Family Centered Treatment
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Family Centered Treatment® (FCT©) is a tested, best practice, evidence-based family preservation model of in-home treatment. The IFCS team utilizes FCT to help families who are at-risk learn and adopt positive behavioral patterns. We developed and honed the FCT model over a period of more than 20 years with the belief that children belong in the family home whenever it is safe and possible. FCT is a highly effective family preservation model—a 2011 study of data collected over a five-year period showed that 90% of the families who completed treatment stayed together.
FCT is a proven, cost-effective alternative to traditional out-of-home treatments designed to be accessible and responsive. Our team provides services to families in crisis within 48 hours of referral. The FCT model is also multifaceted. The services we provide as part of treatment include:
- Skills Training
- Trauma treatment
- Community resource coordination
- Wraparound services
FCT is part of The MENTOR Network’s continuum of care. For children being served in The Network’s residential programs, we utilize the FCT model to help reunite them with their families when it is in the best interest of the child. For families receiving FCT, we are able to offer them access to The Network’s residential programs and support services.
We provide FCT to families facing out-of-home placements and to families with children reentering their family home from foster care, juvenile detention, or institutional settings. Our diverse team is able to work with families who do not speak English as a first language. The FCT model is flexible and treatment can be personalized to meet a range of needs. Over 90% of the families we serve included a family member with a severe emotional disturbance diagnosis. We provide treatment to specialty populations including to people living with:
- Substance abuse challenges
- Domestic violence trauma
- Sexual offender/reactive behavior
Each family is supported by our experienced family centered specialists. Our specialists, having earned a master’s degree in the human services field, include licensed counselors, licensed socials workers, and licensed marriage and family therapists. Before they begin working with families, our specialists undergo a rigorous training where they receive a breadth of theoretical and practical knowledge through Wheels of Change©, a training and certification program specifically designed for FCT. Before specialists begin working with families, they must complete certification and demonstrate a mastery of skills required to practice the core components of the FCT model.
Most evidence-based family preservation models only address problem behaviors and are client-centered. The FCT model takes a different approach. We designed FCT to focus on treating the root of problem behaviors and to be family-centered. We have found that engaging parents is central to the change process. By including the whole family in treatment, we are able to produce meaningful outcomes.
Other family preservation models end when behaviors change. FCT goes beyond that. The IFCS team believes sustainable change and lasting outcomes are achieved when people accept the value of the improvements they have made in their lives. We developed four phases within the FCT model to ensure the families we serve learn and fully adopt positive behavioral patterns. The phases are Joining and Assessment, Restructuring, Value Change, and Generalization.
Our family centered specialists guide the family through the four phases. The intensity and duration of the phases are personalized for each family. The average length of treatment is six months. The family is ready to complete treatment when they demonstrate that they have internalized their new behavioral patterns by effectively using the strategies they learned to avoid crisis and resolve conflict on their own.
By working with the entire family to get to the root of problem behaviors, we are able to produce lasting, meaningful outcomes through the FCT model. The IFCS team collects outcome data documenting the placement status at discharge, primary theme of treatment, number of direct contacts, and progress towards individualized treatment goals. Our team of experts evaluates the data and produces in-depth reports, which we thoroughly review. We learn from the findings, seeking ways to improve the already highly effective model of treatment we provide.
Based on reports produced by FamiliFirst using averages of data collected over a five-year period.
FCT is family-centered. We treat the family—not just the child. We work with the child, parents, siblings, and members of the extended family who are involved in the child’s care. By helping the entire family to make positive changes, we are able to produce meaningful outcomes that last.
FCT is evidence-based. The FCT model is proven to work. We analyze outcome data from each family we treat to learn how we can continue to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the model.
FCT is cost-effective. FCT is a cost-effective alternative to traditional out-of-home placements. A 2011 study conducted by FamiliFirst found that in Maryland, the FCT model cost one-third of the amount of residential placements. The model has also proven to be cost-effective with specific populations including juvenile offenders.
FCT is not exclusionary in selection unless contract restricted referrals are accepted with a no reject and no eject agreement.