Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 5456 (P.L. 115-123)

The Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 5456 (Family First)) was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act on February 9, 2018, as Public Law 115-123. Family First amended Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act to child welfare programs and policy. This historic reform aims to change child welfare systems across the country by providing services to families who at risk of entering foster care.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for further guidance on Family First.

Some of the highlights of Family First are:

  • Prevent children from entering foster care through new optional prevention services and programs
  • Restrict placement options for children being placed in care to mainly family foster homes with limited use of congregate care settings
  • Improvement of the electronic interstate processing system
  • Establish model licensing standards for family foster homes
  • Recruitment and retention of high-quality foster families
  • Extension of the John H. Chafee foster care independence programs to age 23
  • Reauthorizes the Adoption Incentives program
  • Provides 50% match funding for kinship navigator programs
  • Allows room and board payments for children in care placed with their parent in family-based substance use residential treatment

This page features an overview and analysis of the law, guidance information and additional resources related to the Family First Prevention Services Act (P.L. 115-123). For more in-depth content for CWLA members, please login to the member only site. For non-members of CWLA, consultation is available. Click here for consultation.

Information About Family First

Family First Resources

Best Practice Guidelines for the Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Comprehensive Biopsychosocial Assessment (coming soon)