The National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council, a group of current and former foster youth, has organized a webinar on how systems can limit and improve the use of group homes and other congregate care settings in their child welfare systems.
The webinar, “Improving Policies & Services in Congregate Care,” will take place at 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 22. The council has set out three specific goals for the discussion:
- Members of the council sharing about their own experience living in congregate care.
- A review of the council’s priorities on improving congregate care.
- A discussion of the Family First Prevention Services Act, specifically its provisions related to limiting federal funds for congregate care.
The Family First Act was passed in February, and its two main provisions open up federal funds for efforts to prevent the use of foster care while limiting dollars flowing to congregate care. Under the law, which takes effect in October of 2019, states can receive funds for just two weeks of congregate care placements unless such placements meet a short list of exceptions:
- A setting for prenatal, postpartum or parenting supports for teen moms.
- A supervised setting for a child 18 or older. This allows states to continue to receive support for extended foster care, a key provision of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act that about half the states have opted into.
- “High quality residential services” for youth who have been victims of trafficking or who are at risk of it. It will be of interest how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) further regulates this in regard to the terms “high quality” and “at risk.”
- A “qualified residential treatment program,” or QRTP.
The National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council is comprised of 20 members, and was established to help educate policymakers and analyze the effectiveness of programs based on personal experiences. It is a partnership of two national organizations – Foster Care Alumni of America and FosterClub – with funding provided by Casey Family Programs.
Click here to register for the free webinar.