Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Aftercare Changing Wraparound in California
By Janine LeSieur, Program Analyst, Family Centered Practice Unit, California Department of Social Services
Wraparound has been an integral part of Child Welfare Services in California for over 20 years. It has supported many youth and families as they transition back to family-based settings, ensuring the supports and natural resources are available to help families identify and develop strong networks of family, friends and community, as well as the tools to be self-reliant and prepared to meet life’s challenges. The FFPSA Aftercare Implementation is an opportunity for California to expand Wraparound services and ensure that all families are supported when youth transition from a short-term residential treatment program (STRTP) back to a family-based home.
The FFPSA is a federal mandate that reforms the federal child welfare financing under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, to authorize the use of federal Title IV-E funding for specified services to families whose children are at risk of entering foster care and to limit reliance on congregate care for children in foster care. Aftercare is one component of FFPSA. All youth or non-minor dependents placed in an STRTP after October 1, 2021, are required to be offered and provided with six months of Aftercare support.
With Wraparound’s rich history in California and its proven success for many families, California has chosen to utilize Wraparound to meet the FFPSA Aftercare requirements. As of October 1, 2021, California began initial implementation with a phased-in approach to high-fidelity Wraparound for Aftercare.
Phase One will begin with each county leveraging current Wraparound programs and other resources. Counties are required to provide the state with a plan developed collaboratively with their system partners.
Phase Two, beginning October 1, 2022, will begin full implementation with all counties ensuring the provision of the high-fidelity Wraparound requirements. These requirements are being developed in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), along with Tribes and a wide representation of stakeholders.
In preparation for Aftercare Phase Two, the process and requirements for county and provider certification will be developed, along with guidance and resources and data collection and continuous quality improvement efforts. All child welfare guidance will be in alignment with the California Wraparound Standards, currently described in ACIN I-52-15.
With the implementation of Wraparound Aftercare, it is hoped that youth and families have the support and resources needed to plan and implement successful transitions and build strong lasting community and family networks.