Family First Prevention Services Act

The federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) provides a variety of opportunities for states, Tribes, and communities to support children in foster care or who are at risk of entering foster care. By opening the largest source of federal child welfare dollars, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, to fund evidence-based services that prevent entry into foster care, the law aims to help children stay with their families. The Family First Act also promotes placement with families rather than in congregate care settings, supports kinship caregivers in new ways, and strengthens services for older youth in foster care. In so doing, this landmark piece of legislation promotes numerous research-based strategies for supporting the children, youth, and families that are involved with the child welfare system. Child Trends supports the implementation of the Family First Act through our work in the following areas: