VALLEY — The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood recently awarded more than $2.5 million through the federal Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (PSSF) to 23 county human or social services departments for family support, family preservation, services to reunite families in the months immediately following a child’s removal from the home, and support services for adoptive families. The awards will serve 36 counties.
Receiving $120,000 in the San Luis Valley was the Rio Grande County Department of Social Services (also serving Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral and Saguache counties.)
PSSF is a federal program that provides funding to states to help 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.
All states receive grants based on the state’s share of children nationwide receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Colorado redistributes the majority of these federal funds to counties to provide services in local communities. The 2017 PSSF contracts include two new counties, Logan and Pitkin.
Since the Family Preservation and Support Services Act in 1993, the federal government has provided funds to states to help communities find innovative, collaborative ways to deliver services that promote healthy families and keep children safe. In November 1997, Family Preservation and Support was re-authorized as the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program.