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2    WHEREAS, The Family First Prevention Services Act was
3signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget act on
4February 9, 2018; and
5    WHEREAS, Young people involved in the child welfare system
6do best in families, in a safe and stable environment that
7supports their long-term well-being, according to research;
8the passage of Family First took a large step toward this
9vision by restructuring how the federal government spends
10money on child welfare to ensure that more children in foster
11care are placed with families; the law also provides more
12support for critical services, such as mental health and
13substance abuse treatment, in-home training, and family
14therapy that can help prevent the need for foster care in the
15first place; and
16    WHEREAS, The law provides an opportunity for positive
17change and supports ongoing efforts to transform our child
18welfare system by keeping children and teens safely with their
19own family and to avoid the often-traumatizing experience of
20unnecessary placement into the foster care system; its name
21reflects the elements of the legislation, a family first for
22children and teens with prevention services to keep kids safe
23and able to reach maturity in their family; prevention



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1services, including in-home, skills-based training for
2parents, mental health care, including family therapy, and
3substance abuse and treatment programs are important parts of
4Family First; when the courts determine that children need to
5enter foster care, Family First specifically calls for them to
6be placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting
7to meet their individual needs; the law recognizes that
8treatment programs can provide short-term, customized
9therapeutic support while kids are living in families; this
10could be with birth parents, other relatives, close friends,
11or foster caregivers; residential treatment may be needed for
12short-term stabilization, usually less than 90 days, with
13follow-up services when children return to their family;
14federally-reimbursed services are meant to support and
15strengthen families, so children don't enter care; they are
16also meant to maintain child and family connections when
17children enter foster care or require short-term residential
18treatment, and they provide six months of aftercare when a
19child has transitioned home from either setting; the focus is
20on helping children and families live and grow together safely
21and successfully; and
22    WHEREAS, This Act reforms the federal child welfare
23financing streams, Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social
24Security Act, to provide services to families who are at risk
25of entering the child welfare system; and



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1    WHEREAS, This Act aims to prevent children from entering
2foster care by allowing federal reimbursement for mental
3health services, substance use treatment, and in-home
4parenting skill training; it also seeks to improve the
5well-being of children already in foster care by motivating
6states to reduce placement of children in congregate care; and
7    WHEREAS, With an approved Title IV-E plan, the State would
8have the option to use Title IV-E funds to prevent the
9placement of children and youth into the foster care system
10and to provide up to 12 months of mental health services,
11substance abuse treatment, and in-home parenting training to
12families at risk of entry into the child welfare system;
13additionally, the State could use Title IV-E reimbursement for
14up to 12 months for a child who has been placed with a parent
15in a licensed residential family-based treatment facility for
16substance abuse, regardless of whether the child meets the
17AFDC income-eligibility requirement for Title IV-E; and
18    WHEREAS, A competitive grant for recruitment and retention
19of high-quality foster families is provided and made available
20through 2022; parameters for states to expand funding
21eligibility for youth "aging out" of foster care are provided;



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1    WHEREAS, Decreasing the number of children newly enrolled
2in the foster care system by providing federally-reimbursable
3services to families at risk of entering the child welfare
4system will benefit the State of Illinois; therefore, be it
7SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we urge the State to support
8the Family First Prevention Services Act to help decrease the
9number of children who are entered into foster care; and be it
11    RESOLVED, That we call on the State to restore funding for
12family intake and add more funding for family reunification
13and restore college scholarships for all the wards of the
14State who express a desire to further their education and
15attend college; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
17delivered to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family
18Services, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the
19Illinois Student Assistance Commission.