A home visitation program for low-income families with young children at high risk of emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems, or child maltreatment.
Child FIRST (Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training) is a home visitation program for low-income families with children ages 6-36 months at high risk of emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems, or child maltreatment, based on child screening and/or family characteristics such as maternal depression. Families are visited in their homes by a trained clinical team consisting of (i) a master’s level developmental/mental health clinician, and (ii) a bachelor’s level care coordinator. In the study described in our full evidence summary, the team provided an average of 12 home visits over 22 weeks, each lasting 45-90 minutes.
The clinical team first partners with the parents to assess child and family strengths and needs, and develops a plan, tailored to all family members, to provide support and services. Based on this plan, the clinician provides parent-child psychotherapy and parent guidance designed to (i) help parents understand the reasons for and meaning of their child’s negative behavior, and develop effective responses; and (ii) encourage positive maternal and child behaviors through parent-child play, reading, and family routines. The care coordinator, meanwhile, facilitates family utilization of appropriate community services (e.g., early education, housing, substance abuse treatment).
The program’s cost is approximately $7,285 per family, in 2017 dollars.