Changing Lives, In A Family's Own Home

An Evidence-based Program


A Unique In-home Intervention

Families First is Utah’s premier evidence-based, in-home, parent skill-based intervention designed to teach parents and youth skills to change the unwanted behaviors occurring in the home, and to improve family functioning. Through its service, Families First seeks to promote child safety, child permanency, child well-being and adult well-being. In addition to contracted referrals from Utah Juvenile Courts, Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Juvenile Justice Services (JJS), insurance companies, many of the referrals we receive are from healthy families who are simply looking for more effective ways to communicate and impact their children and their behaviors.

How Do We Promote Success?

As an evidence-based program that is accredited by the Teaching-Family Model, Families First has clearly defined practice guidelines with written protocols, manuals and documentation that is replicable. Fidelity is demonstrated through a rigorous, defined and documented accreditation process with the Teaching-Family Association. Additionally, the use of an annual consumer evaluation system demonstrates that Families First has a very high level of client satisfaction with the program and its services.

Who Do We Serve?

The children in the families we serve often have a variety of behavioral and/or emotional problems. Some have been diagnosed with mental illness, some are struggling with school behaviors, some are simply ungovernable, and others are reacting poorly to dysfunctional environment and have just not learned skills that will help them be successful. Many families live at or below poverty level and are struggling to find jobs, housing, clothing, and food for their children, while others face complications from exorbitant circumstances.

All of these families have the common desire to change behaviors, learn new ways of interacting, and to create more peace and harmony in their homes.

How Does It Work?

A Families First Specialist goes into the family’s home for approximately 8 hours per week, initially. This may vary based on family needs, referral source and concerns, and individual scheduling.

On average, the Specialist is in the home for 10-12 weeks and becomes an ally of the parents and a mentor to the family, teaching proven methods of replacing unwanted behaviors with desirable ones. Parents are taught how to maintain discipline without anger or violence. Accountability, positive social skills, effective communication, and ways to effectively set and maintain boundaries are also taught.

The Specialist uses positive reinforcement, modeling, role playing, and other methods that are designed specifically to instill effective and lasting, parenting and communication skills, while also teaching complementary social skills to the children to help reduce unwanted behaviors.

At the conclusion of the in-home period, the Specialist continues to be a part of the family's life by being available 24 hours a day for the next year. The Specialist also conducts evaluations at regular intervals following the intervention to track success and to identify possible challenges.

For More Information

Families First is available to the public and fees are determined on a sliding scale basis. Some insurance companies and State agencies also provide coverage. For more information, browse the links above, or contact Wayne Arner at warner@youthvillage.org or call (801) 272-9980.