In December 2019, Congress enacted the Family First Transition Act, which includes $500 million in new federal funding to be allocated in one-time grants to state and tribal child welfare agencies to help them address implementation challenges of the Family First Act. An overarching goal of the Family First Act is to ensure more children have the benefit of growing up in safe, stable families. The Act aims to keep more families together and prevent unnecessary entries into foster care. The Family First Act also elevates the importance family-based care for children and youth who need foster care
In February 2020, the Children’s Bureau issued Program Instructions that describe how the grant funds can be used and how agencies can apply for the funding.
This new CHAMPS brief urges agencies to devote at least 50 percent of the transition funds in support of strengthening family-based care, such as through:
1) collection and analysis of critical information;
2) effective recruitment of foster and kinship families, and
3) support for the families who are caring for children and youth in foster care.