Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children



Making Historic Reforms to the Nation’s Children’s Services System.


The federal Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) was adopted on February 9, 2018 and will be implemented nationwide by October 1, 2021. Family First places emphasis on the use of evidence based prevention services to alleviate the need for placement of children in foster care, and ensuring appropriate settings are used for children in foster care.  


The name of the law reflects its vision:


A  family first for children and teens through quality prevention services.    

QUESTIONS? Email us at  familyfirst@jfs.ohio.gov.

OVERVIEW OF FAMILY FIRST AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR OHIO'S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (Click to read the full Act or summaries of the Act.) 


Planning for the Family First Prevention Services Act is framed based on an Implementation Science Framework. Our goal was to define;

  • The What (What is the Vision for Family First in Ohio? What is the vision or direction for Prevention Services and Qualified Residential Treatment programs?)
  • The How (How will the recommendations be implemented and sustained?)
  • The Who (Who are the subject matter experts who should be a part of each Implementation Team?) 

Here is a quick breakdown;


Visionary Phase - Defining the "WHAT"

Implementation Strategy Phase - Defining the HOW


Define the “What”

Define the “How”


Representation of all impacted stakeholders

Subject Matter Experts


Create thoughtful recommendations based on diverse Perspectives

Precise, “in the weeds” planning for successful implementation


Slower, intentional, thoughtful

Faster cadence to keep momentum


These Resources help to outline the Implementation planning:


The QRTP Subcommittee began meeting in March 2019 and solidified all recommendations in September 2019. The Subcommittee’s goal was to examine the Family First QRTP requirements and discuss how Ohio’s residential facilities can comply with those requirements. In addition to engaging multiple facilities in the conversation around requirements of Family First, the subcommittee and workgroups focused on the readiness of agencies to implement QRTP requirements. Although the subcommittee’s goal was the “what” of QRTP planning, the subcommittee and workgroups kept in mind the implementation planning that needs to happen as a result of these changes.   

The QRTP subcommittee engaged several workgroups to really focus in on particular areas of QRTP planning; Accreditation, Agency Readiness, Court Oversight, Level of Care, Licensing and Contracting, and Treatment Model. 

All QRTP Recommendations (Excerpt from the Roadmap Document)

  • Agency Readiness 
  • Court Oversight 
  • Level of Care 
  • Licensing and Contracting 


The Prevention Services Subcommittee focused on defining candidacy while the workgroups worked to build out the evidence-based service array for prevention services in Ohio. This subcommittee has several workgroups:    


  • In-Home Parenting Workgroup    
  • Mental Health Workgroup    
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Workgroup    
  • Case Flow Process Workgroup    


The subcommittee’s goal was to design a prevention services plan that aligns evidence-based programs with the needs of Ohio’s families and children to keep children safe with their families whenever possible. The Prevention Services Subcommittee received additional facilitation support from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). The Prevention Services Subcommittee hosted a 2-day planning retreat CSSP to discuss Ohio’s plan to develop recommendations for a definition of “candidate for foster care”, draft a case flow map, and support the state in drafting a resource document for Ohio’s prevention continuum.     


Evidence-Based Programs Being Considered 

Although Ohio is looking to create phases for implementing programs and only a small number of these programs will be on the final plan, below are all of the programs that the Prevention Subcommittee and Workgroups put forward for consideration for inclusion in Ohio's Prevention plan.   

Mental Health Programs:  

  1. Assertive Community Treatment  
  2. Child Parent Psychotherapy 
  3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy 
  4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy 
  5. Functional Family Therapy 
  6. High-Fidelity Wrap  
  7. I-FAST, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
  8. Integrated Treatment of Complex Trauma 
  9. Mobile Response and Stabilization Services 
  10. Motivational Interviewing 
  11. Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy 
  12. Multi-System Therapy 
  13. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy 
  14. Solution-Based Casework 
  15. Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
  16. Youth Acceptance Project 

Substance Use Programs:  

  1. 7 Challenges  
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 
  3. Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach  
  4. Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment  
  5. Medication Assisted Treatment, including  
  6. Methadone Maintenance Therapy  
  7. MOMs 
  8. OhioSTART 
  9. SBIRT 

In-Home Parent Skill-Based Programs:  

  1. 24/7 Dad 
  2. AFFIRM Caregiver 
  3. Boot Camp for New Dads 
  4. CCIC’s Effective Black Parenting  
  5. Healthy Families America 
  6. Incredible Years (Baby/Toddler Preschool, School-Aged) 
  7. InsideOut Dad 
  8. Love Notes 
  9. Nurse Family Partnership 
  10. Nurturing Parenting Program 
  11. Parenting Wisely 
  12. Parents Anonymous  
  13. Parents as Teachers 
  14. SafeCare 
  15. Step-By-Step 
  16. Triple P 

Prevention Resources 


Note: The work of the leadership committee took place from November 2018 - February 2020)   

Prevention Services Resources

      Qualified Residential Treatment Programs Resources

         Kinship and Adoption Navigator Resources  

        Model Standards 

        Communications and Resources

        Other Resources:   

        Committee Meetings 

         2020 Meetings
        • Wednesday January 15, 2020 - Agenda & Minutes
        • Wednesday February 26, 2020  - Agenda & Minutes
        • Wednesday March 25, 2020  (Virtual updates on the Roadmap Document Planning)
        • Thursday April 30, 2020  (Webinar: Focus on QRTP)
        • Wednesday July 29, 2020  (Webinar: Focus on Prevention Services)
        2019 Meetings