NREPP Recognizes Teaching-Family Model as Evidence-based

The recent publication of results from a large National Institute of Mental Health-funded research study prompted SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) to include the Teaching-Family Model as a promising evidence-based practice.

As of December 5, 2016, NREPP officially recognizes the Teaching-Family Model as a promising evidence-based practice for the treatment of "Non-specific Mental Health Disorders and Symptoms."

The study, "Does Model Matter? Examining Change Across Time for Youth in Group Homes" found Teaching-Family Model homes to "produce significantly better outcomes" for youth post-discharge, though these follow-up effects were "not rated" by the NREPP review, and therefore "do not contribute to the final outcome rating."

The Teaching-Family Model provides youth and families a "springboard" for not only functioning but flourishing.

Regardless, the review found "sufficient evidence of a favorable effect" compared against similar treatments, (as opposed to an untreated, "placebo" control group). "From pretest to the last in-home assessment, the intervention group demonstrated slightly greater reductions in psychological symptom levels than the comparison group," reads the NREPP program profile.

The study itself provides further context. "Short-term gains are relatively common, but for developing youth, shifts in long-term trajectories form the springboard for improved development, socialization, functioning and flourishing," write the authors. They also write:

Although both TFM and non-TFM produced very similar initial improvements, there appears to be some benefit of TFM for longer term improvements... Furthermore, for youth who remain in treatment for extended periods as well as during the post-discharge period, TFM homes appear to produce significantly better outcomes."

The Teaching-Family Model has long been recognized as a promising evidence-based practice by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC), a similar and oft-cited registry of evidence-based programs. The American Psychological Association has recognized the Model as an evidence-based practice since 2003, prior to the creation of NREPP or CEBC.


SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Programs -

"TFM is based in a cognitive–behavioral approach, which is derived from behavioral principles and learning theory. TFM is designed to reduce problem behaviors and increase prosocial behaviors among youths."



American Psychological Association -

"Family-Like Environment Better for Troubled Children and Teens, the Teaching-Family Model changes bad behavior through straight talk and loving relationships."

"...The Teaching-Family Model has also demonstrated how well-researched treatment programs can be implemented on a large scale. Most importantly, the Teaching-Family Model has given hope that young people with even the most difficult problems or behaviors can improve the quality of their lives and make contributions to society."



California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse -

Scientific Rating: 3 - Promising Research Evidence

Child Welfare System Relevance Level: High

Rated by the CEBC in the areas of: Higher Levels of Placement and Behavioral Management Programs for Adolescents in Child Welfare.



The Teaching-Family Model provides comprehensive care as a program model for children, youth and families focused on building relationships and services that are client-centered, strengths-based, trauma-informed and outcome-driven.

Many evidence-based programs are highly successful and "well-supported by research evidence" when tested in a "laboratory" or university setting, but have difficulty maintaining that success when disseminated and replicated at remote locations or in "real-world" populations or applications.

The Teaching-Family Model, on the other hand, is an example of an evidence-based program successfully "transmitted to the field" through many years of detailed implementation science—an outcomes-driven process which informed and refined best practices; developed fidelity measures, approaches, and systems to strengthen practice; and ultimately made wide-spread replication and adaptation to new service deliveries and populations possible.

As detailed in NREPP's program profile of the Teaching-Family Model, the Model was designed to reduce problem behaviors, increase prosocial behaviors, and help youth and families "internalize socially appropriate strategies and attitudes to enhance functioning and development."

Therapeutic relationship development is also a key goal of Teaching-Family Model treatment and a crucial element of the Model's standards which promotes not only trauma-informed care but also trauma-specific care. The NREPP profile notes that the Model has been adapted to meet the needs of children and families "with a wide range of diagnoses and symptoms" as well as "youths who have experienced significant trauma or maltreatment."

The proven methods of the Teaching-Family Model work to repair trauma's negative impact on the brain through positive, corrective experiences.

The Model is also more than an effective treatment for "Mental Health Disorders and Symptoms," it is a comprehensive model of care that empowers direct-care practitioners and helps organizations establish crucial and sustainable systems of support for those practitioners which ultimately provide the best possible care for clients.

For more information on the lengthy history of research evidence supporting Teaching-Family Model, refer to our bibliography. Curious about the Teaching-Family Model or the Teaching-Family Association? Learn more by signing up for our email list, or feel free to contact us.