Child Welfare:

Opportunities to Further Enhance Family Preservation and Support Activities

HEHS-95-112: Published: Jun 15, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal and state efforts to implement the family preservation and support (FPS) provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

GAO found that: (1) although reliance on foster care decreased in the early 1980s, the incidence of poverty, substance abuse, and child abuse and neglect began to rise by the mid-1980s; (2) states focused on services designed to prevent or remedy family crises that might result in foster care placement, but their efforts were often constrained by funding limitations and fragmented service delivery systems; (3) states have appropriately focused on understanding the law and federal guidelines, applying for funds, and initiating a comprehensive process to implement FPS provisions; (4) the Department of Health and Human Services has provided ongoing assistance to the states in implementing FPS provisions; and (5) states anticipate difficulties in developing various aspects of their implementation plans, such as goal setting and funding decisions, and performing their own comprehensive program evaluations.

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