With Federal Support, PA Focuses on Keeping Kids Out of Foster Care
Thursday, September 30, 2021
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania implements a new, evidence-based prevention plan on Friday, to help kids at risk of out-of-home placement stay with family when possible.
The Family First Prevention Services Act, passed by Congress in 2018, moves funds away from foster care and group-home settings to focus instead on keeping families together. It requires states, including Pennsylvania, to submit a five-year plan, known as Title IV-E, in order to receive reimbursement for their prevention work.
Terry Clark, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services, said the approach is a way to help children grow up in their communities without being uprooted.
"It's of course looking at trying to be able to help families be stronger," Clark explained. "Strengthen those families by providing all kinds of proactive support, so that the likelihood that they're going to be abused or neglected is really reduced. And then, of course, you don't have to separate them from their family."
Some evidence-based programs selected for Title IV-E include Functional Family Therapy and the Nurse-Family Partnership. The plan also includes reimbursement for kinship navigator programs, to help relatives raising children in need to access resources as they take on guardianship.
Rachael Miller, policy director at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said Family First has seen some unintended consequences, including limiting the programs eligible for funding. She hopes the law will allow the state to include services in non-abuse categories that sometimes lead to child-welfare placement, such as poverty.
"The law does not currently allow for federal reimbursement for programs that show promising results but might not meet the rigor of evidence-based review," Miller pointed out. "So, expanding these types of services to be allowable for reimbursement would be beneficial for children and families that we're serving."
Pennsylvania's Office of Children, Youth, and Families submitted its plans to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August, and will implement them for the first time on Oct. 1.
get more stories like this via email
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …
MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …
GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …
MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…
OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …