a qualified Residential Treatment Program. Requires the ongoing assessment of the strengths and needs of the child continues to support the determination that the needs of the child cannot be met through placement in a foster family home, that the placement in a qualified Residential Treatment Program provides the most effective and appropriate level of care for the child in the least restrictive environment, and requires placement to meet goals.

KS HB 2403 (Pending)

Summary: Establishes the joint committee on child welfare system oversight; concerning the safety and well-being of children in the child welfare system. The committee is also required to produce a report to include recommendations for implementing Family First.

Kentucky

KY HB 158 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Aligns state law for background checks for child serving agencies with Family First.

KY SB 182 (Failed 2019)

Summary: As required by the Family First Prevention Services  Act of 2018, all Level I and Level II psychiatric residential treatment facilities shall be certified by a not-for-profit.

Maine

ME L.D. 1039 (Pending)

Summary: Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants to behavioral health providers to fund costs to attract, retain and train new professional employees to provide "functional family therapy – child welfare" and "multisystemic therapy for child abuse and neglect" to children and families involved in child protective services. The department is required to seek federal funding under Family First for the grants.

ME HB 1274 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Aligns state law for background checks with FFPSA.

Maryland

MD SB 1043 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the juvenile court to conduct a hearing to review the status of a child placed in a qualified residential treatment program and make a determination within a certain period of time after the child enters the placement; requires the juvenile court to review the assessment and consider factors at a hearing; requires the juvenile court to state, in writing, the reasons for its decision to approve or disapprove the continued placement of a child in a qualified residential treatment program; etc.

MD HB 100 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: 

Provides that $100,000 of the state general fund appropriation made for the purpose of administrative expenses in the General Administration – State program may not be expended until the Department of Human Services submits a report to the budget committees on: (1) the evidence–based practices implemented under the Title IV–E Waiver that will continue after the end of the waiver; (2) the evidence–based practices implemented under the Title IV–E Waiver that will expand to additional jurisdictions; (3) any new evidence–based practices that are being implemented in fiscal 2020 or will be implemented in fiscal 2021; (4) the source(s) of funding that will be used to continue or implement the evidence–based practices, including whether the practices will be eligible for Title IV–E funds as a result of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA); and (5) any other budgetary impact for fiscal 2020 or 2021, including either the availability of additional federal fund reimbursement or additional general fund need, due to implementation of FFPSA provisions, particularly those related to the limitations on placements at residential child care institutions.

Further provides that $250,000 of this appropriation made for the purpose of administrative expenses in the General Administration – State program may not be expended until the Department of Human Services submits a report to the budget committees detailing for each month of the period October 2018 through November 2019 and separately by type of hospital, the number of youth in out –of–home placements served in hospitals; the average hospital length of stay for youth in out –of–home placements; and the number of days that these youth were in the hospital longer than was deemed medically necessary by either the hospital or a judicial finding. The report shall include information for all youth in the care of the department, regardless of whether the youth entered out –of–home care while in the hospital or prior to entering the hospital. The report shall be submitted by January 1, 2020, and the budget committees shall have 45 days to review and comment. Funds restricted pending the receipt of a report may not be transferred by budget amendment or otherwise to any other purpose and shall revert to the General Fund if the report is not submitted.

Massachusetts

MA HB 3221 (Pending)

Summary: Creates a task force for the implementation of Family First and adds several definitions from the legislation to statute.

Michigan

MI SB 139 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the department to submit a report to the senate and house appropriations subcommittees on the department budget, the senate and house fiscal agencies, and the policy offices a report on the status of the department's planned and achieved implementation of the federal family first prevention services act. The report must include, but not be limited to, an estimate of the 5- year spending plan for administrative and compliance costs, information regarding compliance with title IV-E prevention requirements, the status of statewide compliance with the qualified residential treatment program requirements, the department's conformity with federal model licensing standards, the department's plan for tracking and preventing child maltreatment deaths, and the department's plan for extending John H. Chaffee foster care independence programs up to age 23.

