The Alliance network has been deeply engaged in collective work to influence the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Recent FFPSA developments include:

  • HHS Request for Comment on the Evidence-Based Practices Clearinghouse
  • HHS distribution of Program Instruction on much of FFPSA to public agenda
  • Congressional hearing on FFPSA implementation
  • Listening sessions for public agencies and their teams

In addition, Casey Family Programs is hosting the webinar Nuts and Bolts: Child Welfare Financing 101 Monday, July 30 at 2:30 p.m. CT. This webinar is the first in a three-part series designed to demystify child welfare funding streams. Register online to participate.

HHS Request for Comment on FFPSA Evidence-Based Practice Clearinghouse

The Alliance Policy Team worked in partnership with members and the Within Our Reach Office to develop and submit a response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Request for Comment on Decisions Related to the Evidence-Based Practice Clearinghouse in accordance with the FFPSA. Many Alliance members and national organizations also responded. During the congressional hearing July 24, we learned that the clearinghouse and related Program Instruction, which will be informed by the recently submitted comments, are slated for issue in late fall.

The Alliance is collecting submissions from Alliance members and from national organizations in its FFPSA library collection. The Alliance’s collection includes those from American Bar Association, State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC), and others. The FFPSA library collection also includes a number of useful resources provided by Casey Family Programs. While they were distributed in support of assisting the development of submissions to HHS, there is useful information for identifying evidence-based practices and considering their implementation, in general.  

Email Marlo Nash, senior vice president of public policy and mobilization at the Alliance, with comments submitted by your organization. We are interested in compiling them to support next steps and future advocacy.  

FFPSA Program Instruction Issued by HHS

On July 9, the Children’s Bureau issued Program Instruction for the Family First Prevention Services Act to State, Tribal and Territorial Agencies Administering or Supervising the Administration of Title IV-E. Of note, the Children’s Bureau is asking states to indicate if they will be taking all or part of the two-year implementation delay by Nov. 9, 2018. This declaration by the states is non-binding. The Alliance is working with other national organizations to review and analyze the Program Instruction and will provide additional information and insight to our members as we go forward.  

Access the Program Instruction and the four appendices through the Alliance’s FFPSA library collection. As you review the documents and/or have conversations with your public agency partners about the Program Instruction, contact Marlo Nash with questions, concerns, and thoughts.  

July 24 House Hearing on Opioids and FFPSA

On Tuesday, July 24, the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held the hearing, The Opioid Crisis: Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. The Subcommittee has produced a video of the hearing (about one hour and 40 minutes in length). Acting Commissioner of the Administration of Children, Youth and Families, Jerry Milner, was the sole witness and made an opening statement, as well as answering questions from subcommittee members. The Alliance network submitted questions in advance of the hearing and will submit a statement for the record on behalf of the Alliance network. If your organization would like to submit its own written statement or letter, which becomes part of congressional record, we understand the deadline to be August 7.  

The Alliance Policy Team attended the hearing and will post a recap in the FFPSA library collection by early next week, as well as distribute it to the Alliance’s Child and Family Strengthening Policy Work Group. If you would like to sign up for the Policy Work Group, email Marlo Nash.

Regional Meetings and Listening Sessions on FFPSA  

  • Court Improvement Program Meeting Focused on FFPSA Held in Washington D.C. A previously scheduled annual meeting on the Court Improvement Program (CIP) was repurposed to focus on FFPSA implementation. States sent teams to participate in the meeting. Alliance members may wish to be in touch with your state agency and/or the CIP lead for your state after next week to learn about any key takeaways from the meeting. In addition, HHS is hosting listening sessions with public agencies via teleconference.
  • Casey Family Programs Hosting Regional Meetings for State Teams. Casey Family Programs is hosting regional meetings on FFPSA for state agency leaders and their teams. The first meeting was held in Seattle July 9. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for Aug. 1 in Denver and Aug. 16 in Atlanta. Alliance members are encouraged to work with their state agencies to ensure their states’ teams have at least one representative of private, community-based providers.

Join us for More on FFPSA at the Alliance National Conference

The 2018 Alliance National Conference, to be held Oct. 15-17 in Denver, will offer the opportunity to learn from your Alliance network colleagues about FFPSA implementation; participate in a discussion with Acting Commissioner of Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, Jerry Milner; and help set the Alliance network’s public policy agenda for the next Congress and for state issues. Register for the Alliance National Conference by Sept. 17 to take advantage of the early bird deadline.

View more public policy news  and sign up for the weekly Alliance Policy Radar online.