U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
The Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families program supports child welfare systems with the solidification and integration of partnerships among local services and supports that strengthen and address the needs of families before they come to the attention of the child welfare agency. The intent is to look to the broader child welfare system of supports, agencies, and child and family serving entities, in order to develop and implement the desired community-based approach. Support will be provided for state efforts to change systems in order to develop a continuum of community-based supports and resources that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. Reform efforts should place highest priority on starting early and linking families to local supports and resources in a more intentional and effective manner to support families throughout a child’s lifespan. This solicitation promotes practice principles that support improved outcomes for children and families. These principles include:
- Strong families that are stable and have the skills and capacity to provide for their children’s well-being (including their health, mental health, relationships, and education)
- Mobilized communities that view child and family safety and well-being as a community responsibility and act on this belief through the strategic use of public resources, oversight, and shared accountability
- Responsive child welfare systems that convene and facilitate the planning and delivery of supports and services for families in the community with the goal of ensuring that all families receive the help they need to safely care for their children
Projects will be required to support the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that embrace proactive efforts to build on the strengths of families, including those at high risk for child maltreatment. Projects will enhance the capacity of communities to address the well-being needs of families before more formal strategies, practices, or activities are warranted to achieve the following goals:
- Reduce new referrals and entry into foster care to the public child welfare agency by strengthening families and mobilizing communities. Activities include implementing primary prevention strategies, practices, or activities, informed by the relevant literature and the identified needs of the communities to be served.
- Support child and family well-being and strengthen protective factors to prevent child maltreatment. Activities include developing integrated family support systems across the public and private community groups, agencies, courts, and other relevant entities in the communities to be served.
- Evaluate these efforts to provide substantial information about the effectiveness of the strategies, practices, or activities implemented in reducing referrals to the public child welfare agency with the support of the designated evaluation technical assistance (TA) provider as well as reducing entry into foster care.
The projects will foster strategic coordination, a shared vision, jointly owned outcomes, and strong multi-system collaboration among public and private agencies including, but not limited to: TANF; child support; fatherhood programs; home visiting; early childhood; child care; education; healthy marriage initiatives; mental health and substance abuse; and faith- and community-based providers. Projects will be required to collaborate with critical partners including the public child welfare agency, the courts, and legal community serving the designated community in order to address site specific issues and achieve their common goals.
The target population of the project should include a geographic area that would benefit from a multi-system collaborative that will develop a continuum of community-based services and resources to strengthen families and reduce the likelihood that children will suffer future maltreatment.
Amount: A total of $2,200,000 is available to make up to four awards of $550,000 per budget period. The project period is for 60 months.
Eligibility: State governments; county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; independent school districts; institutions of higher education; Native American tribal governments; public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities; Native American tribal organizations; nonprofits with or without 501(c)(3) status; for profit organizations; and small businesses. Collaborative efforts are strongly encouraged.
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