Families First

Organization: DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)

At the heart of the Families First program is a commitment to keeping families together, providing community-based treatments proven to work and preventing children from being placed into out-of-home programs.

Families First brings together a range of family-centered mental health treatment and supports appropriate to different age groups. These Evidence-Based Practices are proven to strengthen family life, meet the needs of the children and youth and families who experience depression, anxiety and acting out behavior in reaction to trauma and violence, and help avoid more complex, long-term challenges. District children, youth and their families (including biological, foster and adoptive families and caregivers) and children and youth who are wards of the District living in Maryland and Virginia are eligible for these specialized treatment programs.

Families First services are provided by qualified designated community-based providers who receive comprehensive training and coaching in treatment models that have demonstrated positive outcomes such as restoring responsible behavior for troubled children, helping family members deal with traumatic histories, and improving family interactions.

DBH is taking the following steps to implement effectively the Evidence-Based Practices identified as appropriate for the District’s population of children, youth and families:

Establish the number of children in need of Evidence-Based Practices and develop a plan to meet the capacity;
Monitor utilization and evaluate outcomes of the implementation of each Evidence-Based Practice through the use of a dashboard management system, and
Provide ongoing training and technical support as needed to certified community based mental health providers and other community-based providers.
Related Programs:
Service Eligibility: Abuse or Neglect Survivors
Application: Call the Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357 and talk with a mental health professional who will guide you through the process.