Child First Certification

To become a Child First site, all professional staff first must complete Child First training. Initial training for a site is provided through a Learning Collaborative that includes face-to-face training, reflective supervision/consultation on-site, by web, or by phone (with decreasing frequency), consultative calls, and other technical assistance.

A new site is eligible to be certified after a minimum of nine months of training.  For Child First certification, the implementing agency must meet the following criteria:

  • Implementing Agency Qualifications: Meet all qualifications [see implementing agency requirements]
  • Child First Essential Programmatic Components: Meet all programmatic requirements
  • Child First Clinical Fidelity Assessment: Meet fidelity standards for the parent-child intervention (as determined by Clinical Fidelity Forms, clinical consultation, video review, and case file review)
  • Data Analysis: Completion of required Metrics, and cross-site data at baseline, six months, and discharge
  •  Document positive change in 75 percent of families who receive intervention, as determined by an analysis of improvement in Child First assessment measures from baseline to discharge; and
  • Document positive change in the Child Global Assessment Scale (CGAS)
  • Performance Improvement: Successful completion of a Performance Improvement Plan, if recommended
  • Client Satisfaction: Document parental satisfaction and improvement of child function
  • Training: Participation in Annual Conference and other required training
  • Child First National Network Membership

Sites are recertified annually based on the same criteria as for initial certification.

Fidelity Requirements

The Leadership Team of the Child First Central Program Office is responsible for monitoring model fidelity and quality assurance activities.  A number of different processes are used to monitor fidelity at both the program and the clinical level. If a Child First site is not meeting fidelity standards during the process of training or later implementation, a Performance Improvement Plan is developed. Successful adherence and completion of this plan is necessary for certification.

Program Level

  • Metrics: Each staff person at each site completes program Metrics on a monthly basis, which reflects implementation of the model. This data is analyzed by the Child First Child First Performance Improvement Team and a report is sent to each site so that site leadership and staff can develop strategies for improvement and can monitor their own performance.. It also indicates which sites may need specific technical assistance or whether certain topics need to be addressed within the Learning Collaborative training.
  • Child First Essential Programmatic Components: This is completed by each site on a yearly basis. Together, these tools indicate whether the program structure is consistent with the model.

Regular contact and technical assistance with the Child First Leadership Team insures rapid response to programmatic difficulties.

Clinical Level

  • Reflective consultation: During the initial period of training, reflective consultation is provided to each site by an expert Child First Supervisor for one year on a weekly basis for six months and then progressing to biweekly for the following six months. Each staff person at each site receives ongoing individual, team, and group reflective supervision. This supervision provides the basis for ensuring model fidelity.
  • Review of videotape: Discussion of video-taped interaction is an important component of monitoring model fidelity.
  • Clinical Fidelity Forms - Individual Level: On a quarterly basis, each staff completes this self-evaluation of competency in the essential clinical components of the model. This is reviewed with the staff in clinical, reflective supervision.
  • Child First Clinical Fidelity Checklist – Program Level: Every six months, each site completes this checklist to help determine whether the site is providing clinical services with fidelity to the model.
  • Data analysis: Change in the Child First required assessments from baseline to six months to discharge are monitored and analysis is provided to all sites for quality improvement. 
  • Parent/caregiver satisfaction: This is monitored for all Child First families and used for quality improvement.
  • Cross-site specialty trainings and reviews: Additional training may be organized if there is a specific concern in a given area.

With funding from: