Mathematica Planning Title IV-E Prevention Services: A Toolkit for States includes a section on Identifying and Engaging Partners in implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). With states at various stages of successfully planning and implementation and must consider the following things: 1) understanding their candidacy of foster care, 2) figuring out the array of services they will provide, and 3) planning how to implement the needed services and supports.
Identifying Partners and Stakeholders
For child welfare agencies that are identifying partners and stakeholders for the Title IV-E prevention services the following partners and stakeholders should include state agencies for mental health, substance use disorder, education, Medicaid, county administrators, evaluators and university partners, to name a few. It may be useful to engage partners and stakeholders that are currently providing prevention services to families like Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Program grantees, maternal and child health programs, and Children’s Trust Funds. These groups are critical at helping states understand existing prevention services, gaps in service delivery, and opportunities for improvement.
Benefits of Collaboration with Other Systems
Involving cross-system partners in the planning of prevention services benefits include developing buy-in and engaging partners in leadership. In Virginia, the have individuals from outside of the child welfare agency leading workgroups to maximize buy-in and ensure that the key systems responsible for preventing maltreatment would work together to plan prevention services. In addition, cross system collaboration provides for conversations where stakeholders learn about other resources and funding.
Communication with Stakeholders
Communication with the various stakeholders is a critical strategy to meet with broader groups. Many states are coordinating information sharing via websites, such as in Montana they worked with the school of social work to create a state FFPSA webpage.
Challenges and Facilitators Related to Engaging Partners and Stakeholders
A state’s structure of their health and human service agencies can impact their ability to engage partners and stakeholders. States where their agencies are not under the same department have difficulty in collaboration if they do not have strong agency partnerships already established.