On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the District of Columbia became the first state to have their Family First Prevention Plan, “Putting Families First in DC,” approved by the Children’s Bureau under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. .

DC was the first jurisdiction to submit their plan. Arkansas, Kentucky, and Utah plans are pending for review by the Children’s Bureau. DC’s details that Family First “provided an opportunity to bridge the end of CFSA’s IV-E Waiver demonstration project” and to focus on primary prevention. The District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) hopes to “leverage new opportunities provided by Family First as part of a comprehensive approach to family and child well-being.”

CFSA plan includes sixteen evidence-based programs with only the Parents As Teachers (PAT) model being funded through Family First. Existing federal funding through will support the other fifteen programs.

Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau remarked that “the Children’s Bureau is incredibly delighted to be able to approve the first prevention plan… [that]…represents a thoughtful re-conceptualization of the way public child welfare agencies serve children and families, and we in the federal government look forward to working closely with the District to implement this landmark plan.”

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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