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News & Press: Legislative Updates

WIAAP member Lisa Zetley, MD, FAAP highlights Child Welfare Reform Law

Saturday, May 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
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The following is a report from the AAP's Department of Federal Affairs.


This week, two pediatrician experts spoke at events in Washington, DC, on the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, an AAP-championed law enacted in February. The law represents a significant shift in federal child welfare policy. It funds services to prevent unnecessary foster care and reforms congregate care financing to ensure children are placed with families unless their treatment needs require a higher level of care. Both events were in partnership with Casey Family Programs, the largest U.S. private operating foundation focused on foster care issues.

On Tuesday, AAP Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care (COFCAKC) Executive Committee and Wisconsin Chapter member Lisa Zetley, MD, FAAP, spoke at a press briefing at the National Press Club with child welfare agency leaders and service providers about the opportunities for children and families under Family First.

On Wednesday, COFCAKC member Valerie Smith, MD, FAAP, spoke at Casey Family Programs' annual policy dinner, joining a panel with child welfare agency leaders, family substance use treatment providers, and court officials. Drs. Zetley and Smith both highlighted the AAP's role in advocating for Family First and the significant opportunities the law offers to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable children and families.

On Tuesday evening, the Academy and AAP chapters from nearly every state joined a letter from nearly 300 national, state, and local organizations thanking congressional leaders for enacting Family First. AAP will continue its extensive work to ensure effective implementation of the law.