Washington – The First Focus Campaign for Children applauds the introduction of the Family First Prevention Services Act (HR.5456/S.3065), a bipartisan, bicameral commitment to investing in and improving prevention and support services for children at risk of entering the foster care system.

The Family First Prevention Services Act (HR.5456/S.3065), which is expected to be voted on in the House this week, is the result of more than a year of bipartisan discussions and proposals led by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Among other provisions, the bill allows states to be reimbursed for providing preventive mental health, substance abuse, and in-home counseling services to children who are candidates for foster care, as well as their parents or caregivers. The legislation also addresses the over-reliance of placing children in group care or congregate care homes and extends the Title IV-B program to provide support services for foster youth transitioning to adulthood.

“The Family First Prevention Services Act has the potential to have a far-reaching impact in the lives of foster children and youth and their families,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “We commend Senators Wyden and Hatch and Representatives Buchanan, Brady, and Levin, as well as the bill co-sponsors and committee members, for promoting evidence-based prevention services to keep children in family settings and out of foster care. We strongly encourage the House and Senate to pass this legislation. Research shows that children at risk of entering the foster care system who stay in family settings have a better chance to succeed at home and at school.”

Last week, the First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees expressing its strong support for the bill. A diverse coalition of more than 50 state and national child welfare and advocacy organizations have also expressed their support for the legislation.

Click here for a summary draft of the bill.


The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.campaignforchildren.org.