Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) began implementing the Families First Prevention Services Act on October 1, 2019. Since then, Nebraska has continued to make concerted efforts to identify evidence-based programs to improve the lives of Nebraska children and families. These evidence-based programs have been chosen based on a statewide scan of gaps and needs regarding substance use, mental health, in-home parenting services within child welfare in Nebraska, and subsequent recommendations. Information about the programs can be found below and at: https://preventionservices.acf.hhs.gov/.
CFS Director Stephanie Beasley considers the expansion of evidence-based practices to be an important part of DHHS’s mission to help people live better lives saying, “We have been given an opportunity by the passage of the Families First Prevention Services Act to deepen Nebraska’s focus on prevention. These services are directed to prevent the crisis of abuse or neglect of a child as we hope to equip and empower families and keep Nebraska’s children safely in their homes and communities.”
Phase I: Implement by October 1, 2022
- Family-Centered Treatment (FCT): a 4-6 month home-based trauma treatment program that works to identify the core issues facing the family within the home by increasing positive parenting skills and providing therapeutic services to address mental health needs and substance use.
- Healthy Families America (HFA): a home visiting program for new and expecting families with children who are at risk for maltreatment.
- Trauma Focused-CBT (TF-CBT): a therapeutic program for children and adolescents who have symptoms associated with trauma exposure.
- Familias Unidas: a family-centered intervention that works to prevent substance use and risky sexual behavior among Hispanic adolescents and empowers parents by enhancing communication and improving parenting skills.
Phase II: Implement by April 1, 2023
- Parents As Teachers (PAT): a home visiting program for new and expectant families that promotes positive child development and prevention of child maltreatment.
- Multi-systemic Therapy (MST): a mental health and substance use program for youth between the ages of 12-17 that promotes pro-social behaviors and the reduction of criminal activity for youth who exhibit delinquent and antisocial behaviors.
- Family Spirit: a home visiting program that is culturally tailored for young Native American mothers, ages 14-24, that addresses intergenerational mental health problems and promotes positive changes and outcomes among mothers and children.
Phase III: Implement October 1, 2023 or later:
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT): a therapeutic program that coaches parents of children between the ages of 2-7 on behavior management and relationship skills to improve the parent-child relationship.
- Parents Anonymous: a program that addresses mental health, substance use, and parenting skills. This program seeks to enhance family functioning and parent/caregiver resilience to prevent child maltreatment.