Family Centered Treatment®

In-home Parent Skill-Based Supported

Family Centered Treatment® (FCT) is a home-based trauma treatment. FCT is designed for families who are at-risk of dissolution or in need of reunification. It is also designed to serve youth who move between the child welfare, behavioral health, and juvenile justice systems. During treatment, FCT practitioners aim to help families identify their core emotional issues, identify functions of behaviors in a family systems context, change the emotional tone and behavioral interaction patterns among family members, and develop secure relationships by strengthening attachment bonds.

 

Treatment incorporates trauma-informed interventions throughout four phases. (1) During the Joining and Assessment phase, the practitioner aims to establish trust with the family. Together, they identify needed additions, changes, or improvements in family functioning skills and establish therapeutic objectives. (2) During the Restructuring phase, practitioners and families identify and practice new patterns of interacting and daily living in accordance with their goals. (3) During the Valuing Changes phase, FCT practitioners help the family internalize new patterns of interactions to advance the family toward value integration instead of compliance. (4) Finally, during the Generalization phase, the family evaluates their changes, plans for future challenges, and closes out their treatment.


FCT is rated as a supported practice because at least one study carried out in a usual care or practice setting achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution and demonstrated a sustained favorable effect of at least 6 months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.

 

A re-review of FCT was conducted in April 2022 based on the availability of a new research report for Study 10913. The re-review did not affect the design and execution rating for the study or the program or service rating. The additional research report is listed in the Studies Reviewed section below under Study 10913.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: May 2022


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information were informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, and the studies reviewed. 

 

Date Program/Service Description Last Updated: May 2022


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

FCT is designed to support families with youth who are at-risk for out-of-home placements, have trauma exposure, have histories of delinquent behavior, or are working toward reunification. It is also designed to support youth who move between the child welfare, behavioral health, and juvenile justice systems.

Dosage

FCT intensity and duration are determined according to family need. Typically, sessions occur 2 or more times per week for about 6 months. Each session can last for multiple hours. Families also have access to on-call support 24/7. The timeframe for each of the four treatment phases is guided by FCT practitioners based on specific family indicators of progress demonstrating the family has successfully completed a phase of treatment.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

FCT can be delivered in the participant’s home or in other treatment and community settings such as the participant’s school, workplace, or the home of a relative.

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Home
  • Community Center (e.g., religious or recreational facility)
  • School

Education, Certifications and Training

State-specific credentialing drives the minimum qualifications for practitioners and supervisors. Practitioners must be certified in FCT and have at least a bachelor’s degree to deliver FCT. No specific therapy license is required. To become certified, practitioners must complete online modules and field-based competency evaluations that focus on FCT core skills area development and practical utilization in the field. Practitioners must go through re-certification every 2 years and demonstrate fidelity to the model. Supervisors must be certified via an online FCT supervision course that includes field-based competency testing typically lasting 6 months.

Agencies must apply and be licensed before implementing FCT. An agency becomes licensed by submitting an application providing evidence of the management, training, supervision, and data collection infrastructure to support the delivery of FCT. The agency must demonstrate fidelity to the model to maintain licensure.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

The Wheels of Change—Family Centered Specialists Handbook and Training Manual is implemented in conjunction with the Family Centered Treatment® Design and Implementation Guide.

Painter, W. E., & Smith, M. M. (2004). Wheels of Change—Family centered specialists handbook and training manual. Institute for Family Centered Services.

Wood, T. J. (2018). Family Centered Treatment® design and implementation guide (Rev. ed.). Family Centered Treatment Foundation Inc.

Available languages

FCT materials are available in English and Spanish.

