Family First Act in Montana

Family First Act Background

The Family First Prevention Services Act will restructure many aspects of existing child welfare systems. In particular, it will allow states to use federal funds to pay for prevention services to keep children safely with families and out of foster care. In the past, this funding could only be used after a child was in foster care. Now services can be provided to children and families to prevent the need for foster care.

The new law also creates federal standards for congregate care providers to help ensure children are safe, receive appropriate treatment, and stay connected to their families while in group home placements. October 2021 marks the federal deadline for all states to implement the Family First Act. Implementing the Family First Act in Montana will take place with input from many stakeholders, including former and current foster youth, foster families, child welfare providers, tribal governments, local lawmakers, state officials and other community partners.

Welcome to the Family First Act Blog

Knowledge to Action
Jeff FolsomJeff Folsom, our Director of Policy, has been studying the development and the details of the Family First Act since it became law. He will use this blog to report news, share resources, and pose important questions as we in Montana take steps to adopt Family First requirements.   Subscribe to the Family First blog.

Family First Big Kickoff into 2020

January 9, 2020

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season and is appropriately braced for the pending winter blast. There is lots to report on as we make our way into 2020.

First, let me introduce Robert Cacace. Robert has been hired by Child and Family Services Division to provide project management for implementation of Family First in Montana.


Recent posts:

Motivational Interviewing as a Prevention Service

Family First Plan Approved for Washington, DC

Answers to QRTP Questions & Engaging Youth and Families

For all of Jeff's blogs to get updates on the Family First Act in Montana, visit Knowledge to Action


U.S. Implementation

New Policy Brief  Quick links to plans and prep documents in other states

Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act  Technical assistance from Children's Defense Fund & partners

Overview Resources  Wide range of information on the act

Children's Defense Fund  Summaries, timelines, and full text of the act

National Conference of State Legislatures  Summary of the act's history and requirements

Chronicle of Social Change  "CliffsNotes" guides to the provisions of the act

Prevention Services

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse  List of approved prevention services   

Quick Links

Policy Briefs and Updates

For more information on: