(WTNH) – A major shift in policy is expected to protect and prevent mistreatment of children entering foster care. Leaders in Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families have gotten the green light from Washington, D.C. on a new federally funded plan.

Connecticut’s Family First Prevention Plan includes helping families through existing local programs, which helps them remain safely together, oversight for children requiring placement into a treatment setting, support for kinship providers, and equitable access and outcomes.

“Between the prevention side of things and if children actually have to come into care or get clinical treatment, Family First covers all areas,” said Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, Dept. of Children & Families.

More than 400 community partners helped develop the plan, including parents and kids who have real-life experience in the system. It took two years to write the plan. It was created in response to a bi-partisan Family First Act signed into law in 2018.