Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) specifies two groups of individuals who may receive prevention services under the act:

  • A child who is a "candidate for foster care" but can remain safely at home or in a kinship placement with receipt of evidence-based services or programs categorically identified in the Family First Act (mental health, substance abuse, in-home parenting services that have a well-supported, supported, or promising evidence base as defined in the Act)
  • A child in foster care who is pregnant or parenting (The law allows for the child, parents, or kin caregivers of these children to receive the prevention services.)

As a part of Family First, Maine, like other states, was responsible for determining who is a "candidate for foster care". Through engagement with stakeholders, the Office of Child and Family Services has developed a Candidacy definition for the State of Maine.

Maine’s definition for “candidate for foster care” making the child(ren) and their families eligible for prevention services includes:

  • A child who is a victim of maltreatment in which safety and risk factors can be mitigated by the provision of in-home services and is able to safely remain at home with a child-specific Prevention Plan.
  • Pregnant and parenting youth in foster care.
  • Children who have exited foster care through reunification, guardianship, or adoptions and may be at risk of re-entry.

There are multiple pathways that families can be reached through prevention services in Maine as outlined in the below attachment.

For more information about the Candidacy definition or to learn more about how you can be involved in this initiative, please contact OCFS Family First Program Manager Christine Theriault at or 207-624-7914