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Connecticut Family First

What is Family First?
Family First is an opportunity to provide enhanced support to children and families.  It aims to prevent foster care placements through the provision of mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, in-home parent skill-based programs, and kinship navigator services.

How will Family First change Connecticut's child welfare system?
Connecticut's vision is to shift from a system focused solely on child protection, where action is taken after harm to a child has occurred, to a collaborative child wellbeing system focused on prevention and early intervention.  Connecticut's Family First Plan expands access to evidence-based treatment interventions to children and their caregivers to address particular needs and characteristics.  When provided timely, these interventions should reduce and/or eliminate the family's need to become DCF-involved in the future.

What makes Connecticut different?
Connecticut has taken an innovative and bold approach.  In addition to offering Family First services to DCF-involved families, Connecticut also intends to create a community pathway via a network of providers.  Unlike other currently approved prevention plans, Connecticut will contract with a Care Management Entity (CME) that will coordinate, manage, and oversee all services for a community pathways families.  These families will be referred via a community pathway (e.g., schools, 211, etc.) and the CME will assess their strengths and needs and refer them to services.  Crucially, this CME will be separate from DCF and there will not be an open DCF case.  Connecticut sees this as a groundbreaking opportunity to extend services and supports to families without increasing surveillance, particularly to communities of color.

Connecticut Family First Plan 
Full Plan 
Executive Summary (English)