As of Oct. 1, 2019, states have the option to use Title IV-E funds for prevention services for eligible children at risk of foster care placement and their families, based on a federally approved Prevention Services Plan.

Over the last year, DCYF partnered with communities and stakeholders to build a comprehensive plan that helps children and families who are at risk of entering foster care receive enhanced support in areas such as in-home skill-based programs and services, mental health services and substance abuse prevention and treatment. 

On Dec. 20, 2019, DCYF submitted the Prevention Plan to the federal Children’s Bureau to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Washington is one of a small handful of states to do so. We received feedback from the Children’s Bureau in March 2020 on our Prevention plan and made changes to the plan to address that feedback. We submitted an amended plan on April 30, 2020 and received a request for additional information regarding our evaluation approach for the evidence based practices.  We addressed that feedback and submitted an amended plan on July 31, 2020.

DCYF started planning for implementation and working to secure funding to support implementation. Multiple workgroups will be developed to focus on developing project plans. These workgroups will include staff from across DCYF, providers, tribes, external partners and stakeholders. Partnership across systems will be critical to bring this to life in Washington. 

On Oct. 1, 2020, the federal Children’s Bureau approved the Family First Prevention Plan.

Link to Media Statement

You can view the approved plan HERE.

DCYF FFPSA Prevention Plan

FFPSA Prevention Plan (Approved October 1, 2020)

FFPSA and Tribal Welfare Prevention 

DCYF leaders worked with Washington Tribes over the year leading up to submission of the agency’s initial Family First Prevention Services (FFPSA) Prevention plan submission to identify voluntary prevention services that are embraced in tribal communities and that could potentially be funded through FFPSA. Based on this feedback, DCYF has contracted to complete an evidentiary review of four tribal prevention practices, a review required in order to submit evidence to the Prevention Clearinghouse. We are in continued dialogue with Tribes about implementation, contracting, and evaluation. You can view the literature review on the four identified tribal prevention practices:

What is DCYF’s commitment?

In line with the new legislation, the goal of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) continues to be prevention and early intervention. FFPSA is an important tool to accomplish prevention that is at the heart of our mission, but it is not the sum total of our prevention work.

DCYF Prevention Framework

  • Prevention can occur all along the DCYF continuum of services
  • DCYF engages in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention
  • Prevention occurs at multiple levels – individual, family, community
  • Prevention efforts should be informed by the voices of children, youth, and families
  • Informed by data and evidence
  • Prevention can address disparities and disproportionalities
  • Early learning is prevention
  • DCYF endorses the Children’s Bureau vision for child welfare: “Strategies to Strengthen Families

DCYF is committed to continuing to work with our external partners on developing robust and comprehensive prevention strategies that support children, youth, families and our communities.

Community Input


FFPSA Community Meeting Notes

FFPSA PowerPoint

FFPSA Round 2 Community Input