In this course, you can expect to learn:
A broader understanding of prevention services as they relate to The Family First Prevention Services Act
How prevention services and more comprehensive reunification services provide a higher probability of keeping families intact
The important supporting role mental health services play in keeping families safe, stable, and permanent
Preventing Unnecessary Removal of Children From Their Families - Watch this webinar on prevention hosted by The National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council (NFCYAPC). Hear first-hand from young people who experienced foster care, and learn ways to improve child welfare practice and policy. This webinar includes recommendations on implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, as well as moving our Child Welfare System into the 21st Century. View the statement and detailed recommendations in PDF format here.
*The National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council convenes to provide federal stakeholders with relevant and timely information regarding policies and procedures that impact children and families throughout the country. The Council represents a collective viewpoint of youth and alumni who have personal/lived experience in the foster care system. The Council advises by:
Using their experiences in foster care to identify and inform priorities, and offer ideas to improve child welfare policy
Educating policymakers and other stakeholders about their varied experiences in foster care
Analyzing effectiveness of programs and policies based on the experiences of youth in foster care
The Family First Act and Mental Health Services - The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 now provides states, tribes, and territories with the option to use federal child welfare funds for prevention activities, including mental health services. These services can be provided to children at imminent risk of placement into foster care, pregnant or parenting youth in foster care, and parents and/or relative caregivers of children at imminent risk. As mental health services are being implemented across the country, it is critical for leaders to consider the perspectives of individuals who have first-hand experience with the child welfare system. Read the following perspective papers from Family Voices United and see how people with lived experience in the child welfare system responded to the following questions:
- “Would mental health services have helped your family stay together, or shortened time in the child welfare system?” - paper here (2019)
- “Sometimes a parent's mental or behavioral health (including addiction) leads to a child entering foster care. What specific type of supportive services could be provided to families to better help them remain together?”-- paper here (2021)
*(Optional) The Family Voices United (FVU) campaign brings together the voices of young people, birth parents, and relative caregivers with lived experience in the child welfare system to drive change in foster care. Learn more about FVU here.
The Need for Prevention Services - Read Isaiah’s (who experienced foster care in Idaho) firsthand account of how prevention services could have prevented the breakup of his family, and his entry into foster care (PDF).
Mental Health Supports - Listen to this podcast as Family Voices United members share their experiences on how mental health support can make a difference for families. Learn how constituents are taking action, getting involved, and building the movement!
Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:
Should children at imminent risk of placement into foster care be allowed to stay with birth families/parent(s) while the parent(s) receive prevention services (e.g. mental health and substance use support/treatment)?