Addressing the Complex Needs of
 Children & Families

From the University of Montana's Center for
Children, Families, and Workforce Development
Issue 14, February 2019
Family First Prevention Services
Act: What You Need to Know
The Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in 2018, prioritizes keeping families together by putting money toward services for families who are at risk of entering the child welfare system. By funding services such as substance abuse treatment, in-home parenting training, and mental health services, the FFPSA hopes to prevent children from entering the foster care system. It also seeks to improve the well-being of children currently in foster care that are served in congregate care settings by elevating standards of care for delivery of those services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families recently released guidance for states and tribes regarding foster care prevention and family services programs, including a list of prevention programs the department will prioritize for review. There are currently 13 programs under consideration and the results will be published this spring.
The services include:
  • Substance Abuse Prevention: Motivational Interviewing, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Families Facing the Future, Methadone Maintenance Therapy
  • Mental Health Services: Parent-Child Interactive Therapy, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy
  • In-Home Parenting Skills: Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), Healthy Families America, Parents as Teachers
  • Kinship Navigator Programs: New Jersey Kinship Navigator Model, KIN-Tech: Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model
The department also released additional guidance for states and tribes to receive funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act for kinship navigator programs.
Director Sheila Hogan gave updates on Montana’s implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act in a December letter from Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services , which the state of Montana anticipates will be fully operational by October 2021 or earlier.
In late 2018, DPHHS convened an interagency/cross-department project management team to oversee the execution of Family First. By integrating all aspects of the department — including Medicaid, TANF, Home and Community Services, Quality Assurance Division, and others — the department hopes to strengthen Montana’s roll-out of the new law. With support from the Montana Health Care Foundation, the Center is partnering with DPHHS and its project management team to help coordinate stakeholder involvement in the process.
The Center for Children, Families & Workforce Development continues to review other states’ operation plans and monitor federal guidance. The Center is actively seeking guidance and learning from national policy experts and others involved and dedicated in the successful roll out of the Family First Act. The Center’s website has more information on the Family First Prevention Services Act and will continue to update the site regularly regarding the implementation process in Montana.
Subscribe here to ask questions or receive Family First Act updates from the Center.

T he University of Montana's Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development was established in 2015 to partner with the child protection, health, educational, and judicial systems to develop and deliver educational and training resources to professionals and caregivers statewide. The Center also conducts research that focuses on solving problems that impact children and families. The Center receives support from the University of Montana, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, and School of Social Work. 
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Drug Impacted Babies/Children

In this episode we are joined by Marshelle Lambert, who works as a Supervisor Social Worker at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Marshelle shares some of her knowledge from over 30 years of working with children and families in Montana. Marshelle provides a professional perspective of the implications of increased drug use in rural areas and reservations leading to an increase in children born impacted by drugs.

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