What is the Teaching-Family Model?

The Teaching-Family Model (TFM) is an evidence-based and family-centred approach to the treatment of children, youth, families and dependent adults. This methodology was developed in 1967 at the University of Kansas through extensive funding by the National Institute of Mental Health for the Studies on Crime and Juvenile Delinquency.

The goals of the Teaching-Family Model are to provide individualized, humane and effective treatment that results in excellent outcomes for individuals, children and families.

Through peer-reviewed research and clinical practice, the Teaching-Family Model is recognized as a model of treatment that is cost-efficient, replicable and highly effective for all participants. In North America and worldwide, many group homes, foster homes, in-home Services, schools, day treatment programs, and hospitals implement this model.

At its core, family-style relationships are seen as essential to the healthy development of social and interpersonal skills that lead to learning, goal setting and success.

The Teaching-Family Model is defined by Standards of Service and Ethical Conduct that form the foundation of Model fidelity. An annual review process of member agencies ensures that these standards are integrated within service delivery systems.

For additional information about the Teaching-Family Association, please visit www.teaching-family.org.

Teaching-Family Association Overview

The Teaching-Family Association (TFA) is an international organization with accredited agencies both in the United States and Canada. TFA was founded in 1975 to provide a framework for the quality of care provided by service professionals who use the Teaching-Family Model in services for individuals, children and families.

The Teaching-Family Association’s mandate is to accredit member agencies that demonstrate quality programming. TFA recognizes and accredits high fidelity programs, standardizes useful training and evaluation procedures, supervises program replication, and provides annual conferences for sharing new material and program development.

The Teaching-Family Association and Closer to Home

Closer to Home is committed to the Teaching-Family Association and the Teaching-Family Model as an evidence-based intervention and organizational framework.

All Closer to Home programs have been accredited by the Teaching-Family Association since 1999.

In 2000, Closer to Home became an Accredited Sponsor Agency for the Teaching-Family Association. For an organization to become a TFA Accredited Sponsor Agency, it must be supported through the development process by an existing Accredited Sponsor Agency.

For nearly a decade, Closer to Home has been actively involved in the development and dissemination of the Teaching-Family Model with several adult, child, and family serving organizations around the world.

Closer to Home is currently sponsoring Youth Horizons, an organization serving youth in Aukland, New Zealand. We have sponsored and trained the following agencies in the Teaching-Family Model, all of which achieved accreditation:

  • West Tennessee Family Solutions, Bartlett, Tennessee (2011)
  • Children’s Home of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (2010)
  • Tennessee Family Solutions, Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2010)

Evidence-Based Model of Care

The Teaching-Family Association is the only entity in North America that defines and implements standards and procedures related to the quality of treatment and services delivery systems at all organizational levels.

With over 30 years of studies and results, the Teaching-Family Model is one of the strongest and most studied evidence-based programs available for treatment.

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare recognizes the Teaching-Family Model as having “Promising Research Evidence” and has rated its “Child Welfare System Relevance Level” as High.

The American Psychological Association (APA), the leading organization representing psychology professionals, identified the Teaching-Family Model as an evidence-based practice. On the APA “Psychology Matters” website, the Teaching-Family Model is identified as “one of the few evidence-based residential treatment programs for troubled children”.

The APA remarked that the Model’s success is based on the view that children’s behavior problems stem from their lack of interpersonal relationships and skills. It is through using empirically validated methods that the Model is able to teach clients how to build these relationships and gain important skills for social success.

The Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and the Surgeon General’s Office have both recognized the Model as a strong, evidence-based solution for treatment programming as well.