Family First Clearinghouse Is Taking Your Requests

If you have a favorite evidence-based program in the areas of mental health, substance abuse or parenting, now is the time to nominate it for more federal funding. The clearinghouse that determines which programs and service models are available under the Family First Prevention Services Act wants to hear from the public about possible candidates to review.

Family First, which became law in February of 2018 and takes effect in full next month, expands the scope of the Title IV-E entitlement to include services aimed at preventing the need for foster care in some child welfare cases. Previously, IV-E funds were limited to costs related to foster care placements and adoptions.

The scope of the new prevention services includes mental health interventions, substance abuse treatment and in-home parenting services. The law also provides matching funds for kinship navigators, one-stop shops that help connect relative caregivers to resources, supports and assistance.

Only programs and models that meet a certain threshold of evidence can be funded under Family First. The clearinghouse is responsible for reviewing prospective options and assigning them to four groups: Well-Supported, Supported, Promising and “Does Not Meet Criteria.”

Previous solicitations for Family First candidates have yielded a list of about 360, according to the clearinghouse. Thus far nine services have been approved for use under the law, and another 16 are being actively reviewed by the clearinghouse.

The deadline to submit a candidate for review is October 31, and submissions can be e-mailed to

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
About John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change 1212 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at