Why FirstMatch®?

Until now, the child welfare, juvenile justice and behavioral health systems have fallen short of consistently matching  a youth with his/her best options for treatment. In general, program recommendations are made based upon cost, geographic location, relationships with providers, or other macro level factors. Historically, this placement practice produces a correct match only 34% of the time. Missing from this process is the use of data to select a program that meets the specific needs of the youth and positions them for a successful, long-term outcome.


FirstMatch is a state-of-the-art software solution that was designed to fill a void in these systems, while complementing and enhancing the work that has already been done to improve their effectiveness. FirstMatch leverages predictive analytics and a trained algorithm to inform a practice that has never adequately used data to drive program selection decisions. With FirstMatch, youth are matched with the right program for them the first time, eliminating multiple unnecessary placements and improving outcomes for the child, such as the likelihood of the child completing his/her program and remaining free from future placements.

FirstMatch provides benefits for child-serving organizations and referral sources as well. The FirstMatch tool helps agencies collect and manage outcomes, identify the most appropriate population for their programs, reduce racial and ethnic disparity, and realize a cost benefit.

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How FirstMatch Works

FirstMatch uses an agency’s distinctive data set to create a predictive analytics tool individualized to their programming and their clients.
When a child’s information is entered into the agency’s unique FirstMatch tool, the intelligent application compares the characteristics and predictive factors of the referred child to the historical outcomes achieved by the agency’s programs for youth with the same or similar predictive factors.
FirstMatch then generates a report, based upon the data,that recommends the most appropriate program available within the agency. The report also provides outcomes predictions, including but not limited to, program completion, recidivism, remain-out-of-care, re-entry, and re-hospitalization rates. The report is customized to provide outcomes that are most beneficial to the user.

Once the child completes the recommended treatment program, outcomes for that youth are subsequently entered into the agency’s unique FirstMatch tool, enhancing the machine learning capabilities through an ever-growing data set. Agencies are armed with a data-driven program recommendation that can be used for decision making.

critical component of success

The Success Equation

Quality programming is a critical component of success for youth who receive care as part of the child welfare, juvenile justice and behavioral health systems. But even the highest quality programs do not translate to the best outcomes when youth are placed in the wrong program for them.

If a program, on average, produces a 10% Remain-Out-of-Care rate, is it a good program or a bad program?

This is not a trick question!
Ultimately, for the 10% who remained out of care, it is a great program. Ten percent of the population in that program were in the right program for them.  
The Success Equation
Child + Quality Program + FirstMatch = Positive Outcomes
At FirstMatch, we believe getting the “match” correct between the youth and program is the most underleveraged variable in the success equation. While quality programming is critical, the “match” is of equal importance and consequence to a child’s success. FirstMatch has the ability to analyze data about a youth in order to make predictions about the likelihood a particular youth would be successful or unsuccessful in each program.
Placement tool

FirstMatch Report

Represents a youth undergoing treatment

FirstMatch provides agencies and referral sources with the tools they need to generate more informed treatment decisions.

Once a youth’s data is entered into FirstMatch, the matching tool produces a report that reveals the likelihood that a youth will achieve the desired outcome within a particular program by measuring their predictive factors against the outcomes the program has produced with past youth with similar predictive factor combinations. Providers using the FirstMatch tool would send this report to the referral source for consideration. Referral sources using FirstMatch would use their reports to make an informed treatment decision.