Family First Transition Funding Awarded
April 13, 2021
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first round of funding to support the implementation of Family First in Colorado. The funding is available through the federal Family First Transition Act, passed in December 2019, to provide critical support and flexibility to ensure a smooth and successful rollout of Family First in Colorado. While Colorado has been fully engaged in laying the groundwork for initial Family First implementation, the Transition Act helps accelerate this work and ensure that our bold vision becomes a reality.
There was an overwhelming response to this funding opportunity, receiving 51 applications from a variety of stakeholders, all focused on innovative ways to ensure Colorado is in alignment with the values and intention of Family First. All applications were reviewed and scored by a diverse 15-member panel with representatives from CDHS, county departments of human services, research/evaluation, judicial/legal, public health, providers, Tribes and constituents.
The first round of funding recipients are:
Garfield County Department of Human Services
Garfield has an identified need for services that increase parenting capacity while creating behavioral change for the child. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a well-supported service that meets this need. With this funding, Garfield DHS will train their in-house therapist in PCIT and purchase the necessary equipment to implement the practice, thus ensuring that the service is available to families at the time and place that they need it. Placement stabilization is also expected to increase for children with difficult behaviors, and parents will be supported by participating in their child's behavior change as a part of reunification.
Safe Families for Children (SFFC)
SFFC reframes how families are supported during a crisis by directly addressing a root cause of neglect – social isolation. Accordingly, Safe Families focuses on strengthening and supporting parents in crisis by providing ‘breathing room’ and kinship-like relationships, allowing families to stabilize while children are in a safe and caring environment. With this funding, SFFC will officially launch a Western Slope Chapter and increase the number of families served to 200.
This funding will act as a catalyst to establishing Functional Family Therapy (FFT) in rural communities in Central Colorado. Specifically, the grant will provide the funding needed for two therapists to serve youth and families in twelve identified counties: Teller, Elbert, Custer, Pueblo, Fremont, Park, Chaffee, Saguache, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Summit, and Eagle. These therapists will provide the well-supported evidence-based FFT model to 30 youth and their families during the grant period. They will also establish a baseline presence in rural communities that will strengthen the local relationships and referral network needed to create a sustainable FFT team.
Servicios de La Raza (SDLR)
Since 1972, SDLR has provided culturally responsive, evidence-based programs that meet the needs of the Latino community, providing services to more than 30,000 high-risk Hispanic youth and families per year. Funding will allow SDLR to expand the use of Familia Adelante, a culturally and linguistically responsive mental health prevention intervention. The family-centered prevention program is designed for Hispanic youth ages 12-17 and their families. It is a multi-level intervention that targets risk and protective factors at the family, peer, school and community level.
Shiloh Home, Inc.
Shiloh House will use transition funds to support the expansion of its Rapid Response (RR) and Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs, both of which fall on the prevention side of Family First implementation. RR offers families struggling with child and adolescent parenting challenges—without an open child welfare case—connection to immediate family stabilization services, reducing the chance of out-of-home placement. PAT offers families with young children (prenatal to five years) who are at risk of system involvement a 2Gen home visitation and skill-building program proven to prevent child abuse and neglect. The need for both of these programs is greater than Shiloh House currently has the capacity to meet. Funding will allow Shiloh to serve more people in these programs, while also increasing outreach and advocacy to make both programs more sustainable.