Federal Law provides chance to better support families, reduce number of children in foster care

GUEST OP-ED on this Foster Care Issue / Act – Family First Prevention Services Act

by Jessica Brown, Executive Advisor and the Family First Prevention Services Act lead for the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services.

This summer, Kentucky social workers, educators, judges, prosecutors, non-profit leaders, state legislators, and many others traveled across the state to learn about the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, its implementation in Kentucky, and what it will mean for families in the Commonwealth.

The Family First Regional Convenings sought to share information about the federal legislation, the anticipated changes in Kentucky over the coming months and years, and reflections from those directly affected by the changes.

The nine regional convenings across Kentucky resulted in BIG engagement. Nearly 1,200 individuals attended in person, and more than 2,000 streamed the events via Facebook live. That’s more than 3,000 Kentuckians joining the conversation around how the child welfare system can better support families, so kids can remain safely at home.

Kentucky is invested in implementing Family First earlier than most states. The regional convenings were an organized and strategic way of engaging child welfare and other related stakeholders in what to expect with Family First, as well as a way to take the temperature of communities’ readiness to implement…

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