California’s Vision for Prevention
California is committed to the reformation of the child welfare system by shifting the mindset from a child protection and foster care system to a child and family well-being system. This vision involves an integrated system of care network supported by a framework of prevention that includes primary, secondary, and tertiary strategies grounded in the principles of fairness and equity.
To make this vision a reality, government agencies and community-based organizations across California have taken steps to implement various initiatives to strengthen child and family well-being. Examples of some of these initiatives include, the System of Care Reform for Children and Youth (Assembly Bill 2083), California Wraparound, CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Homeless Assistance, CalWORKs Home Visiting, Differential Response, California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), and the Essentials for Childhood Initiative.
In August 2021, California elected to opt-into the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Part I by submitting the California Five-Year State Prevention Plan to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Although, the Family First Prevention Services Act focuses its attention on children and youth at imminent risk for entry into the child welfare system (tertiary prevention), California recognizes that prevention of child maltreatment begins with addressing inequitable social policies and developing networks of services for the public (primary prevention) and those at-risk for child abuse and neglect (secondary prevention). Therefore, California enacted Assembly Bill 153 (Chapter 86, Statutes of 2021)which established the Family First Prevention Services (FFPS) Program in Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 16585 through 16589 and encourages counties to consider a holistic view of the prevention of child maltreatment.
State Implementation of Title IV-E Prevention Services
Assembly Bill 153 (Chapter 86, Statutes of 2021)adds Sections 16585 through Section 16589 to the WIC, establishing the “Family First Prevention Services” program in State law. These provisions state California’s intent to opt into the Title IV-E prevention services program authorized by Part I of the federal FFPSA, incorporate definitions and requirements of the federal law, and further specify the State’s approach to implementation of the prevention services program established under the FFPSA.
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- Articulate a commitment to a coordinated continuum of services amongst child and family serving systems;
- Establish the intent to improve outcomes for children and families, reduce entries into foster care, and reduce disparity and disproportionality in California’s foster care system; and
- Reaffirm the State’s commitments to Indian children, families, caregivers, and tribes, including implementation of prevention services consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). These commitments are included in WIC Section 16585 and are further articulated in the State’s Title IV-E prevention services plan submitted to the federal ACF.
Next Steps (Timeline)