Smarter Parenting explains the Teaching-Family Model

Smarter Parenting, an online initiative from Teaching-Family Association Accredited Sponsor Agency Utah Youth Village, released this video explaining the basics and origins of our evidence-based full model of care, the Teaching-Family Model.

“Meet Lonnie & Elaine Phillips from Lawrence, Kansas – the first Family Teachers trained by Dr. Wolf and his team… In 1967, the Phillips moved into a group home where they lived as a family with six difficult teenage boys who were referred from the juvenile court system. Within a few short months, noticeable difference in the boys could be seen. They were behaving well in school and were learning how to communicate. The best part, these boys were successfully returning to their own homes. From years of extensive research, Dr. Wolf and his team created a blueprint for what the Phillips did and how it could be replicated. This became the Teaching-Family Model.”

Almost fifty years of in-context research and implementation science has shaped the Teaching-Family Model into a true, effective and full model of care for the child welfare system and more.

The American Psychological Association recognizes the Teaching-Family Model as an evidence-based practice, and “one of the few evidence-based residential treatment programs for troubled children.”

In the past, many treatment programs viewed delinquency as an illness, and therefore placed children in institutions for medical treatment. The Teaching-Family Model, in contrast, views children’s behavior problems as stemming from their lack of interpersonal relationships and skills. Accordingly the Teaching-Family Model provides children with these relationships and teaches them these skills, using empirically validated methods. []

The Teaching-Family Model’s teaching interactions and elements really work to improve behavior – and if you’re a parent, teacher, or anyone who works with children, we encourage you to learn the elements and skills on

Teaching-Family Association agencies prove empirically that the Model works in a variety of different service deliveries (group home, treatment foster care, in-school, in-home, in-hospital, etc.) and with a variety of different treatment demographics.

The Teaching-Family Model has also demonstrated how well-researched treatment programs can be implemented on a large scale… In recent years, the Teaching-Family Model has been expanded to include foster care facilities, home treatment settings, and even schools. []

The Teaching-Family Model is more than a collection of key teaching interactions and skills – it is also an evidence-based system of dissemination and replication that initially shapes and continually ensures high quality care at every Teaching-Family Association agency implementing the Model – through the Model’s integrated systems of consultation and evaluation, as well as the Association’s accreditation process.

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