Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is federal legislation that aims to prevent children from entering foster care. If children are placed in foster care, it encourages placing them with family members or in a foster family home instead of a group home.

Although the FFPSA was signed into law in 2018, Minnesota delayed full implementation until September 30, 2021.

For more information, read this news item.
The following are some rules and laws relevant to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA):
Please refer to the Fast Facts - Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) handout for an overview of the legislation and its impact on the court process. Also refer to the Handout - QRTP Review for an overview of the court’s role and expectations in reviewing decisions to place children in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs).

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Understanding and Applying New Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Requirements
  • Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Register 
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Register
Virtual Training via Zoom

Minnesota will fully implement the FFPSA on September 30, 2021. After that date, Minnesota district courts will review and approve or not approve decisions to place children in Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) within 60 days of placement. In addition to the initial review of QRTP placements, courts will also complete long-term, ongoing review of the QRTP placement to ensure it continues to meet a child's well-being.

Course Description: By completing one of these courses, learners will be able to explain the process through which district courts will review QRTP placements and what information is needed to complete that review. The courses are led by Judge Janet Cain (1st Judicial District), Judge Angela Willms (4th Judicial District), and Rebecca Vanden Hanen (Children's Justice Initiative (CJI) Program Staff Attorney). For those unable to attend, a recorded session will be available.  

Learning Objectives: 
1. Summarize the effect the FFPSA has on child welfare cases.
2. Define key terms of the FFPSA. 
3. Distinguish review options and identify the steps involved in the court's review of QRTP placements.
4. Identify the information the court needs to review a QRTP placement.  


Recommended Audience:
 All CJI team members and stakeholders in the child welfare community are encouraged to attend, including judges, court administration staff, law clerks, county attorneys, social workers, attorneys for parents and children, guardians ad litem, and tribal representatives. 

Additional training opportunities specific to judicial officers and law clerks as well as court administration staff have been announced through the Minnesota Judicial Branch's internal communication channels.

Registration: Register using the links above.  

Continuing Education Credit: Applications have been made for continuing education credit for judges, court administrators, guardians ad litem, social workers, and attorneys. 
More resource tools are coming soon for CJI teams and others in the child welfare community  who are impacted by changes to the juvenile court process.

Other State and Federal Resources on FFPSA 


Contact the Children's Justice Initiative (CJI).