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Smith, Davis Push Family First Law to Strengthen Families and Combat Opioid Crisis

September 21, 2018

This week, Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Ranking Member Danny K. Davis (D-IL) sent a letter to child welfare administrators and stakeholders to aid implementation of an important effort to help our communities nationwide combat the opioid crisis.

The Family First Prevention Services Act, or “Family First,” is an important measure championed by the Committee that was signed into law in February and is aimed at strengthening families. The law does so by promoting evidence-based prevention services for substance abuse, mental health, and parenting for families to avoid placing children in the foster care system.

Due to delays in guidance and necessary information from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Human Resources Subcommittee held a bipartisan implementation hearing on July 24, 2018 after collecting nearly 200 outstanding questions from stakeholders.

In discussing the hearing, the letter stated:

“It was our intention to gather as many responses as possible to outstanding questions that may be impeding your work toward a successful and timely implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act

“While there are many more questions to be answered, and we remain committed to continuing to oversee implementation and work with you and other stakeholders on the ground, we thought it useful to share the hearing transcript and highlight a few of the policy responses that were received at the hearing.”

More information on the hearing, including the transcript, can be found on the hearing’s webpage.

CLICK HERE to view the letter.