Connecting the Dots

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) presents child welfare systems with an exciting opportunity to both re-envision and re-shape service provision and advance equity in support of expectant and parenting youth in foster care (EPY). Addressing the unique needs of EPY, preventing child abuse and neglect of their children, and reducing disparate outcomes requires child welfare systems to provide equitable access to a wide range of evidence-informed and trauma-informed that are responsive to the developmental needs of both young parents and their children.

Connecting the Dots: A Resource Guide for Meeting the Needs of Expectant and Parenting Youth, their Children, and Families provides child welfare administrators, policymakers, and researchers with information on a wide range of interventions that meet the comprehensive needs of EPY, prevent child abuse and neglect of their children, and improve parent and child well-being outcomes.

The three purposes of this guide are to:

  1. Provide a comprehensive set of resources for jurisdictions working to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for these young families;
  2. Enhance knowledge of evidence-informed and promising practices that holistically address the developmental needs of expectant and parenting youth in foster care, their children, and families; and
  3. Build evidence for effective interventions that are informed by and specifically target EPY.

Connecting the Dots is an essential first step in collaborating with child welfare systems to better align funding, service provision, decision-making, and research with the needs of EPY, their children, and their families.

Derick Gomez is a Program & Research Assistant at CSSP.