Volume XIV, Issue V - August 2020


Danielle L. Kirby, Director

Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

Family First Prevention Services Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), signed into law on February 9, 2018, provides a historic opportunity for child welfare agencies and their partners to improve the lives of children and families touched by the child welfare system. By expanding critical federal resources, Family First takes bold steps to keep families together, prevent unnecessary foster care removals and ensure that children grow up in safe and loving families. The law also offers important tools to help States and Tribes improve the quality of services and supports, including new requirements for placement assessments, evidence-based programs, residential treatment and common-sense licensing.

Family First's framework is built around three fundamental principles:

  1. Help families whose children are at risk of removal stay together safely.
  2. Ensure that children in foster care can live with a family.
  3. Improve access to high quality residential treatment.

Family First also recognizes the needs of other populations in the child welfare system who face additional barriers to success. These include families impacted by substance use disorders, older youth who are making the transition to adulthood without a permanent family, pregnant and parenting youth and relatives and other family members who step in to care for children when their parents cannot.

(Source: Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act: A Technical Guide for Agencies, Policymakers and Other Stakeholders)

How is Illinois planning for Family First?

Specific information regarding how Illinois is planning for Family First can be found at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Family First webpage: https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/Pages/FFPSA.aspx

A virtual Family First Townhall was held on July 23, 2020. The presentation slides can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/Documents/FFPSA_Virtual_Town_Hall_All_Presentations_072320.pdf

Read the Family First Newsletter: Issue 1, October 2019 - https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/Documents/Family_First_Newsletter_Issue_1_0919.pdf