Family First Prevention and Services Act: Enabling Federal Child Welfare Reform Through Research and Evidence Use
Jennifer Rolls-Reutz, MPH, California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital; Dana Weiner, Ph.D., Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Rebecca Jones-Gaston, MSW, Social Services Agency, Maryland Department of Human Services
Discussant: Jay Mancini, Ph.D., University of Georgia; Chair: Krista Thomas, Ph.D., Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
- Family Policy
About the Session
- 219-01 - Monograph for Selecting and Implementing Evidence-Based Practices in Child Welfare
By Jennifer Rolls-Reutz, MPH, California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital
- 219-02 - Predictive Analytics Brief
By Dana Weiner, Ph.D., Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
- 219-03 - (Title TBA)
By Rebecca Jones-Gaston, MSW, Social Services Agency, Maryland Department of Human Services
The Family First Prevention and Services Act (FFPSA), enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892), represents the most substantive piece of child welfare reform legislation passed in recent history. The law makes important changes to federal funding mechanisms, and for the first time allows for open-ended title IV-E funds to be used for evidence-based prevention services for families where children are at risk for entering foster care. In addition, the FFPSA imposes restrictions on the extent to which states are able to claim federal reimbursement for children placed in congregate foster care settings, compelling states and local jurisdictions to expand the array of placement resources with the capacity to serve children in less restrictive settings. This legislation has significant implications for advancing the use of evidence-based practice in child welfare and raises opportunities for states to leverage their existing data sources to improve agency decision-making and service delivery for vulnerable children and families.
(1) To raise audience awareness about the significance of the passage of the Family First Prevention and Services Act (FFPSA) in 2018 and its implications for advancing evidence-based practice in child welfare. (2) To provide an overview of the strengths and limitations of the child welfare evidence base, including what we know and how we know it, and where additional research is most needed. (3) To share strategies for meaningful and responsible use of administrative data in the context of FFPSA, including opportunities and challenges with regards to using predictive analytics in child welfare.
In this symposium, panelists at the intersection of research, policy, and practice share their research and perspectives related to the opportunities and challenges inherent to the successful implementation of FFPSA. They speak to the strengths and limitations within the child welfare evidence base, strategies for selecting and implementing evidence-based practices, and effectively using administrative data to understand target populations. The presenters underscore how scholars and public/private practitioners can collaborate to optimize the impact of policy changes and where additional research is needed to grow the child welfare evidence base and promote child and family well-being.