Prevention programming has been a long-standing priority in Pennsylvania. Family First is just one more tool to enhance and promote Pennsylvania’s work to strengthen and preserve families. Pennsylvania's focus continues to be on services that can prevent abuse and neglect; however, prevention services do more than prevent an incident from occurring. Prevention services also strengthen family units, increase protective capacities of parents/caregivers, encourage family engagement and empowerment, increase kinship and community support, and provide community resources to avoid initial or future child welfare involvement. Pennsylvania's focus continues to be the implementation of prevention services that best fit the needs of the community, children, and families they serve regardless of the funding.
While Pennsylvania has an existing array of prevention services that is expansive and funded in different ways (that will remain), Family First Prevention Services that include trauma-informed evidence-based programs that are rated on the Federal Clearinghouse are eligible for additional funding. These include:
- Mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services provided by a qualified clinician.
- In-home, parent skill-based programs, which include parenting skills training, parent education and individual and family counseling.
- Pregnant, expecting, and parenting youth in care
OCYF submitted Pennsylvania’s 5 Year Prevention Plan on August 26, 2021 to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) for review and approval. While there are many prevention services available in PA, the following programs were included in the submitted plan for additional funding streams through Family First.
It is Pennsylvania's goal to continuously expand prevention services available and the number of families served under Family First funding. OCYF will continue to work with stakeholders to identify, plan for, and implement more evidence-based programs under Family First.
If you or someone you know can benefit from a prevention services, please call 211 be connected to a program.