Episode 52: Creating a Family First Prevention Plan - Washington, D.C.

Date:

Length: 38:44 

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"We are the child welfare agency, but we are not the child welfare system. That takes all of our partners, all of our citywide efforts and social services agencies to come together to support families and children."
- Natalie Craver, administrator of community partnerships, Washington, D.C. Child and Family Services Agency

Across a ten-year span, Washington, D.C. reduced the number of children and youth in care from more than 3,000 to 750. The District's Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) focus on community partnerships is a key element of Washington, D.C.'s Title IV-E prevention plan, which was approved by the Children's Bureau (CB) in 2019. The city was the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to submit its plan to CB.

This episode provides the historical background, strategies, and guidance CFSA applied in developing their prevention plan. The information shared may be helpful for jurisdictions developing prevention plans to implement the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which expands prevention services to help stabilize and strengthen families.

The following individuals are featured in this episode:

  • Robert Matthews, deputy director, Washington, D.C. CFSA
  • Natalie Craver, administrator of community partnerships, Washington, D.C. CFSA

Topics discussed include the following:

  • The district's decade long shift in perspective regarding foster care and leveraging communities to help support children and families
  • How CFSA's Families First DC initiative aligns to and leverages the requirements and provisions in FFPSA
  • How CFSA's Title IV-E waiver experience influenced their approach to developing their Title IV-E Prevention Plan
  • Approaching FFPSA as a "tool in the toolbelt" for prevention