Across the nation, child abuse prevention has long been recognized as critical to ensuring safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments for children and families. To this end, child welfare agencies and lawmakers alike have sought to adopt and/or enact many prevention strategies and programs. These include the Safe Haven Act, Home Visitation, Nurturing Parenting, Healthy Families, Shaken Baby Syndrome, etc.
In February 2018, President Trump signed into law Family First Prevention Services Act. This is one of the most long-awaited, sweeping prevention reforms aimed at providing greater front-end supports to families to prevent children from entering foster care. As summarized by the Children’s Defense Fund, some prevention highlights of Family First include:
– Federal investments in prevention for children at risk of foster care;
– Federal funds for evidence-based Kinship Navigator programs that provide additional support for relative caregivers;
– Use of Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program funds for unlimited family; reunification services for children in foster care and an additional 15 months of family reunification services for children once they return home;
– Five-year extension of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program and the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program, including the Court Improvement Programs grants; and
– Requirements for states to have statewide plans to track and prevent child maltreatment fatalities.
As with any new law, tracking and measuring compliance will eventually be required as well. Although the Administration for Children and Families has yet to provide such guidance, it is not inconceivable that new data collection and tracking within state systems may be forthcoming. Thus, as many states work to implement the programmatic aspects of this Act, while looking to transform their existing information systems or parts of it to CCWIS, it is important to consider this question:
How flexible are the solution offerings to meet my agency’s needs in an ever-changing environment?
CareDirector can help states with this dilemma. It is a highly configurable solution built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. It can be easily tailored to meet new business needs and casework practice without requiring coding or a host of outside developers. Thus, data collection and tracking for new laws like Family First or the Human Trafficking Bill is fully supported by CareDirector to ensure adherence to requirements and actionable information is readily available for decision making.
If you’d like to learn more about the Family First Prevention Services Act and Better CCWIS solution from CareDirector then contact us here