Promoting Safe and Stable Families: Title IV-B, Subpart 2, of the Social Security Act
The primary goals of Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) are to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, improve the quality of care and services to children and their families, and ensure permanency for children by reuniting them with their parents, by adoption or by another permanent living arrangement. States are to spend most of the funding for services that address: family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion and support.
The services are designed to help State child welfare agencies and eligible Indian tribes establish and operate integrated, preventive family preservation services and community-based family support services for families at risk or in crisis. Funds go directly to child welfare agencies and eligible Indian tribes to be used in accordance with their 5-year plans. Other grant funds are set aside for nationally funded evaluation, research, and training and technical assistance projects. In addition, funds are set-aside for court improvement programs.
The funds are distributed to States, territories and Indian Tribes large enough to garner a minimum of $10,000. The formula for distribution relies on food stamp usage in the States with a small percentage set aside for Tribes. Allocations to States range from almost $35 million (California) to just over $375,000 (Wyoming). Almost 120 Tribes were eligible for funds in FY 2008.
The program is funded at approximately $428,000,000 for FY 2008.
These funds, along with the Child Welfare Services funds are a small but integral part of State social service systems for children and families who need assistance in order to keep their families together. These funds, often combined with State and local government as well as private funds, support the parenting and healthy marriage classes that increase relationship skills within the family, the home-visiting services for young parents with first babies and other family-based services, respite care for caregivers of children with special needs and numerous other unique and innovative programs and services that local communities rely on for at risk families.