Beginning September 1, 2020, the department shall implement and operate the Family Connections Program (FCP), which facilitates interaction between birth parents and caregivers.
The FCP facilitates the support of a parent ally (for the birth parent), and a caregiver mentor (for the foster parent or kinship care provider). Further roles of the FCP are outlined and described. After one year, the department shall submit a report to the legislature that includes relevant data, outcomes of families who engaged, and the department’s plan for state-wide expansion. Previous language is updated to include the title of “parent ally”.
1st substitute bill:
- The Family Connections Program is created to strengthen families and prevent future child trauma by facilitating communication, where appropriate, between foster families and birth families when a child is dependent and in out-of-home placement.
- Experienced caregiver and parent ally are defined.
- Any funding for the family connections program must supplement not supplant funding for represented caseworkers.