Frequently Asked Questions
>> what issues does the Teaching-Family Model help with?
The Teaching-Family Model was developed as a behavioral intervention using effective teaching interactions with a high degree of positive feedback, and thus can directly address any behaviors resulting in problems for children and families.
The Model has been proven and is used effectively with children who are having behavioral or emotional problems, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit disorder (ADD) attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), among other behavioral and mental health issues.
>> What populations does the Teaching-Family Model serve?
The Teaching-Family Model was developed specifically for children, youth, young adults and families receiving child welfare services. It has been demonstrated as effective for youth who are at-risk, juvenile delinquents, youth in the foster care system, developmentally disabled youth and adults, the severely emotionally disturbed, and families/parents at risk of having children removed.
The Teaching-Family Model is effective for all ages, and the implementation-dissemination systems have been adapted to effective parent training programs for in-home services for families at risk of having children removed.
>> Is the Teaching-Family Model recognized as an evidence-based treatment?
Yes. The Teaching-Family Model has 40+ years of in-context, outcomes-oriented research evidence. For 20 of those years, dissemination-implementation research on the Teaching-Family Model was funded by the National Institute for Mental Health.
The Teaching-Family Model was formally recognized by the American Psychological Association as an evidence-based practice in 2003. The Model is also listed on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare with promising research evidence - the only evidence-based behavioral management program on the CEBC developed specifically for children, youth, young adults and families receiving child welfare services.
>> What does that mean, really?
The Teaching-Family Model is one of the oldest and only examples of clinical research in child welfare, specifically, that has been carefully "transmitted to the field" with sustained implementation-dissemination and outcomes-oriented research. The Model's evidence base supports the effectiveness of both its treatment elements and its implementation elements. Because of this, the Teaching-Family Model is both an evidence-based treatment and an evidence-based complete model of care
>> SHOULDN’T KIDS BE IN MORE FAMILY-LIKE SETTINGS THAN GROUP CARE?
Teaching-Family Model care is a family-like setting. The groups are small - generally limited to six children per two Teaching Parents.
Some Teaching Parent couples raise their own children in the home as well, so the setting is exactly that - a family. Teaching-Family Model agencies are able to provide a large amount of support to children who need it while maintaining a family-like environment.
>> DOESN’T GROUP CARE TRAUMATIZE KIDS? ISN’T IT A LAST RESORT?
Trauma-informed care and group care are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, the original standards of the Teaching-Family Model align closely with the principles of trauma-informed care.
The Teaching-Family Association has also added a trauma-informed standard that overlaps with many other standards to emphasize its importance in agency reviews. >> READ MORE
>> Can GROUP CARE RESULT IN NEGATIVE OUTCOMES?
40 years of research on the Teaching-Family Model suggest that high-quality residential programs have high levels of youth and family engagement and consistently demonstrate positive outcomes.
Most arguments against residential care do not differentiate between poor-quality and high-quality residential care, or even recognize the possibility of quality residential care. >> READ MORE
>> WHAT ABOUT PEER CONTAGION? AREN’T THE CHILDREN IN GROUP CARE BAD INFLUENCES?
17 of 18 recent meta-analytic studies, and research out of a Teaching-Family Model agency - Boys Town - have shown no negative peer contagion effects in quality residential care.
High quality residential care programs foster healthy relationships and a positive peer culture.
>> ISN’T GROUP CARE A WASTE OF RESOURCES?
Failing just one high-risk youth can cost society $3.75 million dollars (Cohen, Piquero, 2009).
Boys Town's analysis suggests that every $1 dollar spent on residential services has the potential to save $198 - $340 dollars in long-term societal costs.
In addition, Teaching-Family Model agencies are often community-based and take advantage of services already offered in the community in order to use resources as efficiently as possible. >> READ MORE