On Thursday, February 9, 2023 the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) celebrated its fifth anniversary of being signed into law as part of Public Law 115-123. Since 2018, it has enhanced states’ efforts to support families by reducing the use of congregate care, building the capacity of communities to support children, and helping children remain at home. FFPSA amended Title IV-E programs to create optional Title IV-E funding for temporary prevention services in maternal health, substance use, and in-home parent skills-based programs. States and Title IV-E eligible tribes interested in claiming the new funding submitted Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans to the Children’s Bureau for review of compliance with the FFPSA guidelines. As of January 12, 2023, fifty Title IV-E plans have been submitted and 39 plans have been approved.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) established the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse to review programs and services intended to support children and families and prevent foster care placements. The clearinghouse rates programs on a scale of “does not currently meet criteria,” “promising,” “supported,” or “well-supported.” The clearinghouse has reviewed 129 programs as of December 2022 and 62 of them have been rated as promising, supported, or well-supported.

As of October 1, 2019 states and tribes with approved Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans have been able to claim a portion of Title IV-E for trauma-informed, evidence-based mental health services, substance use services, and in-home parent skills-based programs. The Capacity Building Center for the States created an infographic of the programs approved by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Plans. The infographic also rates the approved programs in each state as part of their state prevention program plans. The most chosen program across plans is the Parents as Teachers program, with 24 states adopting it. 21 states have adopted Functional Family Therapy, making it the leading mental health service program. The leading substance use program is Motivational Interviewing, with 19 states having adopted it.

By Yonathan Gonzalez Villatoro, Policy Intern, Pizzigati Fellow