Watch: Funding Evidence-Based Programs in Child Welfare With the Family First Act

Posted June 29, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Young people who would benefit from the passage of Families First Act

A webinar sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation — now available via recording — provides an overview of available funding streams for implementing and sustaining evidence-based programs in child welfare, with a special emphasis on the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.

Watch the webinar

Funding Evidence-Based Programs in Child Welfare: Implications of the Family First Prevention Services Act is the second installment in the four-part webinar series Leading With Evidence: Informing Practice With Research. The hourlong presentation, recorded on June 21, 2018, begins with an explanation of the Family First Act, recent federal legislation that could have an enormous impact on the prevalence of foster care prevention and family preservation services. The law expands coverage to support interventions much earlier in the child welfare process and prioritizes evidence-based programs.

“Previously, foster care funding was nine to 10 times greater than those for prevention and family preservation services combined,” says presenter Margaret Flynn-Khan, a partner at Mainspring Consulting. “Family First does many things that aim to shift the balance of funding and incentives toward keeping children and youth with their families or — if they can’t stay safely with their families — in a family-based placement.”

Panelists look at the current funding landscape for evidence-based child welfare services, highlighting a Casey Foundation brief featuring eight strategies child welfare systems have used to fund implementation of evidence-based programs. The webinar also presents a case study from North Carolina’s nearly 15-year path to program sustainability — including how the state has allocated increasing resources over time to helping families stay together.

Moderator Suzanne Barnard, director of Casey’s Evidence-Based Practice Group, was joined by the following experts in the child welfare field:

  • Margaret Flynn-Kahn
    Partner at Mainspring Consulting, an organization that works nationally with foundations, government agencies and nonprofits to design effective investments for families and children and think through how to finance and sustain services
  • Kristin O’Connor
    Section chief of policy and programs in the child welfare services section of the North Carolina Division of Social Services, one of the state leaders featured in the Foundation brief

Leading With Evidence Webinar Series

The Leading With Evidence webinar series focuses on implementing evidence-based practices in child welfare. The series stems from Leading With Evidence conferences in 2016 and 2017 that brought together child welfare leaders, researchers and program developers to study and advance the use of research and evidence in the child welfare field.

Related reading:
A Family First Q & A: Apply for Federal Kinship Funds by July 20