Working to transform the child welfare system.

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”.

Amendments: 

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.