Supporting Kinship Caregivers Through the Family First Prevention Services Act

Posted January 7, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Child on adult's shoulders surrounded by family members

Stud­ies show that young peo­ple do best in fam­i­lies, and that healthy rela­tion­ships are key to their devel­op­ment and long-term sta­bil­i­ty. Toward that end, the Fam­i­ly First Pre­ven­tion Ser­vices Act, passed in Feb­ru­ary 2018, intro­duced path­ways to ensure that young peo­ple involved with the child wel­fare sys­tem are able to grow up in safe, sta­ble and secure fam­i­lies — includ­ing kin place­ments — that sup­port their long-term well-being.

The Fam­i­ly First Act empha­sizes great­ly reduc­ing group care and bet­ter sup­port­ing young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies. It aims to:

  • help fam­i­lies whose chil­dren or teens are at risk of removal stay togeth­er when­ev­er safe­ly possible;
  • ensure that young peo­ple in fos­ter care live with fam­i­ly, not in group place­ments; and
  • improve access to high-qual­i­ty res­i­den­tial treatment.

The Fam­i­ly First Act allows child wel­fare sys­tems to use Title IV‑E funds on pre­ven­tion ser­vices for can­di­dates of fos­ter care,” a change expect­ed to allow more young peo­ple to stay with their par­ents or relatives.

As such, child wel­fare lead­ers are increas­ing­ly turn­ing to rel­a­tives — known as kin care­givers in the sys­tem — to help improve out­comes for chil­dren and youth in care. Cur­rent­ly, 2.7 mil­lion young peo­ple in fos­ter care are being raised by rel­a­tives. The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing kin­ship care­givers by pro­vid­ing a range of resources to help them bet­ter respond to the needs of kids.

Webi­na­rs for Child Wel­fare Sys­tems and Kin­ship Caregivers

Kin­ship Care: What Child Wel­fare Pro­fes­sion­als and Kin Care­givers Need to Know high­lights two Casey-spon­sored video train­ings. Host­ed by ther­a­pist and kin­ship expert Joseph Crum­b­ley, the webi­nar pro­vides back­ground infor­ma­tion on trends in kin­ship care, explains why rel­a­tives are the pre­ferred place­ment for kids who must be removed from their homes and describes the dif­fer­ences in care­giv­ing between non-rel­a­tive and kin fos­ter placements.

Train­ing Videos on Sup­port­ing Kin­ship Caregivers

Infor­ma­tion for Child Wel­fare Lead­ers on Improv­ing Rel­a­tive Care

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