What are prevention services?

Prevention services are available through FFSPA to help children who are at risk of entering foster care. These services help children and their parents/caregivers access services and support to safely keep them together. Prevention services are available at no cost through federal funding and include:

  • Mental health treatment services
  • Substance use disorder prevention and treatment services
  • In-home parent skill-based programs

Who is eligible?

There are no income requirements for families to receive prevention services. To be eligible for help, children or families must meet one of the following:

  • A youth who is at imminent risk of entering foster care, but can remain safely at home or in a relative placement
  • A youth whose adoption/guardianship arrangement is at risk of disruption/dissolution and includes post-reunification services
  • A youth in foster care who is pregnant or a parent
  • Parents or caregivers who need services to prevent their child from entering foster care

Services are available for 12 months from the time the child is at risk of entering foster care. Eligibility can be reevaluated after this 12-month period.

What are evidence-based programs?

Prevention services are offered through evidence-based programs. Evidence-based programs require that the program meets a rigorous set of standards as well as:

  • Have a book, manual or other available resources that specify the components of the practice and how to administer it
  • Have no first-hand basis suggesting risk of harm-benefits outweigh the possible risks
  • Have reliable and valid outcome measures
  • Are administered consistently and accurately to all families receiving services

The federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has contracted with ABT Associates to create the Title IV-E prevention-services clearinghouse to determine which prevention services and programs will be allowable through FFSPA. The clearinghouse continues to evaluate additional programs and services so please check often to see what programs are being considered and have already been evaluated.