What are Prevention Services?

Federal funds that had previously only been intended to be used for youth who had already entered foster care can now be used for evidence-based and trauma-informed prevention services. Children who are at risk of entering foster care, as well as their families, will now have the ability to access these federal funds to support these services, through their local departments of social services, to keep their families intact and prevent removal through foster care.

Federally funded prevention services include:

  • Mental Health Prevention and Treatment Services
  • Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Services
  • In-Home Parent Skill-Based Programs

Why this Matters?

These changes will further enhance Virginia Children's Services Practice Model, "we believe that children do best when raised in families".

We believe that:

  • Children should be raised by their families whenever possible.
  • Keeping children and families together, and preventing entry into any type of out-of-home placement is the best possible use of resources.
  • People can and do make positive changes. The past does not necessarily limit their potential.
  • Children are best served when we provide their families with the supports necessary to raise them safely.
  • Services to preserve the family unit and prevent family disruption are family-focused, child centered, and community-based.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for prevention services, children or families must have:

  • a child who is a candidate for foster care, but who can remain safely at home or in kinship, and is identified as being at imminent risk of entering foster care
  • a child whose adoption or guardianship arrangement is at risk of a disruption/dissolution and includes post-reunification services
  • a child in foster care who is pregnant or parenting
  • parents or kin caregivers where services are needed to prevent the candidate for foster care from entry into care

The Candidate for Foster Care must have a Department of Social Services written prevention plan which includes:

  1. a prevention strategy so that the child came remain in the home, live temporarily with a kin caregiver until reunification can be safely achieved, or live permanently with a kin caregiver;
  2. a list of services or programs to be provided to or on behalf of the child to ensure success of the prevention strategy