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The Family First Act: What it Means for Texas Kids, Communities, and Policies

  • Texas Hospital Association 1108 Lavaca Street # 700 Austin, TX 78701 (map)

Join Us for Our Next Children's Policy Series Discussion!


We're pleased to invite you to join us on April 10th for our next Children's Policy Series panel discussion, The Family First Act: What it Means for Texas Kids, Communities, and Policies.

The Family First Act, which passed Congress last month, allows states to use federal foster care matching funds for prevention services that address mental health, substance use, and parenting skills to keep at-risk children from entering the foster care system in the first place. The law also limits federal reimbursements for youth in foster care who are placed in congregate care settings.

We are convening expert panelists to discuss how implementation of the new law in Texas could affect -- or should affect -- the state's child welfare, children's mental health, and juvenile justice systems and the children and families whose lives are shaped by these systemsPanelists will discuss potential challenges for Texas and the new opportunities presented by the law to prevent child maltreatment and improve supports for parents and caregivers.   

Kate Murphy, our Senior Child Welfare Policy Associate, will moderate the panel with the following speakers:

Christine Calpin, Policy Director at Casey Family Programs, will provide an overview of the Family First Act from a national perspective and highlight opportunities for Texas.

Sasha Rasco, Associate Commissioner of Prevention and Early Intervention at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, will address the effect on prevention efforts in Texas, including efforts addressing substance use, mental health, and support for pregnant and parenting youth in care.

Katie Olse, Executive Director of the Texas Alliance for Child and Family Services, will address the new limits on congregate care, adoption services, reunification services, and foster parents recruitment/retention as well as the law's effect on private child welfare service providers. 

Kristene Blackstone, Associate Commissioner for CPS at the Texas Department of Family Protective Services, will address how CPS envisions implementing the law, including in the areas of prevention services and Family Based Support Services (FBSS).

The discussion will take place:

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

1:00 - 3:00 pm

Texas Hospital Association

1108 Lavaca Street # 700

Austin, TX 78701

You can also watch the discussion through Facebook Live on our Facebook page.

For background information on the Family First Act, you may want to read the helpful "CliffsNotes" written by the Chronicle of Social Change on the law's affect on preventionlimiting support for congregate care, and adoption, foster home recruitment, reunification, and more.

Please RSVP to Katie Mitten at [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you on April 10th!