MI SB 466 (Enacted)

Summary: Adds the definition of Qualified Residential Treatment Programs to statute.

MI SB 468 (Enacted)

Summary: Implements Qualified Residential Treatment Programs in Michigan.

MI SB 469 (Enacted)

Summary: Creates a requirement for a court's approval or disapproval of a qualified residential treatment placement at certain hearings.

MI SB 539 (Pending)

Summary: Updates regulations surrounding a child care institution to align with Family First

Minnesota

MN HB 2414 (Pending)

Summary: Requires the commissioner to review opportunities to develop kinship navigator models for children in out-of-home placement.

MN HB 2863 (Pending)

Summary: Modifies requirements for relative notification and placement in child protection cases, directs the commissioner of human services to review kinship navigator models and provide guidance on relative searches, and appropriates money for relative support grants.

MN SB 12 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Directs the Commissioner of Human Services to examine opportunities to implement kinship navigator programs in anticipation of reimbursement under the FFPSA.

MN SB 14A (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Directs the commissioner of human services to review opportunities to implement kinship navigator models that would provide guidance and support to relative foster parents and children in out-of-home placement with relatives, in anticipation of reimbursement under the Family First Prevention Services Act.

MN SB 2750 (Pending)

Summary: Modifies requirements for relative notification and placement in child protection case, directs the commissioner of human services to review kinship navigator models and provide guidance on relative searches, and appropriates money for relative support grants.

Montana

MT HJ 48 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Creates an interim committee to study services in Montana that will be supported by Family First.

MT HB 604 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Strategic plan for developing and expanding prevention services -- report to the legislature, the department shall develop a strategic plan to apply for and utilize funding available under the Family First Prevention Services Act, Title VII of Public Law 115-123. The plan must review factors and propose strategies specific to Montana's urban and rural areas, as well as the state's Indian communities and reservations. (2) The plan must: (a) adopt definitions for integral Family First Prevention Services Act terms, including but not limited to: (i) adverse childhood experiences; (ii) prevention services; (iii) trauma; and (iv) trauma-informed care; (b) inventory existing programs to determine whether existing programs or components of existing programs would qualify for Family First Prevention Services Act funding or could be adapted to qualify for funding; (c) review research and programs from other states related to prevention services and trauma-informed care; (d) evaluate need and capacity for new prevention-focused services in Montana; and (e) draft an evidence-based, trauma-informed plan for providing prevention services in Montana to be used in applying for Family First Prevention Services Act funding in 2021. (3) The department shall involve a variety of stakeholders in the development of the strategic plan. (4) The department shall provide a copy of the strategic plan to the children, families, health, and human services interim committee and the legislative finance committee by September 15, 2020.

Nebraska

NE LB 328 (Pending)

Summary: Defines candidate for foster care, Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), prevention plan.  Provides for written notice of rights for parents and relative caregivers.  Requires the department to seek coverage under the Medicaid program for all eligible services or placement under the Family First Act, without delay. Sets details for the child’s assessment for placement in a QRTP.  Creates a family and permanency team for children placed in QRTPs. Requires yearly, detailed report to Legislature on prevention services and QRTPs, including numbers of children, age, race, length of stay, duration of services and costs. Creates a Kinship Navigator Program using a model approved by the federal Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse as specified in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

NE LR 88 (Pending)

Summary: Directs the Health and Human Services Committee to conduct an interim study to examine issues related to grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship family relationships. The study will include an examination of the creation of a kinship navigator program through the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, a review of the barriers facing grand-families and kinship-families inside and outside of the child welfare system, and the identification of resources to support kinship-families.

