Public Policy Updates
Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Update: OVERVIEW
According to the letter to State Child Welfare Directors in early January of this year, the goal has been, and remains, to review and rate as many services and programs as quickly as possible through the Clearinghouse to support states’ efforts to improve outcomes for children and families through implementation of FFPSA.
The revised initial criteria and selection of the first few services and programs for review was developed with a multitude of recommendations, comments and consultations with key stakeholders in the field. The Clearinghouse will continue to identify and prioritize additional services and programs for review on a rolling basis. They fully expect to add to the body of title IV-E reimbursable services as expeditiously as possible.
The Clearinghouse will provide additional information, a more detailed description of the revised initial criteria, procedures for systematic review and re-review, and definitions of key terminology in the forthcoming Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures, which we expect to be issued early April 2019.
For the full timeline, key differences between the statutory requirements of FFPSA and the standards and procedures used by other clearinghouses and other implementation details – click here.
Model Licensing Standards for Foster Care Released: click here
JJDPA Reauthorization Webinar: click here
Public Policy Committee Meeting Summary: FFPSA and Juvenile Justice
Reviewed new information released by the federal government’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF) meant to help better understand and implement the prevention program requirements of the 2018 Family First Prevention Service Act (FFPSA). The Family First Prevention Service Act expands the use of federal Title IV-E child welfare dollars (funds that used to only be available once a child was placed in foster care) for evidence-based services to prevent foster care placement. The FFPSA created a new category of residential intervention, Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP), that includes residential as an eligible specified setting for out-of-home placement of youth in hopes of preventing foster care placement. The ACF outlines the details about the prevention requirements of the FFPSA in a Program Instruction document released late 2018. This program instruction covers categories such as prevention program eligibility criteria, states’ oversight requirements to ensure child safety and monitor quality, and important financial updates.
The Policy Committee was also excited to note the passing of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Reauthorization. The JJDPA was first passed in 1974, and although it has been updated since, it had not been reauthorized since 2002. The JJDPA helped to create standards and expectations for youth involved in the local and state-based juvenile justice systems across the country. The Act also focuses on delinquency prevention for youth. The newly reauthorized bill includes updates and improvements that are based on research and seek to address modern-day situations that were not addressed in older versions of the act. For example, delinquency prevention must be evidenced-based, and trauma informed and include proper screening and assessment activities for youth involved. The use of isolation and restraint is strongly discouraged, and a push to eliminate their unreasonable use is a highlight of the act. Also, creation or improvement of programs that are sensitive to the needs of girls at-risk or already involved with the juvenile justice system is encouraged. Such programs will need to provide mental health, substance abuse and other services as needed to address youth who have been trafficked and forced to engage in commercialized sex activities (also known as CSEC- commercial sexual exploitation of children).
The Committee shared enthusiasm for the reauthorization as many of the youth we serve are at-risk or involved in the juvenile justice system. Further, this reauthorization provided a great example of the benefits of policy efforts informed by research activity.
Click here to view our live update from March
Information & Guidance from HHS
ACF Information Memo - A summary of the law created by ACF - Click here
ACF request for comment on the prevention clearinghouse that people are currently responding to (with the deadline of July 22nd) - click here