Last week Maryland became the fourth child welfare agency to receive federal approval of their Family First plan. They join Arkansas, Utah, and the District of Columbia as child welfare systems with approved plans.

“I’m so proud of the work we continue to do to prevent child abuse and neglect and ensure Maryland’s children grow up in strong, safe, and stable families,” said Lourdes Padilla, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). Implementation of Family First is designed to allow Maryland to draw down federal funds for services to strengthen families and children through evidenced based programs and services.