Family First Prevention Services Act in Wisconsin

All Wisconsin children and youth deserve to be safe and loved members of thriving families and communities. The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA or Family First) gives Wisconsin an opportunity to transform our approach to child welfare services by keeping more families together. Research and history support that children belong with their families, but we must reorient the child welfare system to a new purpose: strengthening Wisconsin families to support their children, because children belong in their families.

Family First Updates

Child Welfare in Wisconsin

Wisconsin uses a state-supervised, county-administered system of child welfare. Meaning, the child welfare system is operated at the county level for every county except for in Milwaukee County (DCF directly operates child welfare services in Milwaukee). Counties receive funding to provide services through a blend of state, federal, and local sources to promote safety and permanence for children and families. The state provides overall guidance through policies and rules designed to guide local child welfare services.

Opportunities of FFPSA

Put simply, the goal of FFPSA is to keep kids with their families. To achieve that end, the law shifts resources away from group care settings and toward in-home prevention services. When a child cannot safely remain in their home, every effort will be made to place a child with a relative or like-kin caregiver. When that is not possible, the next preference is to place children with foster families.