Lincoln – Nebraska is leading the nation as one of only 13 states committed to full implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) October 1 , 2019. The landmark legislation allows states to provide additional services to keep children safely with their families and out of foster care.
FFPSA reforms the federal child welfare financing stream to provide prevention services to families who are at risk of entering the foster care system. Nebraska has developed a five-year prevention plan to utilize FFPSA to improve prevention services and to remove fewer youth from the parental home while providing more comprehensive, evidence-based services to children and their families.
“Family First provides additional resources to promote innovation and flexibility to engage the entire community in prevention efforts,” said Dannette R. Smith, DHHS Chief Executive Officer. “Enhancing our preventative services and practice models offers exciting possibilities for us to be responsive to the specific needs of children, teens and families.”
Under FFPSA, states can capture additional federal funding for programs that provide services such as in-home skills based training for parents, mental health care, including family therapy, and substance abuse and treatment programs.
DHHS officials have scheduled town hall meetings to talk about the impact FFPSA will have on child welfare in Nebraska and to answer questions from families, stakeholders and the general public about Nebraska’s implementation plan:
|September 16||Scottsbluff/Gering||ESU 13, 4215 Avenue I .||2 – 4 pm||6 – 8 pm|
|September 17||North Platte||Mid Plains CC, North Campus Room 209, 1101 Halligan Dr.||2 – 4 pm||6 – 8 pm.|
|September 18||Grand Island||Grand Island Public Library, Conf. Room B 1124 W. 2nd St.||2 – 4 pm||5:45 – 7:45 pm|
|September 19||Norfolk||Norfolk Library, 308 W. Prospect Ave.||2 – 4 pm||5:45 – 7:45 pm|
Additional town hall sessions are being planned in Omaha and Lincoln.
“DHHS has reduced the number of children in out-of-home care in Nebraska by nearly 20% in the last two years,” said Smith. “FFPSA will enable us to continue our focus on prevention and on keeping families together when it’s safe to do so. The overarching principals of FFPSA align well with the DHHS mission of helping people live better lives.”
You can learn more about FFPSA on the DHHS website.