Child FIRST has demonstrated cost-effectiveness. The cost of its home-based intervention and care coordination is about $6,800 per family of four, compared to a cost of $700,000 to $900,000 for a year of psychiatric hospitalization for one child.
In October 2012 the federal Health Resources and Services Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services designated Child FIRST as one of nine (now 12) Evidence-Based Home Visiting Service Delivery Models eligible for replication funding from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
Child FIRST has expanded to serve the 15 Department of Children and Families Areas in Connecticut.
It has received 28 individual inquiries from 19 different states about the program. Of these, as of April 2015, plans are underway for replication in North Carolina and in Palm Beach County, Fla.
They have figured out how to not just do mental health but to do mental health within the context of a social-economic framework, with depth. ... you rarely see all that combined. [Child FIRST] combines it.”—Elaine Zimmerman, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Children