Family First News

Virginia Department of Social Services is committed to using reliable, accurate, transparent and timely communication among stakeholders throughout the implementation of Family First.

Opportunity to Expand Evidence Based Services

VDSS launches an exciting opportunity to expand the evidence based service (EBS) array in the Commonwealth in order to meet the needs of Virginia’s families. A Request for Applications (RFA) is available for providers to apply to receive training in specific EBS models. Please visit our Family First Evidence-Based Programs page for more information.

Family First Implementation Update

Family First funding is expected to be available July 1, 2021 for the provision of evidence-based programs. Fiscal changes related to payments for youth in foster care is also expected to begin on July 1, 2021. Over the last several months we have continued to move forward in the implementation of our In-Home Services alignment, which was launched in October 2020. In-Home services aligns our existing “CPS ongoing” and prevention services practices. This alignment promotes children remaining with their families, reducing the need for foster care and ensure families receive the services they need. In-Home Services will promote evidence based service delivery for parents and support relative caregivers when out of home placement is needed. In-Home Services practice will ensure our practice is in alignment with Family First when funding for these services becomes available in Virginia.

Winter 2020 Three Branch Meeting

The final Three Branch Team meeting took place on December 14, 2020. The team convened to discuss the extension of the Family First implementation date, due to unexpected delays and the Covid Pandemic. The Family First team provided an update on the alignment of In-Home Services and updates on non-family based placements for youth in foster care, including status of QRTP. This meeting culminated the significant amount of work that the Three Branch Team has done to make recommendations in building the infrastructure for the shift in our practice related to Family First funding. We appreciate each member’s dedication and advocating for this work over the last two years, we would not be where we are today without the support of our entire child welfare community.



We are pleased to share that we have received 30 QRTP applications. We applaud these programs for their commitment to delivering high quality services to youth in foster care. For a list of programs that have submitted their QRTP application, please visit the QRTP Applicants chart. We are committed to supporting each program through their designation as a QRTP. Please email with any questions you may have. The QRTP application is available here.

Spring 2020 Three Branch Meeting

On April 9, 2020, the Three Branch Team convened to discuss the extension of the Family First implementation date. The Family First Team provided updates on the implementation status, the efforts to address the ongoing complexities of Family First and an updated timeline. Three Branch Team members actively participated in the meeting and service providers offered valuable input. We look forward to continuing our work with this group.

Visit our Resources to Establish and Expand Evidence Based Services Page

Check out our new Resources to Establish and Expand Evidence Based Services page. You will find information on 3 Evidence Based Programs: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy and Functional Family Therapy.

QRTP Application Available

The QRTP Application is available and can be found here (at the bottom of the page). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and we encourage providers to submit as early as possible to ensure designation prior to January 2021.

Visit our Kinship Navigator Page

Check out our new Kinship Navigator page to learn about Kinship Navigator Programs in Virginia.

Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse

The Clearinghouse released a list of the next programs and services planned for systematic review and can be found on their FAQs page. Programs that receive a rating of well-supported, supported or promising are eligible for federal reimbursement to states upon implementation of Family First to provide support to children and their families to prevent placement into foster care.

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