WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Family First Transition and Support Act, which would increase investment and support for child welfare as Ohio counties struggle to make sure children are cared for, especially in light of the addiction crisis. Brown’s legislation was informed by meetings, calls, and letters from Ohio parents, caregivers, former foster youth, caseworkers, foster care and behavioral health providers, child welfare directors and pediatricians. Brown’s bill builds on the Family First Prevention Services Act, legislation passed by Congress last year that transforms the way government funds child welfare services. 


182 national and local organizations have thrown their support behind the Family First Transition and Support Act. Here is what some of those organizations are saying:

American Academy of Pediatrics

“The Family First Prevention Services Act is a landmark child reform law, and pediatricians have been working tirelessly to ensure vulnerable families can start benefitting from its policies without delay. The Family First Transition and Support Act would further bolster these efforts and help support the law’s success on the ground. Pediatricians are committed to shifting the focus of the child welfare system to prevention, and this bill would help build on the important progress made by Family First. The American Academy of Pediatrics thanks Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Senator Michael Bennet for their work to champion this legislation and is urging Congress to advance the bill without delay.” – Kyle Yasuda, President

American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Chapter

“Last year, the number of children in foster care in Ohio was roughly 16,000, which is an increase of 3,500 — or 28 percent — in five years. We need to do better for these children and we need the Family First Transition and Support Act of 2019 so that we can provide access to services and interventions that are best for Ohio’s children.” – Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO

Ohio Children's Alliance

“The legislation is critical for states all across our country who must plan reforms of their child welfare systems, mandated by the recently enacted Family First Act. This new legislation will provide essential resources and tools for local agencies and government to produce optimal outcomes for kids and families. We wholeheartedly support the legislation and believe it is imperative for Congress to act quickly.” – Mark Mecum, CEO

Lighthouse Youth & Family Services

“Lighthouse Youth & Family Services recognizes the value of dedicating resources to support kinship placements, the recruitment of foster families, and the selection of evidence-based practices, to name a few of the many benefits in the Family First Transition and Support Act.  FFTSA will benefit children, youth and families throughout Ohio and the nation.” – Paul Haffner, President and CEO

Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children

“Funding to help families and kinship providers is essential to improve the outcomes for children.  As a Pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s, I frequently diagnosis child abuse and neglect.  I support the Family First Transition and Support Act which will promote early interventions, prevention and training aimed at increasing child well-being and reducing the need for foster care placement.” – Robert Shapiro, Division Director

Public Children Services Association of Ohio

“Ohio’s Children Services System continues to be in a severe crisis largely attributed to the opioid epidemic – significant increase of children in foster care with more complex needs, higher reliance on kinship caregivers, a suffering traumatized workforce, reduced placement options, and soaring, unsustainable costs. Addressing today’s needs while working to reform our system for tomorrow is a very heavy lift; one that can seem almost impossible. Senator Brown’s Family First Transition and Support Act is exactly what Ohio needs to successfully prepare for and implement FFPSA. The provision to delay the 50% Title IV-E expenditure on well-supported programs is exactly what our county public children services agencies have been seeking, as it would allow the state to grow many promising and supported practices to the highest level of evidence. In addition, the ability to use Title IV-E funding to provide kinship supports would be especially meaningful to Ohio’s waiver counties who will lose the flexibility to provide such services when the waiver expires on September 30, 2019.” – Angela Sausser, Executive Director

Children’s Home Society of America

“CHSA appreciates the commitment Senators Brown and Stabenow are making to improve the child welfare system building upon the strengths of Family First.  Furthermore, we appreciate the Senators' recognition of the unique role kin plays in our cities and counties seeing an increased rate of foster youth due to the opioid crisis. CHSA's member agencies work tirelessly to train, develop, and retain robust child welfare caseworkers.  We need the investment and support FFTSA is offering in this constant struggle to provide the best care for the vulnerable youth we serve.” – Brian Maness, Children’s Home Society of America Board Chair, President & CEO of Children's Home Society of North Carolina

Ohio Grandparent Kinship Coalition

“As a result of the opioid crisis, families and family serving systems are under great pressure to provide for the needs of children who are unable to live with their parents.  Senators Brown, Bennet and Stabenow have demonstrated real leadership in drafting the Family First Transition and Support Act, which would increase investment in and support for child welfare. This act will provide needed resources to allow families to support children and help them to thrive. We commend Senator Brown, Senator Bennet and Senator Stabenow for their dedication to the most vulnerable in our communities, our children.” – Dr. Ollie Collier-Jones, Co-President

