Functional Family Therapy - Child Welfare® - OzChild

Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare®

What is Functional Family Therapy?

FFT is a short-term, high quality intervention program with an average of 12 to 14 sessions over three to five months. FFT works primarily with 11- to 18 year-old youth who have been referred for behavioral or emotional problems by the juvenile justice, mental health, school or child welfare systems. Services are conducted in both clinic and home settings, and can also be provided to schools, child welfare facilities, probation and parole offices/aftercare systems and mental health facilities.

FFT is a strength-based model built on a foundation of acceptance and respect. At its core is a focus on assessment and intervention to address risk and protective factors within and outside of the family that impact the adolescent and his or her adaptive development.

More recently FFT has been adapted for the Child Welfare Context.

FFT-CW®: The Clinical Model

FFT-CW®: High Risk (FFT-HR)

Protecting children and young people from entering out of home care is the central objective of this program – recognising that children and young people will have profoundly better outcomes if they are supported to remain with their families.

FFT-CW® HR uses a holistic approach to addressing issues affecting families facing vulnerability. By addressing these issues collaboratively in the family environment within a psycho-therapy framework families are supported to take practical actions to reduce the risk of their children (aged 0-17 years) entering care.

FFT-CW HR is adapted from FFT, which is an empirically grounded, well-documented and highly successful family intervention for at-risk and juvenile justice involved families. The FFT-CW HR model includes five phases: (1) Engagement, (2) Motivation, (3) Relational Assessment, (4) Behavior Change and (5) Generalisation.

Each phase includes specific techniques and skills, as well as therapist goals and qualities. The model involves a strong cognitive/attributional component integrated into systemic skill-training in family communication, parenting skills, conflict management skills and numerous other skills linked to a variety of referral problems.

FFT-CW® HR is a short term (3-6 months) intensive home based program focused on motivating for change; changing problem behavior and embedding change.

FFT-CW® HR works with families who are reluctant to engage with services, experience mental health concerns, abuse or neglect issues, and a history of family violence, substance abuse or engagement with the criminal justice system.

OzChild is the first organisation in Australia to offer FFT-CW® HR.

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