Last week Arkansas became the third child welfare agency to receive federal approval of the Family First Act plan, Family First Fits Us. Washington, DC and Utah are the other states with approved plans. Governor Asa Hutchinson stated “This plan highlights the enormous progress DCFS has made in the care of our foster children and in reuniting families.”

Arkansas’ Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) plan includes sixteen evidence-based programs with five being rated on the Title IV-E clearinghouse –Functional Family Therapy, Methadone Maintenance Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

DCFS Director Mischa Martin stated that the Department “…is focused on one value – every child deserves a safe, stable family every day” and “the prevention plan will allow us to expand those efforts and offer more effective services to strengthen families and keep kids safely in their communities.”

According to the Congressional Research Services report, Kentucky, Maryland, and Nebraska plans are pending for review by the Children’s Bureau. All states must implement the Family First Prevention Services Act placement setting (QRTP) requirements by September 30, 2021.