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What you need to know

Read more about each Family First Prevention Services Act workgroup below!

Prevention Services and Program Plan Workgroup

Each state is required to submit a 5-year prevention services and program plan for mental health and substance abuse or in-home parent skill-based programs for which the state would like to receive federal funding. The plan must address the following:

1. Outcomes to improve

2. Monitor and assess safety, risk, needs and eligibility for services

3. Specific details for each service

4. Consultation and coordination with other agencies

5. Workforce development, training and caseload size

6. State assurances

Who receives these services?

1. A child or youth who is at risk of entering foster care but can safely remain at home or in a kinship placement if services can prevent entry into foster care.

2. A child or youth who is currently in foster care and is also pregnant or parenting.

3. A child at risk of an adoption or guardianship disrupting or dissolving.

Services Requirements:

Services and Programs must be Trauma Informed AND either be:

o A Promising Practice - Results or outcomes of at least one study that were:

· Well designed and well executed as rated by an independent systematic review

· Used some form of control group

OR

o A Supported Practice – Results or outcomes of at least one study that were:

· Well designed and well executed as rated by an independent systematic review

· Rigorous random controlled trial (or, if not available, a study using a rigorous quasi-experimental research design)

· The study was carried out in a usual care or practice setting

· The study established the practice has a sustained effect for at least 6 months beyond the end of service.

OR

o A Well Supported Practice – Results or outcomes of a least two studies that were:

· Well designed and well executed as rated by an independent systematic review

· Rigorous random controlled trial (or, if not available, a study using a rigorous quasi-experimental research design)

· The studies were carried out in a usual care or practice setting

· At least one study established the practice has a sustained effect for at least 1 year beyond the end of service

Criminal Record and Registry Checks for Adults Workgroup

FFPSA requires Nebraska DHHS to create procedures for criminal background checks, including fingerprint-based criminal records and child abuse registry checks for any adult working in a Child-Care Institution, which includes group homes, residential treatment centers, shelters and other congregate care settings. These requirements are already in place for foster and adoptive parents.

  • The statute does not allow any exemptions or exceptions for conducting the checks on any adults who work in such settings. All adults, including adults who do not work directly with children, are subject to the background check requirements when working in a Child Care Institution.

In order to implement the fingerprint based checks, legislation needs to be passed to allow the fingerprint based checks to be processed and results submitted to DHHS. Legislative Bill 460 was introduced to address this procedure and includes an emergency clause, as the federal requirement states that DHHS must be in compliance by July 1, 2019.

The workgroup discusses the process to obtain and process the fingerprints for all adults working in Child Care Institutions as soon as the Legislation is enacted. The workgroup will also discuss how DHHS will process the results of the fingerprint checks and how and what notice will be submitted to Licensing and the Child Care Institution.

Foster Care Maintenance Payments Workgroup

This group focuses on maintenance payments made to agencies that place parents with their children in a family-based treatment facility for substance abuse.

Kinship Navigator Program Workgroup

Nebraska has established a workgroup that focuses on the development and enhancement of a kinship navigator program. In order to establish and/or enhance an information and referral system, members of the workgroup are conducting an analysis to see what system gaps exist for grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. who are caring for their relatives.  The workgroup has identified child care and legal services as two of the main barriers for kinship families.  These barriers can be more easily addressed as the navigator programs capacity is developed and enhanced. In addition, the workgroup has researched other kinship navigator programs that have been functioning longer term and have historical evidence surrounding their implementation. This includes the Children's Home Society of New Jersey Kinship Navigator Model and the Children's Home Inc. Kinship Interdisciplinary Navigation Technologically-Advanced Model (KIN_Tech). 

Prevention of Inappropriate Diagnoses Workgroup

This group focuses on ensuring children are not inappropriately diagnosed.

Plan to Prevent Child Maltreatment Death Workgroup

FFPSA amends requirements related to the State's 5 year plan.  Prior to the amendment, the law required states to describe the sources of information relating to child maltreatment fatalities they use to report data to the National Child and Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and to describe the steps they are taking to track and compile complete information on child maltreatment deaths from specified sources.

The following information must be submitted as part of the 2020-2024 Children and Family Services Plan (CFSP). The CFSP is the State's 5 year plan. 

  • A description of the steps the state is taking to compile complete and accurate information on child maltreatment deaths to be reported to NCANDS, including gathering relevant information on the deaths from the relevant organizations in the state including entities such as state vital statistics department, child death review teams, law enforcement agencies, or offices of medical examiners, or coroners; and
  • A description of the steps the state is taking to develop and implement a comprehensive, statewide plan to prevent child maltreatment fatalities that involves and engages relevant public and private agency partners, including those in public health, law enforcement, and the courts. Provide a copy or link to any comprehensive plan that has been developed. 

The Workgroup is meeting to review all of the current work regarding child fatalities that exists; data gathered by those groups; any current plans to address child fatalities.  We will also look at what other states are doing related to the prevention of child maltreatment fatalities.  After that review, the group will discuss steps that need to be taken to develop and implement a comprehensive statewide plan to prevent child maltreatment fatalities. Once these steps are identified, action will be completed that will lead to the development and implementation of a statewide plan. 

Foster Family Recruitment and Retention Workgroup

DHHS did not receive a proposal for the grant opportunity related to this workgroup as it was due by July 26th, 2019. This workgroup will no longer be meeting at this time.

Model Licensing Standards Workgroup

This group focuses on ensuring foster homes in Nebraska meet the US DHHS model licensing standards for licensed foster homes.