The Montana Minute is the Center's monthly newsletter, providing current information on issues affecting the health and well-being of Montana's children and families.
Issue 23, November 2019
The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 is a game changer in the world of child protective services. The goal is to keep children safely within families and out of foster care. To reach that goal, the act will restructure many aspects of existing child welfare systems – including major changes to federal funding. The act allows states to use federal funds to pay for prevention services to keep children safely with their families. It also creates new standards for group home providers, requiring them to ensure that children receive appropriate treatment and stay connected to their families.
By law, states must adopt Family First practices no later than October of 2021. Montana, like most states, chose to delay implementation until that date. Getting to implementation will require input from many stakeholders. Foster youth, foster families, child welfare providers, tribal governments, lawmakers, state officials, and community partners will all weigh in on the many changes Family First will bring to state systems to care for the most vulnerable children and young people in our state.