Considerations for Scaling Evidence-Based Prevention Programs under the Family First Prevention Services Act

Publication Date:

November 23, 2020

The federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) seeks to keep children safely with their families through the provision of evidence-based services to prevent foster care entry.1 States and tribes preparing for and implementing the Family First Act can benefit from lessons learned in jurisdictions such as New York City (NYC) that were early adopters of evidence-based prevention services. In this brief, we present two evidence-based models (EBMs), implemented in NYC, as case studies: Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). Drawing on interviews with the purveyors of the two EBMs, as well as community-based provider agencies implementing these EBMs in NYC, we identify four key factors that influence the scale-up of EBMs in child welfare. We conclude with considerations for jurisdictions preparing to implement prevention services under the Family First Act as they seek to build a service continuum that better meets the needs of children and families.


1 The Family First Act includes several other provisions. For an overview of the Act and additional resources, see

2 Fagan and colleagues (2019) use the term “developer” throughout their framework. For BSFT and CPP, developer and purveyor can be used interchangeably, since the entity that developed the intervention continues to support implementation. We use purveyor in this brief.