DCFS Celebrates The Passage of the Family First Transition Act

DCFS applauds the enactment of a new federal child welfare law that will ultimately support vulnerable children and families

After years of Los Angeles County advocacy, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) applauds passage of the Family First Transition Act (FFTA), a new federal law that will provide resources to successfully implement the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Included in H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, FFTA was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2019.

FFTA builds on the 2018 FFPSA landmark legislation that created new opportunities for federal Title- IV-E funding, the primary federal revenue source for states and counties to provide child welfare services.  Los Angeles County has operated under the Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver since 2007, which allowed broad flexibility to use Title IV-E funds for innovative, prevention-related services.  Prior to the Waiver, Title IV-E funds were limited to support placement costs, such as foster care and adoption. Under FFPSA, federal funding will be available for limited evidence-based programs to prevent children from entering foster care.

The newly enacted FFTA will allow Los Angeles County to continue the progress it has made since the inception of the Title IV-E Waiver. Specifically, FFTA will provide three critical elements: (1) one-time implementation funding to states, (2) temporary funding for jurisdictions that operated a waiver in Federal Fiscal Year 2019, and (3) additional time for states to implement FFPSA requirements for newly funded evidence-based programs.  States can opt into FFPSA starting in October 2019. California has begun the implementation process and will opt into FFPSA in October 2021.

“We are grateful for the passage of FFTA–children deserve to be home with their families whenever possible,” said DCFS Director Bobby D. Cagle, “and the successful implementation of FFPSA will provide new resources to ensure that parents and caregivers have the tools necessary to provide children with a safe and stable home environment.”

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