On February 9th, 2018, the Family First Prevention Services Act was officially passed by Congress and signed into law. The passage of this act will enormously change the lives of those currently in or at risk of entering the foster care system, as well as improve the services that are already in place.
Under this law, federal funding previously reserved for foster care can now be used for evidence-based prevention services, and financial levers will further incentivize states to reduce the use of institutions (congregate care facilities) and instead place kids with families.
With the growing national opioid crisis and more children entering the foster care system each year, improvement of the child welfare system has been needed more than ever. The Family First Prevention Services Act represents the most significant national effort at system reform in years, and will hopefully encourage further federal government involvement in the child welfare system in the future. We are excited about the implications of this law and believe it may also increase the demand for Foster America fellows nationwide.