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Congress considers funding prevention and family services

By: Dr. Cheri Shapiro

The US Congress is considering a bill that would “amend amend parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to invest in funding prevention and family services to help keep children safe and supported at home, to ensure that children in foster care are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like, and appropriate settings, and for other purposes.”

This legislation is very important for advancing evidence-based services for children, youth, and families, and for focusing on prevention. Specifically, one primary component of this legislation allows for states to use federal funds to provide “… mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, in-home parent skill-based programs, and kinship navigator services” to prevent placement of children in foster care.

(Read the full text of the bill here.).

Services eligible for states to use will be included in a clearinghouse that is under construction as we speak. (Think really smart people with an objective, critical eye checking out lots of research on programs to help children, youth, and their families).

States may delay adoption of this legislation and associated funding for up to two years.  This makes incredible sense, as just upskilling a workforce in a single evidence-based approach can take months … or even years … to go to scale.

Stay tuned for updates later this summer on this important topic!

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