Family First Prevention Services Act Resource Center

Federal Guidance

A collection of the information and guidance released by the US Department of Health and Human Services in regards to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). Check back regularly for updates!

Federal Guidance

Following is a collection of the information and guidance released by the US Department of Health and Human Services about the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

Check back regularly for updates!

birth of family first: the Bipartisan budget act of 2018

Family First Legislation.png

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) passed in February 2018 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. FFPSA restructures Title IV-E and Title IV-B funding to support prevention services for families at risk of entering the foster care system.

Click the button to view the legislation in its entirety (FFPSA specifically can be found on pages 169-206).

Under FFPSA, only specified settings will be eligible for Title IV-E funding reimbursement. One of the eligible settings is a “Qualified Residential Treatment Program” (QRTP). Organizations can qualify as a QRTP if they:

  • Offer a trauma-informed treatment model

  • Have registered or licensed nursing staff available 24/7

  • Demonstrate family engagement and outreach

  • Provide discharge planning and family-based aftercare supports for at least 6 months post-discharge

  • Become licensed with their state

  • Achieve accreditation through an HHS-approved accreditor (such as COA)

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Website

Clearinghouse website.png

The Title IV- E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established in accordance with FFPSA by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its goal is to conduct an objective, rigorous, and transparent review of research on programs and services intended to support children and families and prevent foster care placements.

Programs submitted to the Clearinghouse are rated as well-supported, supported, promising practice, or as not meeting criteria. The initial programs that have been rated include mental health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment services, in-home parent skill-based programs, and kinship navigator programs. Ratings will help determine programs’ eligibility for reimbursement through Title IV-E funding.

other information and guidance

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse Announces Public Call for Programs and Services

Deadline: October 31, 2019

Purpose: The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse requests recommendations for mental health, substance abuse, in-home parent skill-based, and kinship navigator programs and services to be considered for systematic review. Recommendations can be sent to

IV-E Evaluation Plan Development Tip Sheet

Date Issued: August 13, 2019

Purpose: The purpose of this Information Memorandum is to provide an Evaluation Plan Development Tip Sheet to assist with developing an evaluation plan. Under the Family First Prevention Services Act, states electing to participate in the title IV-E prevention services program are required to submit a five-year title IV-E prevention program plan that must include a well-designed and rigorous evaluation strategy for each service which may include a cross-site evaluation.

Transitional Payments for the Title IV-E Prevention and Family Services and Programs

Date Issued: July 18, 2019

Purpose: To instruct states on the procedures for transitional payments for title IV-E prevention services and programs.

Children’s Bureau Letter: Transitional Payment Guidance

Date Issued: June 6, 2019

Purpose: The Children’s Bureau (CB) issued a letter to State Child Welfare Leaders in June, supporting transitional payments for programs and services that have not yet been reviewed. The CB intends to issue guidance to states with the process for claiming transitional payments for services pending review in the Clearinghouse and associated documentation requirements, states will need to demonstrate an independent review of claimed services has met the criteria set forth by FFPSA. The guidance is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures

Date Issued: April 26, 2019

Purpose: Provides a detailed description of the standards used to identify and review programs and services for the Prevention Services Clearinghouse. It also provides a detailed description of the procedures followed by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse staff.

Testimony of Jerry Milner on the Family First Prevention Services Act

In July 2018, Jerry Milner, Acting Commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, testified before a House Ways and Means subcommittee about implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. The testimony covered federal rules, delay deadlines, state flexibility, accreditation for qualified residential treatment programs, and kinship programs.

Date Issued February 4, 2019

To issue National Model Foster Family Home Licensing Standards


Date Issued August 23, 2018

To notify states that the Children’s Bureau is disbursing funding provided under section 437(g) of the Act as an increase in the title IV-B subpart 2 Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program allocation to support an electronic interstate case-processing system to expedite interstate placements of children in foster, guardianship or adoptive homes, and to provide an example of such an electronic interstate system.

Date Issued January 8, 2019

To provide guidance to state, territorial and tribal title IV-E agencies on the actions required to apply for title IV-B, subpart 2 funding to support the development, enhancement or evaluation of kinship navigator programs.


Date Issued April 12, 2018

To inform States and Tribes of the enactment of the Family First Prevention Services Act and provide basic information on the new law.

Date Issued November 16, 2018

To strongly encourage all child welfare agencies and Children’s Bureau (CB) grantees to work together with the courts and other appropriate public and private agencies and partners to plan, implement and maintain integrated primary prevention networks and approaches to strengthen families and prevent maltreatment….

Date Issued November 30, 2018

To instruct state title IV-E agencies on the title IV-E prevention program requirements.