From the Chronicle of Child Welfare —
The Family First Prevention Services Act, which was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018, offers an historic opportunity for child welfare leaders to re-imagine a child welfare system for the 21st century. By placing an emphasis on prevention, early intervention and evidence-based practices for children and families, this groundbreaking legislation is requiring child welfare providers to rethink the policies, practices and systems of yesterday and reshape service provision to address child and family needs and do so using trauma-informed approaches. One of the areas that will be most impacted by the bill is residential care. In today’s child welfare system, there are an estimated 57,000 children living in residential care. Residential services are provided by public, private nonprofit and for-profit child welfare agencies and may be campus-based, community-based, self-contained or secure facilities. In these settings, children youth, and their families are offered a variety of services, such as therapy, counseling, education, recreation, health, nutrition, daily living skills, pre-independent living skills, reunification services, aftercare and advocacy.