NE LR 177 (Pending)

Summary: Directs the Health and Human Services Committee to conduct an interim study to examine issues faced by pregnant or parenting youth in the child welfare system. The issues addressed in this study include the availability of private and public support services for pregnant or parenting youth, the impacts of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017 on the availability and execution of such services, and strategies to stop the intergenerational cycle of involvement in the child welfare system. (See Also: NE L 193)

New Hampshire

NH HB 2 (Vetoed)

Summary: Directs the Department of Administrative Services to conduct a comprehensive review of the state's personnel system, repeals provisions which directed the Commissioner of Administrative Services to eliminate appropriations to certain transfers in all agencies and departments, and establishes the unclassified position of Director of Plant and Property within the Department of Administrative Services.

NH HB 4 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: The department of health and human services shall expand home and community-based behavioral health services for children to include mobile crisis response and stabilization services and make the following improvements to the child-serving system as recommended by the Adequacy and Enhancement Assessment and in alignment with the federal Family First Prevention Services Act and EPSDT. Also adds "trauma-informed" to the definition of child welfare services.

NH SB 14 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish one or more case management entities as part of the system of care for children's mental health; requires the Department to establish a family support clearinghouse and system of care advisory committee; expands home and community based behavioral health services for children to include mobile crisis response and stabilization services; defines evidence-based practices for purposes of children's behavioral health services.

Requires the Department make other improvements to the child-serving systems as recommended by the Adequacy and Enhancement Assessment and in alignment with the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

New Mexico

NM SJM 10 (Adopted 2019)

Summary: Requests the Administrative Office of the Courts to convene the family representation task force made up of experts on children law and the New Mexico legal system, to recommend models for legal representation of children and parents in children court proceedings on abuse and neglect. (See also: NM HJM 10 adopted)

NM SB 126 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Requests that a task force be extended to study and recommend policy changes to expand the availability of resources and assistance for grandparents raising grandchildren.

North Carolina

NC HB 966 (Vetoed Pending Override)

Summary: Establishes a pilot program to create a trauma-informed health care foster model that meets the goals of Family First.

NC SB 549 (Pending)

Summary: Creates two-year child welfare and behavioral health pilot program that will provide easier access to comprehensive health services for children in foster care. The program will need to meet the standards of Family First.

North Dakota

ND SB 2069 (Adopted 2019)

Summary: Allows the director of the juvenile court to receive and examine requests for review of a child's placement at a qualified residential treatment program under the Family First Prevention Services Act.

ND SB 2124 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: To administer, allocate, and distribute any funds made available for kinship care services and payments and services in response to the federal Family First Prevention Services Act as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 [Pub. L. 115 - 123]. The human service zone director's proposed budget for the human service zone which may include expansion of scope of human services to include kinship care services and payments and services in response to the federal Family First Prevention Services Act as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 [Pub. L. 115-123].

Ohio

OH HB 408 (Pending)

Summary: Permits Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to apply for a federal grant under the Family First Preservation Services Act to assist certified children’s crisis care facilities.

Oklahoma

OK HB 2642 (Pending)

Summary: Creates an Oversight Committee on the Delivery of Child Welfare Services to review and analyze state laws, agency rules and funding related to the delivery of child welfare services and to ensure state compliance with the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

OK SB 318 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Adds definition of qualified residential treatment program and provides an effective date.

Oregon

OR HB 5026 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Appropriates $4,000,000 to support implementation of Family First by increasing in home services and evidence-based services.

OR SB 171 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Allows the Department of Human Services (DHS) to utilize qualified residential treatment programs (QRTPs); limits the placement of a child in a homeless, runaway or transitional living shelter that is not part of a QRTP; and specifies requirements DHS must satisfy prior to placing child in out-of-state residential psychiatric treatment facility.

OR SB 221 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Appropriates moneys from General Fund to the Department of Human Services for biennial expenses related to the implementation of Family First by funding certain evidence-based prevention services.

Pennsylvania

PA HR 438 (Pending)

Summary: A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to study the fiscal impact of a timely and expeditious versus a delayed implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act.

PA HR 138 (Withdrawn 2019)

Summary: A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to study the fiscal impact of a timely and expeditious versus a delayed implementation of Family First.

