Since 1975, the Teaching-Family Association (TFA) has grown out of the demand to replicate this effective, humane model of treatment. The Teaching-Family Association represents agencies supporting common elements and tenets of the Model across an array of programs service applications. Today, the Model serves a wide range of vulnerable families, physically, emotionally and sexually abused children, delinquent youth, emotionally disturbed and autistic children and adults, medically fragile children, and adults with disabilities.

In all of these program service delivery adaptations of the Teaching-Family Model, the same careful attention is paid to high fidelity of implementation. All of these applications make use of the Teaching-Family Model-based training, coaching/supervision, evaluation, and facilitative administrative support systems. TFM programs providers participate in an organized community of practice that holds them accountable for performance standards. The TFM is non-proprietary and therefore what is learned in one agency can be shared with other agencies within the Association and incorporated into the standards and quality assurance processes within the Association.

Agencies wanting to implement the Teaching-Family Model are equipped with all training materials, and supervision and evaluation competencies to sustain their own programs and practice. To develop internal competency in providing TFM evidence-based programs, agencies are mentored and trained by an agency, developer, or consultant/employee who has achieved Accreditation status in the Model.

Through the accreditation process, The Teaching-Family Association…

  • Accredits Members Agencies through a peer review process supervised by the Accreditation and Ethics Committee

  • Trains and qualifies Peer Reviewers and ensures the reliability of the Agency Review process

  • Leads and supports research and advocacy initiatives

  • Supports all members in providing outstanding treatment for clients in care through yearly conferences, trainings, and newsletters

  • Builds a professional network for Practitioners & Agency Service Providers

Accreditation Timeline

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Indefinite time period. Several months to several years.

The developing agency works with a mentoring agency, developer, or consultant/employee with Teaching-Family Model experience to establish crucial TFM systems and begin using and supporting the Model.

The agency may choose to join the Teaching-Family Association as a supporting or developing member.


One year.

When Teaching-Family Model systems are in place, the developing agency collects one year's worth of records and program data for inclusion in the initial accreditation application.

Teaching-Family Association membership as a developing member is now required.

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Initial Accreditation

Within two months.

After one year of data collection, the developing agency submits an initial application for accreditation. An initial peer-led on-site review is scheduled in a timely manner (within two months of application). If review is successful, the agency receives accredited status retro-active to the day of application.





The Teaching-Family Model accreditation process evaluates implementation of standards related to performance and quality of treatment at all organization levels. Accreditation in the Teaching-Family Model assures agency-wide adherence to best practices leading to quality outcomes for clients.


The Teaching-Family Model is a unique approach to human services characterized by clearly defined goals, integrated support systems, and a set of essential elements. As an evidenced-based practice, the Teaching-Family Model standards have been researched, tested and replicated. Fidelity to these standards is essential for successful implementation of the Model.


After development from a sponsor site, accredited agencies undergo an initial in-depth accreditation process and subsequent visits every three years. These initial and triennial reviews consist of an on-site visit by two or more peer reviewers to observe and review the implementation of treatment and its benefits to interview staff and consumers. Referral and funding agents, board members, and individuals receiving services are asked to rate and provide comments about the treatment programs. Findings are summarized and reported to the agency and to the TFA Accreditation & Ethics Committee.

On an annual basis, the accredited agency conducts a self-evaluation which includes a practitioner consumer evaluation. A formal report from the agency is due to the TFA Accreditation & Ethics Committee along with an oral presentation designed to stimulate questions and encourage feedback for continuous quality improvement.