NY Family First Roadmap

Redlich Horwitz Foundation (RHF) is pleased to partner with the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and local jurisdictions as we prepare for implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.


Passed in 2018, the Family First Act introduces new programmatic and fiscal reforms that restrict the use of institutional settings for foster care and encourage the use of high-quality preventive services to keep families safely together when possible. The law also creates new requirements for family and court involvement in foster care decisions. New York State has elected to delay its implementation of Family First until September 29, 2021.


In preparation for full implementation, RHF is supporting 19 New York counties with a Family First Readiness initiative to decrease the use of institutional foster care and increase the use of licensed kinship and family foster care when a removal from home is necessary.


In the near future, RHF plans to extend its support to local jurisdictions and the State to assist in:

  • Building a continuum of prevention services, as well as options for step-downs and community-based alternatives to placement;

  • Achieving compliance with the QRTP and prevention requirements of the law; and

  • Using data to measure progress and continue improving outcomes for families and child welfare staff.

Stay tuned for a website relaunch in winter 2020!

Select Resources


Case studies from Onondaga, Dutchess and Westchester counties exploring their efforts to reduce unnecessary congregate care and increase kinship foster care.

How Three New York Counties Are Right-Sizing Congregate Care and Prioritizing Family-Based Care

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The Placement Savings Forecaster is designed to assist county child welfare offices in estimating the costs associated with changes to their out-of-home placement array. It identifies savings to reinvest in family-based care.

Placement Savings Forecaster Tool

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This roadmap provides counties that are participating in the Family First Readiness effort with an overview of the initiative and the supports provided by their readiness consultant during each phase of work.

Consulting Services Roadmap

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This guide provides strategies for how counties may choose to spend their transition funds to meet the goals of the Family First Transition Fund.

Six Strategies to Achieve Sustainable Change with Family First

Transition Funds

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A variety of practical tools to improve practice around placement processes. These include a Triage Model, a Kinship Firewall protocol, a Director’s Approval toolkit and a Kinship Navigator (kinship support specialist) sample job description.

Placement Process Improvement Tools

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These resources support the development of kin-first placement practices and include a Kinship WikiHow, a guide to Kinship Process Mapping and a Waiver Form to expedite certification of kin.

Kin-First Placement Resources

 This site is powered by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation,
with contributions from Onondaga, Westchester, and Dutchess counties, Office of Children and Family Services, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Public Catalyst, Action Research Partners, ChildFocus and the American Bar Association.