The Montana Senate has endorsed a bill that would require the state to provide services to struggling families so fewer children are placed in foster care.
A plan is required for Montana to be eligible for federal funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment, parenting skills training or counseling for families whose children are in danger of being removed from their home.
The bill already passed the House and was unanimously endorsed by the Senate Tuesday. It faces a final Senate vote before being submitted to the governor.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services says it is developing a plan to identify available services, the expected results and how child welfare workers would be trained.
The legislation gives the agency until August 2020 to develop the plan so it can apply for funding in 2021.
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