The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services - Child Welfare Services Branch (DHS) is expanding their use of Title IV-E funds to safely prevent the placement of children into foster care.
Additional federal funds are available if states utilize evidence-based services to better address the needs of children at risk for placement into foster care, their parents and kin caregivers and pregnant and parenting youth-in-care. Under new federal legislation, the Family First Prevention Services Act, states can utilize federal Title IV-E dollars to provide time-limited, evidence-based services for (1) mental health prevention and treatment, (2) substance abuse prevention and treatment, and (3) in-home parent skills-based programs. Building on the lessons learned in the Hawaiʻi Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Program and Evaluation, the state will expand some of the prevention services tested in that program to additional counties and will introduce others.
This evaluation is funded for five years, from 2020 to 2025. The Center on the Family is assisting the Hawaii DHS in selecting, implementing and evaluating an array of evidence-based services. The Center on the Family is also providing assistance in the design and dissemination of communications tools to educate the public and community providers on these new services. The evaluations will be formative and summative, using state administrative data, provider databases, and surveys of adult participants. The results of these evaluations will further bolster the use of evidence-based services by the Department of Human Services, with particular attention to the incorporation of culture and individualized service plans.