Ohio Federation for Health Equity and Social Justice

“The opioid crisis has devastated so many families.  With each new day children are traumatized watching those they love overdose.  Our child serving systems already overburdened are being called upon to provide more.   The Family First Prevention Services Act, introduced by Senator Brown, Senator Bennet and Senator Stabenow is one of the most forward-thinking pieces of legislation I have seen in my 30+ plus years in the field.  It provides child serving systems with the ability to serve families in a holistic and strength-based approach. Too often a lack of resources hampers our ability to address the root causes our families face.  This bill will allow systems to collaborate, partner and leverage resources to engage families resulting in improved outcomes. I thank Senator Brown, Senator Bennett and Senator Stabenow for their leadership.” – Ronald R. Browder, President & CEO

Child Welfare League of America

“The Family First Transition and Support Act is the next step in assisting states with the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which Congress passed in 2018. States and territories have shared the challenges with Family First and the need and opportunities that if implemented effectively can provide better outcomes for children and families. This legislation will allow all fifty states more flexibility and expanded use in providing the new services and more significantly eliminates the outdated IV-E foster eligibility requirements. It includes many other additional supports for kinship families and the child welfare system including state-based research funding, and workforce development funds. CWLA is grateful for Senators Brown, Stabenow, Bennet, Klobuchar, and Gillibrand assistance making children and families a national priority.” – Christine James-Brown, CEO & President

Human Service Chamber of Franklin County

“The Human Service Chamber is grateful for Senator Brown's leadership in sponsoring the Family First Transition and Support Act, which among other things would enhance funding for caseworker training and development. This is a critical need for agencies delivering services that is too often overlooked an investment such as this will buttress the human services infrastructure even as it is targeted within improving the child welfare system.” – Michael Corey, Executive Director

Family Focused Treatment Association

“The Family Focused Treatment Association is grateful for the Family First Transition and Support Act and the contributions it brings to all states in implementing true child welfare reform. This legislation addresses key needs and resources to enhance system reform that our nation’s children and families deserve and that Congress has committed to providing.” – Laura Boyd, National Public Policy Director

Generations United

“The Family First Transition and Support Act will help provide a broad range of the types of services that help grandfamily caregivers provide safe and loving homes for the children in their care. Children thrive in the care of relatives when they receive the supports needed.” – Donna Butts, Executive Director

Children's Defense Fund

“This legislation responds to the call for help from states working to better serve children and families by implementing the new reforms in the historic Family First Prevention Services Act. The goal of Family First is improving the well-being of children, and the Family First Transition and Support Act helps deliver on that promise by providing the extra support needed to keep children safely with their families or with quality foster families should placement in foster care be necessary.  It must be enacted now. Children are waiting.” – Stefanie Sprow, Deputy Director Child Welfare and Mental Health

First Focus

“We commend Senator Brown and Senator Stabenow, both of whom are Champions for Children, for truly putting the welfare of children and youth first with the introduction of this legislation, which would effectively allow states to successfully transition to Family First Prevention Services Act. This legislation provides critical funding for states and communities to improve their foster care systems by eliminating the outdated look-back requirement; provides states with resources to conduct research of prevention services and programs that strengthen families and reduce inter-generational poverty, and supports critically-needed kinship support services, such as childcare, transportation, housing and legal services. This bold legislation sets children and youth up for success. We look forward to working with Senators Brown and Stabenow to advance this legislation.” – Bruce Lesley President, First Focus Campaign for Children

Below is a complete list of the 182 organizations that have endorsed the Family First Transition and Support Act:

