Episode 53: Creating a Family First Prevention Plan - Utah

Date:

Length: 40:59

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Subscribe to receive new episodes as they are released.

"What kind of child welfare system are you trying to build? Because when you apply that litmus test to even the things that don't initially make sense to you in Family First, you kind of step back and say 'Well, what was the intent of that part?"….You step back and you say 'How does this serve families?' If you keep families at the absolute core forefront of what you're trying to create and the vision of a child welfare system you are trying to create, it guides you and it speaks to you about what to do."

—Diane Moore, director, Utah Division of Child and Family Services

As Utah's Department of Human Services developed their Title IV-E Prevention Plan, the leaders of its multidisciplinary team maintained focus on what was most critical to the children and families they serve. By paying strict attention to their needs, the State reviewed the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) to identify what could be integrated into their system to provide the best outcomes for families as expeditiously as possible.

This episode provides the historical background, strategies, and decision-making Utah applied in developing their prevention plan. The information shared may be helpful for jurisdictions developing prevention plans to implement FFPSA, which expands prevention services to help stabilize and strengthen families. "Creating a Family First Prevention Plan – Utah" complements another episode "Episode 52: Creating a Family First Prevention Plan – Washington, D.C.", which shares the journey the District of Columbia took to develop its Title IV-E Prevention Plans. Both Utah and Washington, D.C.'s plans were approved by the Children's Bureau in October of 2019.

The following individuals are featured in this episode:

Topics discussed include the following:

  • Why DCFS felt parts of FFPSA "spoke to them"
  • How Utah's HomeWorks program "greased the path" to support reunifying families and working to keep families together instead of relying on foster care as a substitute for parents
  • How Utah decided what parts of FFPSA it would spend the most energy and resources addressing
  • What the benefits are in taking iterative steps to investing in programs that support sustainability
  • How the coronavirus impacts Utah's Family First implementation