Grandfamilies and other kinship caregivers in Oregon will eventually benefit from legislation included in the Federal budget agreement signed in Washington earlier this month. Tucked into the massive spending bill is The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), a rare a bipartisan effort. The Act will shift spending money on child welfare to “front end” preventative services that address mental health and addiction, for example. It will give States incentives to keep children with their families or in family settings, rather than placing them in “the system.”

Some highlights:

  • Starting in October 2019 the law provides partial funding for kinship navigators for those states that choose to provide them.
  • On the prevention side, it provides support for up to 12 months of services to children, birth parents and caregivers of children who are at risk of entering the foster care system. Services include mental health, substance use treatment and prevention services, and in-home skill-based services.
  • And to encourage more familial placements when it becomes necessary, the law lifts some of the burdensome license requirements of foster care.

Of course, this change won’t happen overnight. We will be keeping an eye out as more details are released, especially as it pertains to Oregon. To read the full bill, click here.