NACC strongly supports immediate passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
In June 2016, H.R. 5456 unanimously passed in the House of Representatives, signaling the first step in child welfare financing reform to support the provision of services to keep families together and children out of foster care. NACC urges the Senate to vote on and pass S. 3065 prior to September 30, 2016. The bipartisan legislation, Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016, is crucial to ensuring that an increased number of families receive services to allow children to safely remain at home with their families and out of the foster care system. For children who are unable to remain safely at home or who are already in foster care, this legislation increases the likelihood that they will be placed in family-like settings by financially incentivizing states to reduce group care placements.
The legislation is also crucial to continuing the Court Improvement Program (CIP) and its ability to continue to support the court system in ensuring children’s health, safety, well-being, and permanency. CIP is an invaluable resource in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and the loss of a significant portion of CIP funding would be devastating to the child welfare field.
Founded in 1977, the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit child advocacy and professional membership association dedicated to enhancing the well being of America’s children. The NACC works to strengthen legal advocacy for children and families by promoting well resourced, high quality legal advocacy; implementing best practices; advancing systemic improvement in child-serving agencies, institutions and court systems; and promoting a safe and nurturing childhood through legal and policy advocacy. NACC programs that serve these goals include training and technical assistance, the national children’s law resource center, the attorney specialty certification program, policy advocacy, and the amicus curiae program. NACC often partners with state CIP programs, as they are essential to NACC’s efforts to raise the standard of legal representation for children, youth, and families.
Brooke N Silverthorn, JD, CWLS
Staff Attorney, National Association of Counsel for Children