Family Centered Treatment also regains approval on re-review; four other programs added
Three years ago, the Family First Prevention Services Act offered states a cost split on programs to support relatives and family friends who are caring for the children of loved ones, particularly those who are removed from their parents by child welfare systems. There was a catch: this would only be available to so-called kinship navigator models that were deemed to be “evidence-based” by a newly established federal clearinghouse.
This week, the first navigator program gained approval by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse, which is operated via contract by Abt Associates. Ohio’s Kinship Supports Intervention, which was originally rejected by the clearinghouse, was rated as Promising upon a re-review of a recent evaluation of the program.
There are already several dozen of kinship navigator programs around the country. They often serve as one-stop centers for relatives and kin, connecting them to help accessing benefits, respite care, support groups and more.
Many of them were stood up with some financial assistance from the federal government through a small discretionary program at the U.S. Children’s Bureau. Under the Family First Act, the federal investment theoretically goes way up: 50% of the cost of kinship navigators can be paid for through the Title IV-E entitlement for child welfare services, but only for those that use models approved by the clearinghouse.
This week’s decision gives states and counties without a kinship navigator programs a model that can be funded with federal support, and provides existing navigators a playbook for adjusting programming to fit a IV-E fundable template. Youth Services Insider hears that other navigator models in Nevada and Washington could soon gain a favorable review from the clearinghouse.
Ana Beltran, director of the National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies and Kinship Families operated by the nonprofit Generations United, said while the organization was “very happy” to see the Ohio program added, this model is targeted only at relatives and kin who are involved with child welfare cases.
“We look forward to when a kinship navigator program that serves all kinship families regardless of child welfare involvement is also included in the Clearinghouse,” Beltran said, in an email to Youth Services Insider.
The clearinghouse also announced this week that Family Centered Treatment (FCT), a program that several states had already included in their Family First plans, had been re-rated as “Supported.” The model, which is used to train biological parents and other caregivers on the effects of trauma on children, was given provisional approval by the Children’s Bureau, only to be removed by the clearinghouse during its first review in early 2021. After the national organization that promotes and helps implement Family Centered Treatment pressed for an explanation, the clearinghouse agreed last month to reconsider it.
“This is a great day for families and the hard-working FCT practitioners,” said Tim Wood, executive director of the Family Centered Treatment Foundation, in an email to Youth Services Insider. Wood said that if a new rating had not been announced by Friday, some local providers of FCT might have had to moved away toward other approved service options.
The clearinghouse announced four other models that states can draw down IV-E funds for preventing the use of foster care in some child welfare cases, and ruled that another seven do not meet the evidence criteria for Family First funding.
- Aggression Replacement Training (Promising), an intervention for youth who display violent or aggressive behavior.
- Child-Parent Psychotherapy (Promising), a therapy model that seeks to build on the strengths of families.
- Familias Unidas (Well-Supported), which aims to reduce drug use and risky sexual behavior by Hispanic youth. An e-version of this model was found not to meet the criteria for inclusion.
- Parenting with Love and Limits (Supported), which works with parents to establish more authority in the homes of teens with severe emotional or behavioral problems.
Do Not Meet Criteria
- Two versions of Circle of Security, a program aimed at increasing caregiver-child attachment.
- Helping Women Recover + Beyond Trauma, a model that combines efforts to reduce the misuse of substances and address the impact of trauma in the lives of women.
- Two versions of Parenting Wisely, a computer-based program to build parenting skills.
- Safe Environment for Every Kid, which uses a questionnaire to identify family risk factors and then work with parents to mitigate them.
This week’s announcement brings the total number of clearinghouse-approved programs to 42: 11 Well-Supported programs, 12 Supported and 19 Promising. Another 28 programs have been reviewed and found to not meet the criteria for admission. Eighteen models are currently under review by the clearinghouse.