The Teaching-Family Model represents an organized approach to providing humane, effective, and individualized services that are satisfactory to clients and consumers. It is cost effective and replicable.

Treatment Practices:

Through research and well-evaluated clinical practice, an integrated set of procedures has emerged to help children, families, and dependent adults live, learn, and become increasingly self-sufficient.


The Teaching-Family Association has developed standards for the accreditation of member agencies. An agency may become a member by meeting the standards that reflect the basic elements of the Teaching-Family Model.

The Model’s Critical Service Delivery Systems

Program supports are critical to Teaching-Family Model implementation and are designated to enhance the existing strengths of the practitioner.

Staff Selection and Training

Direct care providers, practitioners, are carefully selected based on their ability to provide individualized treatment in a positive, affirming manner. New practitioners experience a year-long training process, beginning with a pre-service workshop and continuing with a variety of in-service training opportunities.

On-Going Support

Support staff, typically consultants, pair emotional support with direct observation and feedback on treatment planning and implementation to help practitioners grow professionally and develop their clinical skills.

Systematic Evaluation

Trained evaluators regularly observe and rate treatment skills of each staff person and solicit the opinions of parents, youths, dependent adults, and other stakeholders regarding the processes and benefits to children, families, and dependent adults.

Supportive Administration

Administrators and support staff keep pace and change organizational policies and practices to fit the current needs of individuals and society while simultaneously protecting the integrity of the Model.

Research and Evaluation

The developers and implementers of the Teaching-Family Model have conducted over 200 studies to learn and validate what treatment approaches and practices work. This research and evaluation has kept the Model focused on benefiting children, families, dependent adults, and society.

Quality Assurance

Member agencies must undergo a review and re-accreditation process annually. The initial and triennial reviews consist of an on-site visit by two or more peer reviewers to observe and review the documentation of treatment and benefits: to review program support systems: and, to interview staff and consumers. An agency consumer evaluation is also conducted. Referral and funding agents, board members, and individuals in the program are asked to rate and provide comments about the treatment programs. Findings are summarized and reported to the agency and to the TFA Certification and Ethics Committee. The annual review examines documentation and includes a practitioner consumer evaluation but does not include an on-site visit. The Teaching-Family Association is the only entity in North America that defines and implements standards and review procedures related to the actual performance and quality of treatment and service delivery systems at all organizational levels.


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