Texas

TX HB 2764 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Revises provisions relating to caregiver training for substitute care providers for children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

TX HB 2926 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Establishes the Family First Prevention Services Task Force to determine the state’s readiness to implement the FFPSA.

TX HB 3950 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Establishes the child welfare task force and provision of services in the child welfare system.

TX SB 355 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Requires the department to develop a strategic plan to ensure that the provision of prevention and early intervention services meets the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. The strategic plan must identify for federal approval a network of prevention and early intervention service providers to provide mental health, substance use, and in-home parenting support services for children at risk of entering foster care and for the parents and caregivers of children and pregnant or parenting youth in foster care. The plan must also identify methods to: maximize resources from the federal Family First Prevention Services Act; apply for other available federal and private funds; streamline and reduce duplication of effort in providing prevention and early intervention services; and, streamline the procedures for determining eligibility for prevention and early intervention services. The legislature must be notified of federal and private funding opportunities and identify opportunities to coordinate with independent researchers to assist community programs in evaluating and developing eligible services. (See also: TX H 4263 failed)

TX SB 781 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Seeks to ensure Texas' residential treatment centers (RTC) are ready to meet the higher standards of Family First. This bill encourages the state to support the provider community in building capacity towards federal accreditation for Qualified Residential Treatment Programs in compliance with Family First. Requires new RTC applicants to thoughtfully compile a community engagement plan.

TX SB 951 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Establishes the family first prevention services task force. (See also: TX H 2926 failed)

TX SB 1289 (Failed 2019)

Summary: Tasks the Department of Family and Protective Services with developing strategies for addressing the capacity and geographic distribution of various foster placements.

Virginia

VA HB 1700 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: $851,000 from the general fund is provided for training, consultation and technical support, and licensing costs associated with establishing evidence-based programming as identified in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Evidence-Based Programs Clearinghouse.

VA HB 2014 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Aligns the Code of Virginia with the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, defines Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), fictive kin, and family and permanency team. A permanency team is defined as a group of individuals assembled by the local department to assist with determining planning and placement options for a child, which shall include, as appropriate, all biological relatives and fictive kin of the child, as well as any professionals who have served as a resource to the child or his family, such as teachers, medical or mental health providers, and clergy members. In the case of a child who is 14 years of age or older, the family and permanency team shall also include any members of the child's case planning team that were selected by the child. (See also: VA S 1678 & VA S 1679)

Washington

WA HB 1109 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: $7,586,000 of the general fund—federal appropriation is provided solely for the department of children, youth, and families to leverage federal title IV-E funds available under the family first prevention services act for qualifying services and families. In fiscal year 2020, the department shall work with the department of social and health services to complete an evaluation of kinship navigator services that would enable establishment of well-supported, supported, or promising practice models. No later than December 1, 2019, the department shall report to the governor and appropriate legislative committees on the feasibility of claiming federal title IV-E reimbursement in fiscal year 2021 for home visiting services and kinship navigator services. The report shall include the estimated share of the current population receiving home visiting services whom the department would consider candidates for foster care for the purposes of title IV-E reimbursement under the family first prevention services act, and the estimated workload impacts for the department to identify and document the candidacy of populations receiving home visiting services.

WA HB 1900 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Defines prevention and family services and programs in alignment with the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.  Defines Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), candidate for foster care, relative, and extended family member. Specifies social study requirements to include statement of harm to child that intervention is to alleviate; a description of the services; and, a statement of why removal is recommended rather than in-home services. (See also: WA S 5826 carryover)

West Virginia

WV SCR 33 (Failed)

Summary: The Joint Committee on Government and Finance is requested to study the foster care system and its compliance with Family First Prevention Services Act; furthermore that the Joint Committee on Government and Finance enlist the assistance of other state agencies and departments as necessary in conducting the study; and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the regular session of the Legislature in 2020, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations.

