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Family First Act & Related Tools
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Family First Act Website

FamilyFirstAct.org is a new website created to provide information, resources and advocacy tools on the Family First Prevention Services Act.

 

You can access summaries of the law, the text of the legislation, stories from constituents with lived experience on why it matters, webinars from national partners, data and research, strategies for implementation and constituent engagement and updates from Congress, HHS and the Children’s Bureau.

 

You can sign up to receive updates about what’s new in the implementation of the law, utilize communications tools, and download images to share among your networks.  FamilyFirstAct.org is a collaborative project with several national organizations, including NACC! 


Family First Transition Act Enacted

On December, 2019, Congress passed the Family First Transition Act (H.R. 4980/S.2777) as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020.  This legislation is responsive to several key concerns about the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) shared by child welfare agencies and advocates.  The Act provides $500 million in flexible, one-time grants for states and tribes to assist jurisdictions as they prepare for and implement FFPSA.  It also provides additional funding guarantees to states and tribes that previously participated in the Title IV-E waiver program. Finally, the Act delays provisions requiring a state to utilize 50% “well-supported” services in its prevention service array.

 

The Family First Transition Act also renames the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program in memory of MaryLee Allen, a child welfare expert and national leader at Children’s Defense Fund who passed away in 2019.  NACC joined a letter in support of the Family First Transition Act. 

 


Family First Act Webinars

 

New Legal Resources for Incorporating the Family First Act into Your Practice in 2020

Presented January 14, 2020

In Fall 2019, more provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act became effective in states across the country. This webinar will highlight two new resources: a Family First Legal Guide and a Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Family First Implementation. The Legal Guide is written for attorneys, judges, magistrates, and court personnel, and provides an overview about how the Family First Act changes federal child welfare law, identifies opportunities to use the Act in legal advocacy and judicial decision-making, and offers guidance on supporting effective  implementation in local communities. The Tool for Engaging the Legal Community can facilitate dialogue between child welfare agency implementation teams and the legal community to address potential unintended consequences and maximize positive impact for children and families. Learn more about these tools and ways to access opportunities available under the Family First Act.

 

Webinar Presenters

Prudence Beidler Carr, ABA Center on Children and the Law

Cristina Ritchie Cooper, ABA Center on Children and the Law

Moderated by Allison Green, NACC Legal Director

 

View this recorded webinar here.

 

Additional Resources:

Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Family First Implementation

Leveraging the Family First Prevention Services Act to Improve the Title IV-E Gap

Legal Professional Roles Implementing Family First

Family First and Legal Representation

 

Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado.  CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state.  Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online learning requirements.  All the documents needed to support your CLE application are posted here: 

Thanks to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for funding this webinar!

 


A Courtroom Advocate’s Guide to the Family First Galaxy

Allison Green, JD, CWLS, Legal Director, National Association of Counsel for Children

Stefanie Sprow, JD, Deputy Director of Child Welfare & Mental Health, Children's Defense Fund

 

This webinar provides an overview of key components of the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act, the most sweeping piece of federal child welfare legislation in decades. Learn how to translate the law’s mandates into daily courtroom advocacy and legal innovation. Specifically, the webinar provides advocacy tips applied to each stage of a child welfare case: pre-petition, initial hearings, placement decisions, services and permanency pathways. Gain increased confidence and urgency to leverage the language and the spirit of Family First on behalf of the children, parents and caregivers you represent. 

 

Available to NACC Members on our Member Webinar Series webpage.

 


  

Every Kid Needs a Family Attorney Advocacy Guide

Before Family First was enacted NACC partnered with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the ABA Center on Children and the Law to produce the Every Kid Needs a Family Attorney Advocacy Guide.  The tool was designed to assist attorneys in understanding and making arguments to ensure that children are placed in family settings. The tool also provides a framework for advocacy in cases where congregate care placement is recommended, or in cases where that placement has been made. Questions to ask in court are provided in detail, as are helpful advocacy tips.

 

Every Kid Needs a Family Attorney Advocacy Guide

 

 

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