On February 9, Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) as part of a budget agreement. This law restructures federal child welfare funding, particularly Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, which Texas uses to pay for services for children in foster care and families.
In FY 2017, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) served 98,730 children from 35,725 families through Family-Based Safety Services and 50,293 children in DFPS Conservatorship. FFPSA could affect many of these services in the future.
With so many children and families relying on these services to maintain safety and stability, DFPS is taking a very deliberate approach to analyzing the effects of this law. Our focus is on ensuring the continuity of safety, quality of care, and services for children in their own homes whenever possible.
DFPS is thoroughly examining the new law and will be working with many stakeholders in the weeks ahead to fully understand which services are eligible under FFPSA and which providers the law affects. DFPS will also determine the infrastructure needed to implement the law and complete a cost-benefit analysis. All this information will help Texas determine its approach and any subsequent plan.
At this early stage, as with any major system change, there are more questions than answers. As we learn more, DFPS will provide updates about what this means for the children, youth, and families of Texas as well as the providers and other stakeholders who serve them.
DFPS encourages anyone who is interested to review the Family First Prevention Services Act (pages 169-206) and sign up for email updates using the email icons at the top and bottom of this page. Enter your email address and choose the Family First Prevention Services Act topic, and we will send you updates as new information becomes available.