Self Assessment Tool

The Teaching-Family Model has 5 goals, 4 systems and 6 elements.

That's FIFTEEN best practice standards developed over many years of intensive implementation science. 

At some point, they will all "click" for you—you'll understand how all fifteen fit together, support each other, and shape organizations from the bottom-up that provide high quality care for youth and families (beginning with intensive support of the practitioner providing that care).

But if this is your first time exploring the Model, or even your first time seriously preparing for initial accreditation, these fifteen best practice standards can be more than a little overwhelming.

We've tried to make this resource as clear and easy-to-navigate as possible, but we also wanted to make it as valuable as possible. This resource dives deep into particular standards to explain differences between scores—for example, the difference between outstanding elements and systems, effective elements and systems with room for improvement, and elements and systems that are lagging into being ineffective.

If you're well into the development process, you can start digging deep into each standard—skip right ahead.

But if you need to learn and understand the fundamentals of the Model, start here.




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Teaching-Family programs demonstrate compassionate, considerate, respectful, and unconditional positive regard for all clients with no tolerance for abuse or neglect. Integrated systems ensure that clients are treated humanely and agencies adhere to Teaching-Family Associations Standards of Ethical Conduct. Agencies have clear policies, procedures, and systems addressing alleged abuse, neglect and unethical actions by staff and service providers. Staff is trained and has an understanding of client rights and procedures regarding unethical practices. EXPLORE »

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The services stated by Teaching-Family Association agencies are delivered. Outcomes are observable and measurable. Clients demonstrate progress towards goals by demonstrating an appropriate reduction in the level of services needed. Clients and staff acquire skills necessary to achieve their goals. The quality and stability of agency staff are appropriately maintained to ensure effectiveness. Consumers indicate satisfaction with services provided. 

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Services provided by Teaching-Family Association agencies are client-centered, strength-based and directly related to the individual needs of the client. Services are culturally sensitive. Client assessment identifies strengths as well as needs and clients are involved in planning of services. Clients indicate a high level of satisfaction with services. 

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Consumer Satisfaction 

Teaching-Family Association agencies provide opportunities for client and consumer input. Clients and consumers express a high degree of satisfaction with services provided. The agencies conduct comprehensive client and consumer polling with a minimum of 50% return from each consumer group achieved. The agencies’ quality assurance processes incorporate consumer feedback. 

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Trauma-Informed Care 

Teaching-Family Association agencies provide a trauma informed approach. The standard ensures realization of the prevalence of trauma; recognizes how trauma affects all individuals involved with the program (including staff); and responds by putting this knowledge into practice. EXPLORE »



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Facilitative Administration

A facilitative administration is one that offers staff opportunities to provide input regarding program components. Teaching-Family Association agencies facilitate and promote system integration by providing necessary tools, training, and support; coordinating and assessing the service delivery system; and developing processes and resources to support and maintain the systems. The agencies have training, consultation and evaluation systems that complement each other. Consumer evaluation processes are in place to assess systems, programs, and staff and service providers. The agencies’ leadership, including their governing bodies, participate with other organizations and individuals to: improve services for individuals and families, identify and advocate for needed change, identify gaps in service and work for their elimination, and share resources and expertise where appropriate.

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Teaching-Family Association agencies provide initial and on-going skill development for all staff; staff are familiar with the Teaching-Family Model. Agencies enable, facilitate, and hold all staff and service providers accountable for implementation of the Teaching Family Model. Agencies provide competency-based training to increase the skill level of all staff and service providers to maintain and improve skill development. Agencies ensure that all staff and service providers attend training prior to being responsible for client services and on a regular basis thereafter. Agencies have clearly defined competency-based training materials and procedures along with qualified trainers on-site. Staff and service providers demonstrate competency in service delivery.



Teaching-Family Association programs incorporate a supportive consultation and supervision component which supports and promotes practitioner skill development, ensures integrity of the Teaching Family Model, and monitors services to clients. Practitioners are satisfied with services and support provided by the Consultant/Supervisor who serves as a liaison/advocate for the practitioner. Consultation and supervision focus on providing effective services to clients by following an effective service delivery plan for monitoring services. Consultants/Supervisors are adequately trained and knowledgeable in Teaching-Family Model goals, systems and elements. 

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Evaluation systems of Teaching-Family Association agencies facilitate continuous quality improvement in service and care by assessing the skill of the practitioner and implementation of the Teaching-Family Model. The agencies assess consumer satisfaction to assess quality. They observe, assess, and review practitioner skills and Model implementation. Practitioners are prepared for all evaluation activities and are evaluated on at least an annual basis.



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Teaching-Family Association programs emphasize the positive teaching of functional skills and behaviors. Agencies promote a systematic, positive behavioral approach to teaching behavior. Staff and service providers model appropriate skills when teaching clients. Teaching is provided through positive interactions with clients, which typically include praise, specific descriptions of behavior, client-centered rationales, acknowledgment, opportunities for practice, and positive quality components. Staff use appropriate crisis intervention techniques when dealing with aggressive and intensive behavior. EXPLORE »

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Family-Sensitive Approach

Teaching-Family programs recognize the importance of family to the client by promoting and advocating for the client’s family. The family or significant individuals are included in the planning and delivery of services.

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Teaching-Family programs provide services that are culturally sensitive and competent. Staff is trained in areas relating to diversity, ethnicity, and multi-cultural values. The program environment reflects respect for diversity of the population and the community served. Staff recruitment actively seeks to promote diversity relative to client population. The agency promotes cultural sensitivity and competence. Services are offered regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. 



Each agency encourages participation in the Teaching-Family Association through educating staff at the time of orientation about the history and goals of the Teaching-Family Model and the benefits of membership in the Teaching-Family Association. 

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Teaching-Family programs give clients as much control over their lives as possible. Clients participate in their own goal setting and receive the least restrictive services necessary for them to achieve their goals. Staff and service providers facilitate the learning of decision-making and problem-solving skills. Staff and service providers facilitate and support client decision-making opportunities. Clients are encouraged to support one another’s goals.



Teaching-Family Association programs promote the development of relationships with clients that are maintained through trust, respect, and positive regard within professional boundaries. Staff and service providers utilize warm, caring interaction styles and are sensitive and responsive to client needs especially in times of crisis, illness, and times of need. Clients are encouraged to appropriately express feelings. Family interaction and participation is encouraged.