Family First: Child Welfare and Foster Care Under the New Federal Law

mother and son hugHave you heard of the Family First Preservation Services Act (FFPSA)? This new law presents some of the biggest changes to the child welfare system that has been seen in years.

At the MACo Summer Conference session “Family First: Child Welfare and Foster Care Under the New Federal Law,” learn how the law changes funding mechanisms and advances coordination between government agencies and community partners in an effort to better prevent the trauma of removing children from their families and their communities.

Title: Family First: Child Welfare and Foster Care Under the New Federal Law

Description: This year has seen enormous changes in the way child welfare services may be delivered in the United States due to the passage of the Family First Preservation Services Act (FFPSA). When a child is identified as a “candidate” for foster care, the new law assists troubled families by engaging them in substance abuse and mental health treatment, alongside in-home parenting services. However, the single greatest change is the creation of a federal funding mechanism to prevent the need for children to enter into foster care. This new child welfare redesign requires collaboration between county and state governments and collateral community partners (specifically local mental health and drug treatment providers). It is imperative that all stakeholders individualize services and organize providers for their specific communities in a way that will maximize their ability to pull down federal funding. Learn more about the FFPSA and local collaborations at this session.


  • Martha Okafor, Regional Administrator, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Region 3, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration
  • Rebecca Jones Gaston, Executive Director, Social Services Administration, Maryland Department of Human Services
  • Michael Piercy, Jr., LCSW-C, Director, Washington County Department of Social Services
  • Keith Fanjoy, Chief Executive Officer, San Mar Family and Community Services

Moderator: The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, August 15, 2019; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 14-17, 2019 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s conference theme is “Winds of Change.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: