The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 is a landmark piece of U.S. child welfare legislation designed to prioritize maltreatment prevention, strengthen family preservation and foster care services, and promote the relational permanence of youth in out-of-home care. Successful implementation and realization of these policy objectives are not guaranteed; however, and are dependent upon a number of important factors including legislative clarity, policy demands and resources, and organizational readiness and capacity for change. Essential preconditions to policy implementation at the organizational level include education and planning, resource coordination, and adaptation to system processes. To support efforts to optimize the potential of the law to strengthen programs and services for children and families, this three-part manuscript targets the education and planning dimensions of policy implementation through (1) an overview of prevention and implementation science research, (2) a description of the provisions within the Family First Prevention Services Act, and (3) an analysis of possible implementation challenges and opportunities within the child welfare practice environment. Considerations and recommendations are offered to assist social workers and human service professionals in their efforts to improve child welfare prevention and intervention services for children and families.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for this research was provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch Project #1017836.
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
- Child maltreatment