Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce the federal approval of its Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) plan. Implementing FFPSA will allow the state to focus on child welfare programming vital to prevention, while establishing and enhancing crucial partnerships with agencies and institutions in Nebraska and across the nation. DHHS will be working with agencies such as Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and more to analyze how to better assist children and families at risk of entering the foster care system.
This transformational law supports the establishment of evidence-based programming for children and families. The focus of FFPSA is on family preservation, safely reducing entry into the foster care system, reducing the re-entry rate into the child welfare system, and decreasing generational involvement of families in child welfare.
Historically, child welfare programs across the United States focused on treatment for children and families once the families entered the child welfare system, with limited attention to the use of best practices to prevent foster care placement. FFPSA provides added sustainability to programs that work to safely reduce out-of-home placements for children and increase family preservation.
Children and Family Services (CFS) Director Stephanie Beasley believes the implementation of FFPSA will be a benefit to families in Nebraska. “It is critically important that Nebraska continues a focus on preventative services. With the implementation of FFPSA, the State will have even more tools to provide for the wellbeing of children and families in Nebraska. I am excited to see the results of more robust prevention services in Nebraska,” Beasley said.
Nebraska is dedicated to implementing a full array of prevention services that effectively address the needs of children and families in the areas of mental health, substance use and parenting skills. To inform the development of a full continuum of prevention services and to ensure success in the implementation of FFPSA, the State has partnered with Chapin Hall to better understand the landscape of services in Nebraska, what programs are being provided, and what programs are needed and in what geographical regions of the State. This analysis will also identify prevention programming and the potential of expanding the CFS provider network. Additional partnerships include collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to better inform the needs of Nebraska families.
More information regarding the implementation of FFPSA in Nebraska will be provided in the future.