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Families First

Families First of Michigan offers families intensive, short-term crisis intervention and family education services in their home for four to six weeks using the Families First of Michigan model. Workers are available and accessible to the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The workers assist families by teaching, modeling and reinforcing parenting..


  • Families First of Michigan (FFM) is a core service to MDHHS in all 83 counties. Ten federally-recognized Indian reservations and 17 domestic violence shelters also make referrals to select contracts.
  • All FFM services are contracted with private providers. The 36 contacts, some serving multiple county services areas, have an annual budget of $17.95 million.
  • Data is collected on all Families First cases. Reports are generated quarterly to local MDHHS offices and management to monitor the contracts and success of the programming.
  • In 2006, of 3,090 families served and located at follow up, 85 percent remained intact at 12 months following services.
  • Historically (1988-2012), more than 66,195 families representing more than 164,000 children have been served. The long-term success rate of the program is 89 percent at 12 months following services.
  • An audit report from Office of the Auditor General was issued July, 1998. The overall conclusion of the report stated: "We concluded that the program has generally been effective in providing a safe alternative to the out-of-home placement who are at imminent risk of being removed from the home."
  • The Families First of Michigan Training Unit offers 21 separate trainings for staff, ranging from the core training series to specialized topics, such as: solution-focused interventions, working with substance abuse affected families, cultural awareness, and a five-part series for supervisors and program managers.
  • FFM Training Unit implemented domestic violence training for family preservation staff that was developed by national experts.
  • Historically, in the FFM contracts that accept referrals from domestic violence shelters, there have been more than 2,500 families served, with a success rate of 96 percent 12 months following services.


  • 95 percent of the program participants served will not require an out-of-home placement during program participation.
  • 90 percent of the program participants shall be shown to have avoided placement after three months of termination of the program.
  • 85 percent of the program participants served shall be shown to have avoided placement after six months of termination of the program.
  • 75 percent of the program participants shall be shown to have avoided placement after twelve months of termination of the program.

For more information on community-based programming, please contact your county's Department of Health and Human Services, or contact the Family Preservation Program office in Lansing at 517-335-3704.