Other supporting materials

How to become an FCT Practitioner 

Telehealth Resources 

Contact Information for Developers

Website: http://www.familycenteredtreatment.org/

Phone: (703) 757-6243

Email: info@familycenteredtreatment.org

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Family Centered Treatment®
Identified in Search 6
Eligible for Review 4
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 1
Rated Low 3
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child permanency: Out-of-home placement 0.33
12
1 (2) 624 Favorable: 2
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
Child permanency: Least restrictive placement -0.02
0
1 (6) 1402 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 6
Unfavorable: 0
Child well-being: Delinquent behavior -0.03
-1
1 (8) 1402 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 8
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child permanency: Out-of-home placement 0.33
12
1 (2) 624 Favorable: 2
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
-
Sullivan, 2021
Out-of-Home Placement (Any) 0.39 *
15
- 624 - 12
Out-of-Home Placement (Number of Days) 0.26 *
10
- 624 - 12
Child permanency: Least restrictive placement -0.02
0
1 (6) 1402 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 6
Unfavorable: 0
-
Sullivan, 2012
Secure Detentions (Proportion) -0.07
-2
- 894 - 12
Secure Detentions (Frequency) 0.00
0
- 894 - 12
Secure Detentions (Duration) 0.13
5
- 894 - 12
Secure Detentions (Proportion) -0.10
-3
- 508 - 24
Secure Detentions (Frequency) -0.15
-6
- 508 - 24
Secure Detentions (Duration) -0.04
-1
- 508 - 24
Child well-being: Delinquent behavior -0.03
-1
1 (8) 1402 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 8
Unfavorable: 0
-
Sullivan, 2012
Alleged Offenses (Frequency) -0.10
-4
- 894 - 12
Alleged Offenses (Proportion) 0.03
1
- 894 - 12
Adjudications (Frequency) -0.15
-5
- 894 - 12
Adjudications (Proportion) -0.15
-6
- 894 - 12
Alleged Offenses (Frequency) 0.03
1
- 508 - 24
Alleged Offenses (Proportion) 0.07
2
- 508 - 24
Adjudications (Frequency) 0.18
7
- 508 - 24
Adjudications (Proportion) 0.07
2
- 508 - 24

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated Moderate

Study 10917

Sullivan, M. B., Bennear, L. S., Honess, B. S., Painter, W. E., & Wood, T. J. (2012). Family Centered Treatment - An alternative to residential placements for adjudicated youth: Outcomes and cost effectiveness. OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice, 2(1), 25-40.

Sullivan, M. B., & Bennear, L. S. (2021). A quasi-experimental evaluation of Family Centered Treatment® in the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services community based non-residential program: Child permanency. Family Centered Treatment Foundation. https://bit.ly/3wNw13Y


Studies Rated Low

Study 10915

Schultz, D., Jaycox, L. H., Hickman, L. J., Chandra, A., Barnes-Proby, D., Acosta, J., Beckman, A., Francois, T., & Honess-Morreale, L. (2010). National evaluation of Safe Start promising approaches: Assessing program implementation. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR750.html

Jaycox, L. H., Hickman, L. J., Schultz, D., Barnes-Proby, D., Setodji, C. M., Kofner, A., Harris, R., Acosta, J., & Francois T. (2011). National evaluation of Safe Start promising approaches: Assessing program outcomes, Results Appendix B. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR991-1.html

Jaycox, L. H., Hickman, L. J., Schultz, D., Barnes-Proby, D., Setodji, C. M., Kofner, A., Harris, R., Acosta, J., & Francois T. (2011). National evaluation of Safe Start promising approaches: Assessing program outcomes. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR991-1.html

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.
Study 10912

Bright, C. L., Betsinger, S., Farrell, J., Winters, A., Dutrow, D., Lee, B. R., & Afkinich, J. (2015). Summary of youth outcomes following Family Centered Treatment in Maryland. University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Bright, C. L., Betsinger, S., Farrell, J., Winters, A., Dutrow, D., Lee, B. R., & Afkinich, J. (2015). Youth outcomes following Family Centered Treatment in Maryland. University of Maryland School of Social Work. https://bit.ly/3yNA0Qw

Bright, C. L., Farrell, J., Winters, A. M., Betsinger, S., & Lee, B. R. (2018). Family Centered Treatment, juvenile justice, and the grand challenge of smart decarceration. Research on Social Work Practice, 28(5), 638-645. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731517730127

This study received a low rating because it did not meet the statistical model standards.
Study 10913

Indiana University Evaluation Team. (2018). Indiana Department of Child Services Child Welfare Title IV-E waiver demonstration project: Final report 2018. Indiana Department of Child Services.

Pierce, B. J., Muzzey, F. K., Bloomquist, K. R., & Imburgia, T. M. (2022). Effectiveness of Family Centered Treatment on reunification and days in care: Propensity score matched sample from Indiana child welfare data. Children and Youth Services, 136, Article 106395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106395

This study received a low rating because none of the target outcomes met measurement standards.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 10914

Magura, S., & Laudet, A. B. (1996). Parental substance abuse and child maltreatment: Review and implications for intervention. Children and Youth Services Review, 18(3), 193-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/0190-7409%2896%2900001-1

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10916

Sparks, S. N., Tisch, R., & Gardner, M. (2013). Family-centered interventions for substance abuse in Hispanic communities. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 12(1), 68-81. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2013.759785

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).