Adoption Rhode Island

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Amara – Washington

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics – Ohio

A New Leaf Inc. – Ohio

Appalachian Community Services – North Carolina

Apple Grove Treatment Center – Nevada

Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

Aspire Minnesota

Avenues to Wellness – Virginia

Bair Foundation – Ohio

Bamboo Sunrise Foster Care Agency – Nevada

Bethany Christian Services – Alabama

Bethany Christian Services – Arkansas

Bethany Christian Services – California

Bethany Christian Services – Colorado

Bethany Christian Services – Delaware

Bethany Christian Services – District of Columbia

Bethany Christian Services – Florida

Bethany Christian Services – Georgia

Bethany Christian Services – Illinois

Bethany Christian Services – Indiana

Bethany Christian Services – Iowa

Bethany Christian Services – Kentucky

Bethany Christian Services – Maryland

Bethany Christian Services – Massachusetts

Bethany Christian Services – Michigan

Bethany Christian Services – Minnesota

Bethany Christian Services – Missouri

Bethany Christian Services – Nebraska

Bethany Christian Services – New Hampshire

Bethany Christian Services – New Jersey

Bethany Christian Services – New York

Bethany Christian Services – North Carolina

Bethany Christian Services – Ohio

Bethany Christian Services – Oregon

Bethany Christian Services – Pennsylvania

Bethany Christian Services – Rhode Island

Bethany Christian Services – South Carolina

Bethany Christian Services – South Dakota

Bethany Christian Services – Tennessee

Bethany Christian Services – Vermont

Bethany Christian Services – Virginia

Bethany Christian Services – Washington

Bethany Christian Services – West Virginia

Bethany Christian Services – Wisconsin

Bethany Christian Services – Wyoming

Board of Child Care – Maryland

Boys Town

Buckeye Ranch – Ohio

Camelot Community Care – Florida

Camelot Community Care – Ohio

Caring For Kids, Inc. – Ohio

Centerstone, Inc. – Georgia

Centerstone, Inc. – Indiana

Centerstone, Inc. – Kentucky

Centerstone, Inc. – Tennessee

Children’s Advocacy Institute – California

Children’s Alliance – Kansas

Children’s Alliance – Kentucky

Children’s Defense Fund

Children and Families First – Delaware

Child and Family Services of the Upper Peninsula – Michigan

Child and Family Charities – Michigan

Children and Family Futures – California

Children’s Home and Aid – Illinois

Children Have Options in Caring Environments – Ohio

Children’s Home Society of America

Children’s Home Society of Washington

Children's Community Programs of Connecticut

Child Welfare League of America

Chosen Care – Texas

Chrysalis Family Solutions – Ohio

Coalition for Family and Children’s Services – Iowa

Community Teaching Homes, Inc. – Ohio

Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies – New York

Crittenton Center – Iowa

Eagle Quest – Nevada

Embrace Treatment Foster Care – Virginia

Encompass – Washington

Envision Counseling – Virginia

Families First Counseling Services of Iowa

Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA)

Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) – Georgia

Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) – Nevada

Family Focused Treatment Association (FFTA) – Virginia

First Focus

First Resources Corporation – Iowa

Focus on Youth, Inc. – Ohio

Foster America

Fostering Change for Children – New York

Four Oaks

Genacross Lutheran Services – Ohio

Generations United

Grace Harbor – Georgia

Hathaway-Sycamores Children and Family Services – California

Homebased Services and Resources – Oklahoma

Hope Hill Youth Services – Kentucky

House of New Hope – Ohio

Human Service Chamber of Franklin County – Ohio

Impact Living Services – Virginia

Independent Adult Care Services – Virginia

J. P. Interventions, Inc. – Kentucky

Kansas African American Foster Care/Adoption Coalition

Kansas Parents as Teachers Association

Life Start, Inc. – Ohio

Lighthouse Youth and Family Services – Ohio

Maryhurst, Inc. –  Kentucky

Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Ohio

Methodist Home for Children – North Carolina

Midwest Christian Services – Iowa

Missouri Coalition of Children's Agencies

National Center for Housing and Child Welfare

National Children’s Alliance

National Counseling Group – Virginia

National Organization of State Associations for Children (NOSAC)

National Youth Advocate Program – Florida

National Youth Advocate Program – Georgia

National Youth Advocate Program – Illinois

National Youth Advocate Program – Indiana

National Youth Advocate Program – Kentucky

National Youth Advocate Program – Ohio

National Youth Advocate Program – South Carolina

National Youth Advocate Program – West Virginia

Nebraska Children's Home Society

New Beginnings Residential Treatment Center – Ohio

New York State Kinship Navigator

Northeast Ohio Adoption Services

North East Arkansas Community Mental Health – Arkansas

Oesterlen Services For Youth, Inc. – Ohio

Ohio Children’s Alliance

Ohio Federation for Health Equity and Social Justice

Ohio Grandparent/ Kinship Coalition

Olive Crest – Nevada

Omni Visions – Indiana

Omni Visions – Kentucky

Omni Visions – North Carolina

Omni Visions – Tennessee

Orchard Place –  Iowa

Partners for Our Children – Washington

Pressley Ridge – Delaware

Pressley Ridge – Maryland

Pressley Ridge – Ohio

Pressley Ridge – Pennsylvania

Pressley Ridge – Virginia

Pressley Ridge – West Virginia

PsyCare Inc. – Ohio

Public Children Services Association of Ohio

Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families

RISE Services, Inc. – Arizona

RISE Services, Inc. – Oregon

RISE Services, Inc. – Texas

RISE Services, Inc. – Utah

Ruth Ellis Center – Michigan

Spaulding for Children – Michigan

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc.

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Alabama

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Colorado

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Kentucky

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Ohio

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Indiana

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – Nevada

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Inc. – South Carolina

St. Aloysius – Ohio

St. Joseph Orphanage of Cincinnati – Ohio

St. Vincent Family Center – Ohio

Starlight Behavioral Healthcare – West Virginia

Starr Commonwealth – Michigan

Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope – Kansas

Tennyson Center for Children – Colorado

The Village Network – Ohio

Upbring – Texas

ViaQuest Psychiatric and Behavioral Solutions – Ohio

Voca Corporation of NC DBA New Horizons – North Carolina

Walden Family Services – California

Washington Association of Children and Families

Within Our Reach

Woodward Academy – Iowa

Youth Homes of Mid-America – Iowa

Youthnet – Washington

Youth Villages