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July/August 2019Vol. 20, No. 6Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook Details Standards for Identifying, Reviewing Programs

The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, created by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued a handbook that describes standards for identifying and reviewing prevention programs and services and outlines procedures for clearinghouse staff.

The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse—mandated by the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018—was created to conduct systematic reviews of the programs and services intended to support children and families and prevent foster care placements. It was developed to be an objective source of information on evidence-based programs that might be eligible for funding under title IV-E of the Social Security Act, as amended by FFPSA. The Prevention Services Clearinghouse rates programs and services as promising, supported, or well-supported practices.

The handbook lays out the following review processes:

  • Identify programs and services for review using an inclusive process that invites recommendations from stakeholders to ensure comprehensive coverage across program or service areas.
  • Select and prioritize programs and services for review based on the program or service eligibility criteria.
  • Conduct literature searches to locate relevant research on prioritized programs and services.
  • Study eligibility screening and prioritization. Studies identified in the literature searches are screened against the study eligibility criteria. Those deemed eligible for review are considered against prioritization criteria to determine the order and depth of review.
  • Review evidence. Eligible studies are reviewed by trained reviewers using the Prevention Services Clearinghouse standards and labeled with one of three ratings: high, moderate, or low support of causal evidence.
  • Rate programs and services. One of four service ratings (well-supported, supported, promising, or does not currently meet criteria) is assigned to studies that are rated as having high or moderate support of causal evidence.

The Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures is available at

To learn more about the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, visit