Families First is concerned with the welfare of young children and the implications of early childhood experiences for long-term outcomes in health, education and social development in childhood and adult life. Using a prevention and early intervention approach, the program framework is based on developing regional linkages between specialised health, community welfare, educational and other services to ensure a coordinated approach to initial intervention, follow-up visits and other forms of support. Since many future problems stem from influences in the child’s environment, Families First is concerned with the factors affecting the biological and social development of children. Operationally, Families First contains a number of separate but interdependent elements. The strategy combines the elements of universal services and screening to targeted services, with an emphasis on service integration and networking, community outreach via services such as home visiting by early childhood nurses and volunteers and community development.