The federal Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) emphasizes the importance of children and youth growing up in families and fundamentally reforms the way child welfare is funded and practiced.

Family First provides Colorado the opportunity to —

  • Evolve its child welfare system by expanding prevention-focused services that keep families together;
  • Partner with community-based service providers to respond to the individual needs of children, youth and families; and
  • When necessary, ensure children and youth are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate.

Family First Transition Act

The federal Family First Transition Act (Transition Act), passed in December 2019,  provides critical funding 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.

Family First-Related Funding Opportunities

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is pleased to announce three funding opportunities, utilizing a portion of Transition Act funds. These funding opportunities are aligned with identified priority funding areas and, together, will help move us closer to achieving the following outcomes:

Outcome 1: Children, youth and families have timely access to a continuum of community-based, prevention-focused services that meet their needs, promote safety and well-being, and keep families together.

Priority Funding Area 1: Expand the prevention services continuum in a way that addresses locally identified needs, meets Family First requirements, addresses inequities across the state, and emphasizes cultural responsiveness.

Outcome 2: When necessary, children are placed in the least restrictive, most family-like setting possible that is aligned with their individual needs, high-quality, time-limited and focused on treatment.

Priority Funding Area 2: Build a continuum of placement options that include high-quality QRTPs as well as sufficient options for lower levels of family-based care.

Outcome 3: Colorado has a strong foundation from which to launch Family First implementation efforts and support a successful and smooth roll-out.

Priority Funding Area 3: Address known and potential barriers to Family First implementation.

The funding opportunities available now, and in the near future, are as follows:

CDHS has dedicated up to $1.5 million over three years for efforts that align with Outcomes 1 and 3 above. CDHS is now accepting the third cycle of application submissions and will be awarding up to $500,000 total. Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Late submissions may not be accepted.

CDHS encourages applications that are innovative and bold, community and data-informed, demonstrate collaboration, and promote equity. All interested applicants must complete the application linked here.

View and complete the online application. Use the public access button on the left-hand navigation. When redirected to the next page, search for RFA#IHFA 2022000356-1.