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Maryland’s Federal Family First Prevention Plan Approved by the Children’s Bureau

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Contact: Katherine Morris
katherine.morris@maryland.gov
410-767-8944

Maryland’s Federal Family First Prevention Plan Approved by the Children’s Bureau

State is among the first in the nation with an approved plan under the Family First Prevention Services Act

(Baltimore, MD) — Today, Lourdes R. Padilla, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS), announced that on February 7, the agency received approval of its Family First Title IV-E Prevention Plan. Maryland was among the first in the country, alongside Utah and the District of Columbia, to submit its plan and have it approved by the Children’s Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The plan outlines how Maryland will implement the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, designed to strengthen the ability of families to care for their children safely. When fully implemented, families who need additional support will have greater access to evidence-based parenting programs, substance use disorder prevention and treatment, and mental health services.

“I’m so proud of the work we continue to do to prevent child abuse and neglect and ensure Maryland’s children grow up in strong, safe, and stable families,” said Secretary Padilla. “The approval of our plan is the most recent example of how we are transforming child welfare practices to better meet the needs of children
and families across the state, and I want to thank our partners who were involved in the planning and will continue to play an important role in the implementation of this plan.” Approval from the federal Children’s Bureau means Maryland can intensify efforts to ready for full implementation of the Family First Prevention Plan with its state, local and family partners and with the support of the federal government.

Maryland’s Family First Prevention Plan builds on the success of current transformation efforts like our Families Blossom|Place Matters, which has reduced the number of children in foster care by 55%, from 10,330 in July 2007 to 4,696 in December 2019, “said Michelle L. Farr, Executive Director of the Social Services Administration at DHS. “Family First reinforces the prevention work we are already doing to help change Maryland for the better.”

Since Family First was enacted in 2018, the Department of Human Services has collaborated on a rigorous planning process with a diverse set of partners to design how Maryland will deploy prevention services to strengthen and stabilize families. Partners include service providers, state and local leaders, sister agencies, community members, local families, as well as child welfare experts from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work.

The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s primary social service provider, annually reaching more than one million people. Through its 24 local departments of social services, the agency pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Additional information may be found at dhs.maryland.gov.

 

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Filed in: DHS News, In the Press, Secretary's Office

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