Last month, Casey Family Programs hosted a press conference to discuss the Family First Prevention Services Act, passed in February of this year. Supplementing the previous restriction of federal funds solely to support foster care post-child welfare involvement, Family First focuses money on kinship care support and prevention services, such as substance use treatment and skill-based parental programs. As the speakers brought together by Casey Family Programs attest, this family-based approach allows many foster care-eligible children to remain safely at home with their families.
The press conference began with a panel of child welfare constituents, each giving testimony about their involvement with the foster care system and their hopes for positive reform due to Family First. Brittany Barros, a foster care alumna, stated: “What I want Family First to do is to end the trauma before it begins.” This sentiment was echoed by her fellow panelists, including Timothy Phipps and Raven Sigure, both parents who were formerly separated from their children after struggles with substance use, and Jan Wagner, a grandparent caregiver.
A panel of national experts then spoke about the impact of Family First on their work with children and families across the country. Speakers included Brenda Donald, the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services; Glen Casel, CEO at Community Based Care of Central Florida; and Dr. Lisa Zetley, Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Learn more about Family First by watching the press conference below, courtesy of Casey Family Programs.