The Family First Prevention Services Act was signed into law by the President on February 9, 2018. The Family First Act is the most significant federal child welfare legislation in decades and Georgia’s implementation of it will bring a series of far-reaching changes for children, families and providers.
Provisions of the Family First Act impact a broad range of existing child welfare programs, including Title IV-E and IV-B funding and eligibility requirements; the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children; and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.
Most notable are the changes to Title IV-E funding. Those changes allow states, for the first time, to seek reimbursement for services to prevent removal to foster care and limit reimbursement for foster care maintenance payments for children placed in congregate care settings.
As Georgia implements the Family First Act, our goals are to:
- Safely prevent removals to foster care through targeted, effective, community-based prevention services;
- Support a model of extended family preservation that allows children to remain in their communities;
- Ensure children are appropriately placed in settings that meet individual needs and preserve family and community connections; and
- Leverage and invest in communities to provide adequate and effective service capacity statewide.