Dr. William C. Bell statement on the Family First Prevention Services Act

Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family Programs, issued the following statement on the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. The act passed as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on Feb. 9, 2018.

Casey Family Programs applauds the leadership, members and staff of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives for the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. There should be nothing more important to our nation than ensuring the safety of our children and ensuring that they have the opportunity to grow up surrounded by a Community of Hope.

This legislation makes it clear that our national child and family well-being response systems will not operate as though it is possible to fully address the well-being of children, without addressing the well-being of their families and their communities. We have always known that it is vitally important that we intervene as early as possible to ensure the safety of children. Family First gives states and tribes the ability to target their existing federal resources into an array of prevention and early intervention services to keep children safe, strengthen families and reduce the need for foster care whenever it is safe to do so.

We are a nation of overcomers.

Throughout our history, when we as a nation have decided that a specific challenge confronting us as Americans had to be resolved, we have always come together and found a way to be victorious. We have found a way to overcome every challenge…once we truly decided that it must be done.

Creating a world where all of our children have the chance to grow and thrive in safe and supportive environments is something that must be done. Creating a world where the ZIP code of a child’s birth is no longer one of the most determinant factors of that child’s future health and well-being is something that must be done.

The countless numbers of children, many of them not yet born, whose life outcomes will be improved because of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 may never know the names of all the dedicated people who made this action possible. But I am convinced that they will each have the opportunity to know the hope that comes from strong families and supportive communities.

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