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Capacity Building


Prevention Planning Into Action Resource List

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Use this curated list to find the resources you need in your current phase of prevention planning.

While child welfare agencies across the nation have been intentionally working for many years to become more prevention-focused, the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) served as an important marker of federal investment in—and commitment to—prevention. The FFPSA title IV-E prevention program has afforded agencies an opportunity to leverage resources in support of an intentional, systemic shift toward prevention. 

As child welfare agency leaders think about the incremental steps to operationalize a vision for prevention, they may wrestle with a number of fundamental questions, such as those listed below.

  • How comprehensive is our approach to prevention?
  • Can we keep families together and prevent children and youth from entering the foster care system?
  • Can we prevent child maltreatment from happening in the first place? 


  • Who should be driving the planning process?
  • How can we engage partners whose expertise has not previously informed our efforts?
  • Will youth, families, and community leaders want to sit down and partner with us?


  • How does prevention planning help us begin to tackle some entrenched child welfare issues, such as racial disproportionality and the conflation of poverty with neglect?
  • How can our prevention plan advance race equity and strengthen communities?


  • What are the nuts and bolts of planning?
  • What do we need to think about before we even sit down at the table together?
  • What hurdles have other states faced, and what can we learn from them?

This curated set of resources, while not intended to be all inclusive, provides a starting place for teams to explore topics relevant to prevention planning. Reference to any specific process or approach does not constitute its endorsement by the Children’s Bureau. 

How to Use the Resource List 

  1. Select the question that best identifies where you are in the planning process. 
  2. Review the topic areas and select those most relevant to your immediate needs. 
  3. Explore the resources and share with others in your agency and on your planning or implementation teams. 
  4. Visit the Capacity Building Center for States’ Prevention page regularly to find new resources. 

Are You Wondering Where to Start?

You may be thinking about how challenging it is to tackle prevention planning and implementation in the midst of competing priorities, such as your agency’s core work and external factors outside your control (budget restrictions, state and federal emergencies, political and leadership changes, and more). You may wonder how to identify action steps that are achievable and move you one step closer to your overarching conceptual vision for prevention.  

Are You in the Middle of Planning and Not Sure If You’re on Track?

You may be wondering how to fit all the pieces of your planning process together to create an ambitious yet actionable prevention plan. You may be struggling to think through some of the challenges ahead and looking for concrete advice about your next steps. 

Are You Lifting Your Plan Off the Paper and Into Action?

Your state has finalized its plan and is getting ready for implementation. You may be looking for resources to help you move from planning into action. 

Connect With Us

Learn how we can help your agency build the capacity to thrive.

Phone: 1.844.222.0272

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