Family First Prevention Services Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act is rooted in research indicating that young people do best in families.

The law — passed in February 2018 — restructured federal financing streams to provide services to families who are at risk of entering the child welfare system. The change aims to keep children safely with their families or ensure that they are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate when foster care is needed.

The Family First Act also enhanced support for critical services — such as mental health care, substance abuse treatment and family therapy — that can help prevent the need for foster care in the first place.