Wisconsin

WI AB 56 (Enacted 2019)

Summary: Allows foster care payments to be made on behalf of a child who is placed, with a parent, in a licensed family-based residential alcohol or drug abuse treatment facility. Requires the state department of children and families to develop permanency for the child. (See also: WI S 59 pending)

Wyoming

WY HB 170 (Enacted)

Summary: Ensures that all CPS workers are trained on the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

Update: Kinship Care Navigator Programs

Kinship navigator programs connect grandparents and other relatives raising children to benefits and supports they or the children need by providing information, referrals and follow-up services. As of Oct. 1, 2018, agencies are eligible to claim 50% Federal Financial Participation (FFP) for allowable kinship navigator program costs.

Program instructions released in November 2018, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) clarified that Title IV-E agencies should define kinship caregiver for the purposes of their program and determine the populations to be served. According to HHS, children need not be candidates for foster care, nor must all counties, geographic locations, state or tribal service areas be served.

Title IV-E agencies must submit an attachment to their Title IV-E plan that specifies the evidence-based kinship navigator model it has chosen to implement and the date on which the program will begin. Additionally, agencies must provide a brief narrative describing:

  • The target population and service area for the program.
  • How the Title IV-E agency plans to implement the kinship navigator program (e.g., directly or through contracted service providers).
  • How the program is coordinated with other state or local agencies that promote service coordination or provide information and referral services.
  • How the development and operation of the program has been and will be informed by consultation with kinship caregivers and organizations representing them, youth raised by kinship caregivers, relevant government agencies, and relevant community-based or faith-based organizations.

To learn more about federal requirements for Family First, review the Nov. 30, 2018 Program Instruction.

Update: Model Licensing Standards

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards for meeting the unique geographical, cultural, community, legal and other needs of states and tribes. According to the new standards, Title IV-E agencies may waive non-safety licensing standards for relative foster family homes. By March 31, 2019, Title IV-E agencies were to have submitted a Title IV-E plan amendment providing specific information about:

Whether the agency waives non-safety licensing standards for relative foster family homes, and if so, how caseworkers are trained to use the waiver authority and whether the agency has developed a process or provided tools to assist caseworkers in waiving these non-safety standards to quickly place children with relatives.

  • Whether the agency foster family home licensing standards are consistent with the final model licensing standards identified by HHS and if not, the reason for the deviation.

Read the National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards. 

Update: Prevention Services

The federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has contracted with Abt Associates to determine which prevention services and programs will be designated as evidence-based under FFPSA and to create a Title IV-E prevention-services clearinghouse. To be eligible for reimbursement, services must be described in state prevention plans, components of the service must be outlined in a manual, and the service must show a clear benefit. In addition, services must meet one of the following thresholds:

  1. Promising Practice: A service or program will be rated as a promising practice if the service or program has, according to at least one study, earned a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution and demonstrates a favorable effect on at least one target outcome.
  2. Supported Practice: A service or program will be rated as a supported practice if the service or program has, according to at least one study carried out in a usual care or practice setting, earned a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution and demonstrates a sustained favorable effect of at least six months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.
  3. Well-Supported Practice: A service or program will be rated as a well-supported practice if the service or program, according to at least two studies with non-overlapping analytic samples carried out in a usual care or practice setting, earned a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution. At least one of the studies must demonstrate a sustained favorable effect of at least 12 months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.
  4. Does Not Currently Meet Criteria: A service or program will be rated as ‘does not currently meet criteria’ if the service or program has been reviewed and does not currently meet the evidence criteria for promising, supported, or well-supported practices.

 

The first services and programs selected for review by Abt Associates are listed below. Eligibility will be determined by spring 2019.

Mental Health
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
  • Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Multisystemic Therapy Functional Family Therapy
Substance Abuse
  • Motivational Interviewing Multisystemic Therapy
  • Families Facing the Future
  • Methadone Maintenance Therapy
In-Home Parent Skill-Based Programs
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Healthy Families America
  • Parents as Teachers
Kinship Navigator Programs
  • Children’s Home Society of New Jersey Kinship Navigator Model
  • Children’s Home Inc. Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model (KIN-Tech)