Youth View Family First Act as an Opportunity to Strengthen Families [Youth Today]
Thursday, August 25, 2016
The Family First Act is a hot topic within the foster care community and has caught the attention of advocates nationwide.
Under the bill, federal funding for child welfare (known as Title IV) will be allowed to be used for prevention services such as family counseling, rehab for parents struggling with addiction, etc., to reduce instances of taking children into state custody. This bill will also “right-size group homes” by limited federal funding for congregate care if the group home cannot provide valid reasoning for children staying in their custody after a certain period of time.
This will push states to put more efforts into foster parent recruitment and keep young people in foster care in a family setting instead of in locked down facilities.
Earlier this month, FosterClub, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for foster youth, lead a discussion-based meeting on Family First with Fritz Graham, field representative for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jenny Wood, the chief deputy of the Administration of Children, Youth & Families. Many of FosterClub’s All Star interns (who have each experienced foster care) provided feedback on the bill through personal stories and experiences.