The Children’s Bureau released guidance on implementing funds appropriated by the Family First Transition Act, passed in December 2019 by Congress. The Program Instruction, ACYF-CB-PI-20-04, provides guidance States, Territories, and Indian Tribes about what they must do to receive the one-time Family First Prevention Services Act Transition Grant.

The $500 million are available to all states and jurisdictions distributed under Title IV-B, part 1 program (Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program). States will have two years (retroactive to October 1, 2019) to spend the funds. In order to receive these one-time grants, jurisdictions will be required to apply for funds by completing a request form and submitting a narrative outlining the activities that will be carried out using the funds. For a list of approximate funding for states under the $500 million grants, see Attachment A.

In some ways the guidance may surprise some on Capitol Hill and advocates. Congress intended a quick dispersal of funds, but the Bureau is creating this additional application process. In addition, despite the law’s language that funds are “for fiscal year 2020, which shall remain available through fiscal year 2021,” the guidance indicates, “ The FFPSA Transition Grants will be awarded in fiscal year (FY) 2020, but will remain available to grantees for expenditure through the end of FY 2025.”

That is likely to make it much more challenging for tracking purposes as states potentially spread out funds as small as $1 million (Alaska) and as large as $49 million (California) out over six federal fiscal years.

Child welfare agencies must apply for funds and submit information to the Children’s Bureau’s Regional Office by Thursday, April 30, 2020.

To access the Program Instruction and attachments, click the links below:

Attachment A – Eligible Applicants and Estimated Allotments
Attachment B – Transition Grant Request Form
Attachment C – CB Regional Program Managers