Families First (Utah Youth Village Model)

Mental Health In-home Parent Skill-Based Well-Supported

Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) is designed to help families with youth birth to age 17 build on family strengths and improve family functioning. Families First specialists help strengthen parents’ confidence in their parenting and communication skills using positive reinforcement, modeling, and role-playing. Specialists teach parents how to maintain discipline without anger or violence and how to promote positive social skills, effective communication, and healthy boundaries. Specialists link families to community resources.

 

The program has six phases. During Phase 1, the specialist meets with the family to build rapport, identify family strengths and goals, and create a treatment plan targeting specific skills that will help the family attain their goals. During Phases 2–5, the specialist teaches the targeted skills, provides opportunities to practice and refine those skills, and helps families generalize these skills to new situations. During Phase 6, the specialist helps the family transition to using these skills independently and formalize future plans.


Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) is rated as a well-supported practice because at least two studies with non-overlapping samples carried out in usual care or practice settings achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution and demonstrated favorable effects in a target outcome domain. At least one of the studies demonstrated a sustained favorable effect of at least 12 months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Jun 2022


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information were informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, and the studies reviewed.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) is designed to serve families with youth birth to age 17 who have been referred for intensive in-home services from child welfare services, juvenile justice, or court systems. It also serves families that self-refer.

Dosage

Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) is delivered by Families First specialists who spend approximately 48–52 face-to-face service hours with families. These service hours are typically delivered over the course of 8–12 weeks for 610 hours per week. Specialists spend more time per week with families in Phases 1–4 and less time per week in Phases 5 and 6. In addition to formal sessions, specialists are also expected to be available to meet with or promptly return calls from families as needed both within and outside of normal business hours. Families can choose to have follow-up visits with specialists for up to 1 year afterward.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) is delivered in participants’ homes.

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Home

Education, Certifications and Training

Families First specialists are required to have a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or a related field. Specialists without a bachelor’s degree may work with certain families on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the implementing organization.

Specialists must complete at least 130 hours of training. This includes at least 50 in-class hours, at least 80 hours of job shadowing, and additional required reading. Ongoing monthly training and professional development are also required.

Program coordinators supervise teams of specialists. Coordinators must complete additional required trainings and observations and have received acceptable evaluation scores from the families they have served.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Utah Youth Village. (2021). Families First program manual.

Available languages

Families First (Utah Youth Village Model) materials are available in English.

Other supporting materials

Families First (Utah Youth Village) Brochure

Contact Information for Developers

Website: https://youthvillage.org/our-programs/families-first/

Phone: (801) 272-9980

Contact form: https://youthvillage.org/contact/

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Families First (Utah Youth Village Model)
Identified in Search 8
Eligible for Review 5
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 3
Rated Low 2
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child safety: Child welfare administrative reports 0.32
12
1 (1) 830 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
Child well-being: Delinquent behavior 0.07
2
2 (9) 3521 Favorable: 6
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child safety: Child welfare administrative reports 0.32
12
1 (1) 830 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
-
West, 2021
Subsequent Referral or Allegation of Maltreatment Within One Year 0.32 *
12
- 830 - 12
Child well-being: Delinquent behavior 0.07
2
2 (9) 3521 Favorable: 6
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
-
Hess, 2012
Recidivism Favorable *
not calculated
- 3218 - 12
Tanana, 2020
Misdemeanor or Felony Offense Charge in Past 6 Months (%) 0.48 *
18
- 303 - 3
Misdemeanor or Felony Offense Charge in Past 12 Months (%) 0.48 *
18
- 303 - 9
Misdemeanor or Felony Offense Charge in Past 6 Months (%) 0.48 *
18
- 303 - 6
Misdemeanor or Felony Offense Charge in Past 12 Months (%) 0.49 *
18
- 303 - 12
Status or Technical Offense Charge in Past 6 Months (%) 0.31
12
- 303 - 3
Status or Technical Offense Charge in Past 12 Months (%) 0.31
12
- 303 - 9
Status or Technical Offense Charge in Past 6 Months (%) 0.37
14
- 303 - 6
Status or Technical Offense Charge in Past 12 Months (%) 0.38 *
14
- 303 - 12

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated Moderate

Study 13175

Tanana, M. J., & Kuo, P. (2020). Families First outcome evaluation: Recidivism outcomes for youth in the Families First program, Version 1.4. Wind River Research. https://dcfs.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Families-First-Utah-Youth-Village-Study-Wind-River-Research-2020.pdf

Study 13171

Hess, J. Z., Arner, W., Sykes, E., Price, A. G., & Tanana, M. (2012). Helping juvenile offenders on their own “turf”: Tracking the recidivism outcomes of a home-based paraprofessional intervention. OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice, 2(1), 12-24. https://s35598.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/3Hess_Study.pdf

Study 13176

West, K., Shuppy, L., & Broadbent, M. (2021). The Families First program impact on child maltreatment: Final evaluation report. Social Research Institute, College of Social Work, University of Utah. https://dcfs.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Families-First-UYV-Evaluation-Report-SRI-Revised-4.26.22.pdf


Studies Rated Low

Study 13173

Lewis, R. E. (2005). The effectiveness of Families First services: An experimental study. Children and Youth Services Review, 27, 499-509. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.10.009

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.
Study 13172

Moskos, M. A., Halbern, S. R., Alder, S., Kim, H., & Gray, D. (2007). Utah youth suicide study: Evidence-based suicide prevention for juvenile offenders. University of Utah School of Medicine.

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 13174

Tanana, M. J. (2020). Families First survey analysis: Internal survey analysis, Version 1.0. Wind River Research. https://s35598.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Families-First-Survey-Results-2020-1.pdf

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 13177

Barton, K., Baglio, C. S., & Braverman, M. T. (1994). Stress reduction in child-abusing families: Global and specific measures. Psychological Reports, 75(1), 287-304. https://doi.org/10.2466%2Fpr0.1994.75.1.287

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 13178

Farmer, E. M. Z., Seifert, H., Wagner, H. R., Burns, B. J., & Murray, M. (2016). Does model matter? Examining change across time for youth in group homes. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 25(2), 119-128. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1063426616630520

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).