Nebraska Takes a Significant Step Toward Families First Prevention Services Act Implementation

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News Release
 
For Immediate Release: 5/6/2019
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CONTACT
Lee Rettig, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287, lee.rettig@nebraska.gov

 

Lincoln – Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for potential providers of services funded through the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) were released this week, marking a key milestone in full implementation of the landmark federal child welfare legislation.  Nebraska is one of only 13 states that plan to implement FFPSA by October 1, 2019.

“While current federal child welfare funding is accessed when a child is placed in foster care, FFPSA provides federal funding for prevention programs and initiatives," said Matt Wallen, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services.  “The provisions of the law align nicely with our focus on keeping children with their families, when it's safe to do so."

The RFQ seeks qualified agencies and organizations to provide in-home parenting skills, substance abuse treatment and mental health services to children and families at imminent risk of an out of home removal and placement into foster care.  The services must include evidence-based practices in the child welfare service array that meet the requirements of the FFPSA and integrate a family-focused and family-driven approach that builds protective factors in families.

“Keeping families together starts with prevention and prevention starts with supporting families," said Wallen. “The parenting skills, substance abuse treatment and mental health services that will be provided as part of a prevention plan will allow families to get the help they need before they become entangled deeper in the child welfare system."

By July 1, each state is required to submit a five-year prevention services and program plan for mental health and substance abuse treatment or in-home parenting skill-based programs addressing outcomes, monitoring and assessment services and details for specific services.  The plan must be based on services and practices that are trauma informed and a promising practice, supported practice or a well-supported practice.

DHHS created several workgroups involving child welfare stakeholders to develop a State Plan for FFPSA implementation October 1.

The RFQs can be accessed on the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services web page here and here.

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