October 15, 2019 Practice Points

A Guide to Help Keep Families Together

As you work to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, this tool can help you navigate the new law.

By Cathy Krebs

The Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) was signed into law on February 9, 2018, and states are beginning to implement this new law, which aims to shift the focus of the child welfare system towards prevention and keeping families together. As with so many federal laws, this is a big law with a lot of requirements which can be challenging to understand. Thankfully, the Children’s Defense Fund—along with their partners ChildFocus, American Academy of Pediatrics, Generations United, FosterClub, Juvenile Law Center, and National Indian Child Welfare Association—have put together a very detailed technical guide that fully outlines the law. The guide is presented in a question and answer style, focused on many of the questions that have arisen regarding the provisions within Family First. The guide is informed by statutory language and also congressional intent and agency guidance, and will continue to be updated as states begin to implement the law and as additional information and guidance is released. The guide can be found here

Cathy Krebs is the director of the Children's Rights Litigation Committee.

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