Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Implementing Family First

The Family First Prevention Services Act became law in February 2018 (Pub. L. 115-123, enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018). Family First is a landmark child welfare law that establishes significant changes in how the child welfare system is funded and operates. The Family First Act’s overarching goal is to ensure children live with family—their birth families, kin caregivers, or foster families. To achieve that goal, the Act includes many provisions related to prevention services, foster care placement, and transitions from foster care. Each provision presents implications for children’s and parents’ legal rights, with corresponding implications for child welfare professionals who work with them. This tool helps child welfare professionals, both within and outside the legal community, understand, value, and address legal implications of the Act to further the legislation’s goal of ensuring children live in families.


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