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?
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
* American Indian/Alaska Native
* Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
0% Another race
3% ≤21 years
20% 22-29 years
39% 30-44 years
39% ≥45 years
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
93% Low-income status
1% Another language
Child insurance status
11% <1 year
16% 1-2 years
73% 3-5 years
* ≥6 years