Arkansas Receives Approval for Family First Plan

Our Staff

Arkansas Receives Approval for Family First Plan

February 24, 2020 | by NCCD

Arkansas is the third state in the nation to receive federal approval for its Family First Prevention Services plan. The plan outlines how the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will implement the new federal Family First Prevention Services Act. The act created funding support for child welfare agencies to prevent children from entering foster care.

NCCD helped contribute to the federal Administration on Children and Families (ACF) approval of the Arkansas plan by performing an independent technical review of the proposed programming.

“This is a big step in the right direction for children and families in Arkansas. This plan is grounded in a commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to strengthen families,” said Cindy Gillespie, DHS secretary. “The plan represents a profound re-thinking of the way child welfare agencies serve children and families.”

Titled “Family First Fits Us,” the plan will help DCFS support communities and families, help prevent child abuse and neglect, and keep children from entering foster care by raising awareness about and access to community-based services such as counseling and parenting support, and connections to financial, educational, and employment support.

“For several years, DHS, our partners, and stakeholders have worked closely together to build a system that is focused on one value—every child deserves a safe, stable family every day,” said Mischa Martin, director of DCFS. “The prevention plan will allow us to expand those efforts and offer more effective services to strengthen families and keep kids safely in their communities.” Read the full press release from Governor Asa Hutchinson here.

Read more about NCCD’s capabilities to assist child welfare agencies in ACF approval here.