News Brief: Senate Fails to Pass Family First Prevention Service Act

The Family First Prevention Service Act would have increased funding for prevention services and emphasized placing children in family-like settings.

Senate Fails to Pass Family First Prevention Service Act

The Family First Prevention Service Act was a landmark, bipartisan bill that would have lead to several improvements within the system. It would have diverted funds from foster payments to states to prevention services (such as substance abuse and mental health care programs) offered to families, with the aim of lowering the rate of children entering care. The funding would have been available to adoptive and kinship families, as well as biological parents, to prioritize family settings over group care.

The Act was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives in June 2016. However, the Senate adjourned on September 29, 2016 without passing the bill, and the end of the fiscal year, the next day, wiped away the funding offsets that would have made the bill possible. Advocates of the Act hope that similar reforms might be introduced in future sessions of Congress.

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