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Model Profiles

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2023 Yearbook

Child First

Child First is an evidence-based, early childhood, two-generation, mental health model that works in the home with children and families. Child First takes a two-pronged approach, providing mental health services to the caregiver and child, while working within a broader system of care to connect them to comprehensive community-based services and supports.

What is the model’s approach to providing home visiting services?

Home visits take place twice per week during a month-long assessment period and
a minimum of once per week thereafter. Services are provided for families and their children prenatally through 5 years old for approximately 6 to 12 months, but can extend beyond 12 months depending on a family’s need.

Child First’s service population includes the following:

  • Children with emotional or behavioral concerns
  • Caregivers with depression, PTSD, and other mental health concerns
  • Families with low incomes
  • Caregivers experiencing domestic violence or trauma
  • Children experiencing abuse, neglect, or other trauma
  • Families with a history of substance use or in need of treatment
  • Families experiencing homelessness
  • Children with developmental delays or disabilities

Who is implementing the model?

Home Visitors

Child First was implemented by 185 home visitors in 2021. The model requires care coordinators to have a bachelor’s degree and mental health clinicians to have a master’s degree in a mental health specialty with a license. Home visitors typically maintain a caseload of 12 to 16 families.


Child First was implemented by 39 supervisors in 2021. The model requires a master’s degree in a mental health specialty with a license for supervisors.

Where is the model implemented?

Child First operated in 27 local agencies across 4 states in 2021.


Families Served Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting in 2021

home visits provided
including 42,489 virtual visits
families served
children served

Caregiver age

3% ≤21 years

20% 22-29 years

39% 30-44 years

39% ≥45 years

Caregiver education

16% No HS diploma

32% HS diploma or GED

33% Some college or training

19% Bachelor's degree or higher


26% Hispanic or Latino

74% Not Hispanic or Latino

Household income

93% Low-income status

Primary language

88% English

11% Spanish

1% Another language

Child insurance status

91% Public

7% Private

1% None

Child age

11% <1 year

16% 1-2 years

73% 3-5 years

* ≥6 years

Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. • To protect confidentiality, race and ethnicity categories with 10 or fewer caregivers were replaced with *.