Every year, North Dakota sees about a 6 percent increase in the number of children in foster care, according to the Department of Human Services. The Families First Preventative Care Act was passed to cut that number back.
The Act was passed in February by the federal government and moves funding from treatment to preventative care.
Organizations and service providers gathered to learn about the act. The workshop is to help groups from across the state work together with this new initiative. They have until October of 2019 to develop new programs that fit the new system.
"There is a people component to this, and we're doing this because of children and families, and we're engaging in a process that can do better for them, and provide outcomes for them that are successful for them in their well-being," said Kelsey Bless, Permanency Administrator.
The number one reason children are removed from the home in North Dakota is parental substance abuse. According to DHS, it makes up 42 percent of cases.