Family First Prevention Services Act

House Committee on Bipartisan Vote Approves Family First Prevention Services

The House Ways and Means Committee approved by voice vote the bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act (HR 5456). The bill would give states more flexibility to use federal funding to help families stay together cleared a major Congressional hurdle last week.

Congressman Bill Pascrell is a sponsor of the Family First legislation.

The bill would allow states to use federal child welfare funding to pay for family services such as mental health, substance use recovery and parenting programming to prevent children from entering foster care.

Please call your members of Congress today and ask them to cosponsor and vote in favor of the Family First Prevention Services Act.

Click here for a link with contact staff names, phone numbers and emails for your Representative.

This legislative effort represents a potentially enormous expansion of resources for services in family supportive housing and will help keep families together. Under current federal law, most child welfare funding can only be used to reimburse states after children are placed in foster care.

“We know that strong families make for strong communities. That’s why the Family First Prevention Services Act is so important given the current opioid and heroin crisis. This bill is a departure from an outdated system that focuses on caring for children only after they enter into foster care, and instead invests in proven prevention services, including substance abuse treatment, that will keep families together. This legislation offers the types of support that parents need to provide the safe and stable home every child deserves.”

Upon introducing the legislation, House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) said.

The bill has strong bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and the Senate, and the goal is to move it quickly through Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee blog reports that organizations across the country are endorsing this critical legislation.

“Takes historic and long overdue steps to direct federal child welfare dollars to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families […] takes important steps to ensure children who need foster care will be placed in the least-restrictive most family-like setting appropriate to their needs, and gives special attention to children whose emotional or other special needs require residential treatment.”

Children’s Defense Fund

“Offers the important possibility of allowing funds to provide vital mental health, substance use and in-home services that could help children stay with their own families.”

Child Welfare League of America

Monarch Housing will be in Washington, DC on July 13, 2016 with more than 300 constituents from New Jersey. We will be carrying the message “No Cuts for Housing.” Federal housing choice voucher and services funding is critical to creating quality supportive housing.

Family First Prevention Services Act (HR 5456).

NJ Congressional Contacts.

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