In Brief

DCS gains approval for prevention funding

By: - July 1, 2022 3:00 pm

The Indiana Department of Child Services received federal funding approval for a five-year prevention program. (Getty Images)

The Indiana Department of Child Services received approval from the Administration for Children and Families for its five-year prevention plan, which allows the state to use federal funding for the first time to deliver prevention services to families with the goal of keeping children safely with their families and out of foster care.

The Indiana Department of Child Services leads the state’s response to allegations of child abuse and neglect and facilitates child support payments.

The prevention plan is a requirement of the Family First Prevention Services Act, a federal law that was adopted in 2018 and focuses on keeping families together. It also ensures children who do have to be removed are placed in family settings whenever possible and not in congregate-care placements. The plan outlines how the department will utilize the funding on evidence-based practices to try to safely preserve more families, which, whenever possible, is better for kids and their families.

“The Family First Act opened the door for child welfare agencies to use federal funds in a very different way,” Indiana DCS Director Terry Stigdon said. “We are eager for the opportunities this will present to support the children and families we serve.”

DCS implemented the congregate-care requirements of FFPSA in the fall of 2021. States may claim prevention services funding dating back to the quarter they first submitted an approvable plan. That makes Indiana eligible to claim for services going back to Jan. 1, 2021.

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Staff Reports

Indiana Capital Chronicle staff - Casey Smith, Niki Kelly, Whitney Downard, Leslie Bonilla Muñiz