Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is federal legislation that aims to prevent children from entering foster care. If children are placed in foster care, it encourages placing them with family members or in a foster family home instead of a group home.

Although the FFPSA was signed into law in 2018, Minnesota delayed full implementation of the court review requirements of the FFPSA until September 30, 2021.

For more information, read this news item.
The following are some rules and laws relevant to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA):
Please refer to the Fast Facts - Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) handout for an overview of the legislation and its impact on the court process. Also refer to the Handout - QRTP Review for an overview of the court’s role and expectations in reviewing decisions to place children in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs). Refer to the FFPSA - Guide to Qualified Residential Treatment Programs for additional, detailed information and resources about Minnesota's QRTPs.

More resource tools are coming soon for CJI teams and others in the child welfare community  who are impacted by changes to the juvenile court process.


Other State and Federal Resources on FFPSA 

​​Training Opportunities

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA): Update on QRTP Placement Reviews
 
  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Register 
  • Monday, January 31, 2022, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Register 
Virtual Training via Zoom

Agenda 


To ensure child well-being for children and youth placed in a children’s residential facility and/or foster residence setting, Minnesota fully implemented the court review requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) on September 30, 2021. Minnesota district courts are required to review and approve or not approve decisions to place children in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) within 60 days of placement and complete long-term, ongoing reviews of those QRTP placements to ensure they continue to meet a child’s well-being. Since implementing these changes, a lot has been learned about integrating QRTP placement reviews into child welfare case work.  

Course Description: By completing one of these courses, learners will receive a brief review of the FFPSA and learn about best practices from around the state for managing cases involving a QRTP placement. The courses will be led by Judge Janet Cain (1st Judicial District), Judge Angela Willms (4th Judicial District), and Rebecca Vanden Hanen (Children’s Justice initiative (CJI) Program Staff Attorney). For those unable to attend, a recorded session will be available on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website within three weeks of the event date.
 
For a complete look at what the FFPSA is and the court’s responsibilities in it, please review the recorded version of the September 22, 2021, Understanding the Applying New Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Court Review Requirements training on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website before attending this live session. 

Learning Objectives: When attendees have finished this course, they will be able to:
 
  1. Describe what the FFPSA is.
  2. Explain their role in the court’s review of a QRTP placement.
  3. Apply best practices from around the state for managing cases involving a QRTP placement.
Recommended Audience: All CJI team members and stakeholders in the child welfare community are encouraged to attend, including judicial officers, court administration staff, law clerks, county attorneys, social workers, attorneys for parents and children, guardians ad litem, and tribal representatives.
 
Additional training opportunities specific to judicial officers and law clerks have been announced through the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s internal communication channels.

Continuing Education Credit: Applications have been made for continuing education credit for judicial officers, court administrators, guardians ad litem, social workers, and attorneys.
 

Previous Training Opportunities

A recorded version of the September 22, 2021, Understanding and Applying New Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Court Review Requirements training is now available along with a handout FFPSA - Answers to Questions from Live Training. Please see below for a detailed course description, as well as professional credit information for the live webcast version of the training and for the recorded, on-demand version of the training.    

Course Description: Minnesota fully implemented the court review requirements of FFPSA on September 30, 2021. Since that date, Minnesota district courts have been required to review and approve or not approve decisions to place children in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) within 60 days of placement. In addition to the initial review of QRTP placements, courts also need to complete long-term, ongoing review of the QRTP placement to ensure it continues to meet a child's well-being.

By completing this course, learners will be able to explain the process through which district courts review QRTP placements and what information is needed to complete that review. The course is led by Judge Janet Cain (1st Judicial District), Judge Angela Willms (4th Judicial District), and Rebecca Vanden Hanen (Children's Justice Initiative (CJI) Program Staff Attorney). 

Learning Objectives: 
1. Summarize the effect the FFPSA has on child welfare cases.
2. Define key terms of the FFPSA. 
3. Distinguish review options and identify the steps involved in the court's review of QRTP placements.
4. Identify the information the court needs to review a QRTP placement.  

Agenda

Recommended Audience:
 All CJI team members and stakeholders in the child welfare community are encouraged to participate in the training, including judicial officers, court administration staff, law clerks, county attorneys, social workers, attorneys for parents and children, guardians ad litem, and tribal representatives. 

Additional training opportunities specific to judicial officers and law clerks as well as court administration staff have been announced through the Minnesota Judicial Branch's internal communication channels.

Continuing Education Credit: Applications have been made for continuing education credit for judicial officers, court administrators, guardians ad litem, social workers, and attorneys. 

For judicial officers, please complete this Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) Petition to report your participation in the training.  

For attorneys, this course has been approved for 1.0 standard Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. The event code for the September 21, 2021 live webcast version of the training is 401814. The event code for the September 22, 2021 live webcast version of the training is 401815. The event code for the recorded September 22, 2021 version of the training that can be viewed on-demand is 412273.

For social workers, guardians ad litem, and others, a Certificate of Attendance from the live webcast version of the training will be provided upon request, along with a copy of the agenda. 

For court administration staff, please record your attendance as an external training event in Cornerstone. 
Questions?

Contact the Children's Justice Initiative (CJI).