Parents First

Roger Kasendorf, DO

October 14, 2022

Families First were created in Washington, DC, to help young children find loving, long-term homes. Families are supported by the program and are assisted in achieving their objectives. It serves as a fantastic example for similar initiatives nationally. We’ll look at Families Firsts effectiveness and costs in this piece. We will also examine the advantages and disadvantages of the DCYF program.

Family First Initiative

The Family First Program was created to assist families in need. It provides case management, job training, and financial literacy for families in need. Within two to three months, most families may resume their full-time jobs. The course is without cost. However, a family must first be accepted into the program to receive aid.

The program uses the Risk, Need, and Responsivity Model to decide how to assist each family best. Typically, it requires ten to twelve hours of service each week and three to four home visits. To ensure that the intervention is customized to the family’s unique needs, the team concentrates on identifying hazards during the home visits. Risk factors specific to the home environment, supervision, and structure are taken into account. Community involvement and peer relationships are further risk factors.

The Family First Council comprises delegates from state and local child welfare organizations, for-profit organizations serving children, advocacy groups, parents, guardians, and young people in foster care. Additionally, the council has non-voting resource members who are well-versed in the program’s guidelines.

Effect of the Family First Program on DCYF’s capacity to locate children and teenagers in loving, long-term households

Children and kids at risk of entering and reentering the foster care system can get preventative assistance through the Family First program. Counseling, parenting training, mental health, and drug abuse therapy are some of these services. Children and young people can get the skills they need to remain in a secure, caring environment through these services.

The initiative was developed to enhance the care given to foster children. It attempts to create a more equitable care system and decrease the overall number of kids in foster care. Additionally, it strives to level the playing field for all families in the child welfare system and lessen the overrepresentation of minority children in foster care.

A significant piece of legislation, the Family First Prevention Services Act, will fundamentally alter the foster care system. It promotes the placement of kids with families or close friends and enables DCYF to spend money on initiatives that have been proven to work. OCFS created it in collaboration with an advisory group to enhance the foster care system in the state and enhance the lives of needy children and youth.

Family First Program Cost

The Family First Program is a case management initiative run by the New Mexico Department of Health and supported by Medicaid. The program seeks to lower the number of children and teens in foster care through targeted case management. The program meets various requirements, including linking families to necessary resources, arranging a volunteer house visit, and creating a medical home. The program aims to decrease avoidable child abuse and neglect and raise the likelihood that kids will mature into healthy, valuable people.

States participating in the program may use Title IV-E money to offer preventative services to qualified children. For example, a family preservation program that assists kids in staying with their families rather than going into foster care may be one of these services. The federal government will pay for this prevention program for up to 12 months, but to ensure that the treatments are effective, the state must create a trauma-informed prevention strategy.

The second set of legislation passed to address the novel coronavirus pandemic is known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Federal financing for the first package, which includes the $8.3 billion Emergency Medical Assistance Act and the $2.3 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will total $192 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. The fiscal years 2020 and 2021 will see the majority of the costs.

Program Family First’s effectiveness

The Families First Program was created to assist struggling child welfare organizations in giving children the necessary resources and tools to succeed. This strategy emphasizes prevention over treatment. Three to four house visits per week for six to ten hours are part of the program. Typically, the program lasts 10 to 12 weeks. This concept personalizes interventions based on unique risk variables, including parental relationships, parenting abilities, structure, and monitoring. Additionally, social and environmental aspects, including peer relationships and civic engagement, are covered.

The Family First Act mandates that state agencies evaluate and review their programs to ascertain their efficacy. The Family First Act also emphasizes using CQI tools and other evidence-based practices. States are thus required to formulate program recommendations, oversee their execution, and evaluate their results utilizing the evidence-base.

It has been demonstrated that the Families First Program works well at keeping families together and preventing the placement of kids in foster care. The study’s findings are statistically significant every six-time points. In comparison to foster care, it is also a more affordable program.