Family First Prevention Services Act

Family First Prevention Services Act

The Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First or FFPSA) prevents children from entering foster care by serving families with quality, evidence-based programs in the areas of parent skill-building, mental health, substance use disorders, and kinship navigation.

parent and child hugging
family with lemonade stand
parent and child laughing

Project Summary

The Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First or FFPSA) was signed into federal law on February 9, 2018, creating new pathways for serving children and families by allowing the use of federal funds to support specified prevention services provided to families to prevent placement out of the home. These services must be trauma-informed, evidence-based programs offered by qualified clinicians in the categories of mental health, substance use disorder treatment, kinship navigator, and parent skill-building.

The Kansas Family First Prevention Service Evaluation is a 3-year study designed to examine the impact of selected community-based prevention programs to strengthen families and prevent child welfare involvement in the state of Kansas. This project uses primary and administrative data collected from families receiving Family First services across the state to assess implementation and outcomes related to the delivery of these programs. Our goal is to provide evidence of the effectiveness of prevention services in Kansas to keep children safely with their families whenever possible.


The KU School of Social Welfare and KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) are partnering together with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and other contracted agencies to develop and implement a rigorous, responsive, and comprehensive evaluation approach for FFPSA. As part of this evaluation, KUSSW and CPPR are also partnering with the Kansas Strong for Children and Families initiative to convene statewide and regional interagency and community advisory groups to oversee implementation of the FFPSA initiative, assess and strengthen the statewide child and family service array, and align child and family-serving systems across sectors to ensure a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to community-based support service delivery in Kansas.


The Family First evaluation is funded by the Kansas Department for Children and Families through federal funding from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Children’s Bureau. KUSSW and CPPR have partnered with DCF to execute the evaluation of the 16 grantees implementing Family First prevention services in Kansas.

Meghan Cizek
Meghan Cizek
Research Project Director