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Teaching Family Model

In the Spring of 2010, WTFS became the first provider agency in the state of Tennessee to become a certified Teaching Family Association site.

The Teaching Family Model was selected as our program plan before the first door was opened. The model is one in which the individual served should find a family atmosphere with support, encouragement and inclusiveness for their day-to-day living experience.

It is the centerpiece of our organization. In the late 1960's, the National Institute of Mental Health provided major grants to fund research conducted by several pioneers of behavioral psychology with the Achievement Place Research Project at the University of Kansas.  This research defined and refined a residential treatment model known today as the Teaching-Family Model (TFM). Originally that Model proved to be consistently effective in changing the behavior of troubled youth, however through more refining it has now been proven to be equally as effective in working with the Developmentally Disabled population who either are transitioning from institutionalized living environments or limited home lives into their very own community living experience.


  The traditional Teaching Family Model utilizes a married couple that actually lives with the individual(s) they serve for several hours during the week and are involved with every aspect of their lives from personal hygiene to personal finance- not just from a managerial standpoint, but incorporating the “Spirit of Family” in everything they do. Today, the model has expanded beyond just a married couple, and has now seen positive results using singles as well.

The major tenants of the model include:

*Staff Selection and Training
*On-going Personal Supports
*Systemic Evaluation
*Supportive Administration
*Quality Assurance
*Research and Evaluation

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

The Teaching Family Association was founded in 1975, to ensure the quality of care provided by professionals who actively pursue the goals of effective and individualized treatment for children, families and dependent adults using the common framework of the Teaching Family Model for treatment and support. What is learned in one agency can be shared with other agencies within the association and incorporated into the standards of quality assurance processes within the association.

The following is an exciting update we recently received about the Teaching Family Model:

Dear TFA Directors:
Wow! Fabulous news! The American Psychological Association has listed the Teaching-Family Model as an evidenced-based practice. The APA notes the success associated with the Model and those it helps: “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.”

This is very exciting news. It will help us tremendously with SAMHSA and CMS (Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services). In addition, this is a fantastic source to cite in your own discussion with state and local regulators, bureaucrats and those interested in pursuing the TFM.

There has never been a better time to be a certified Teaching-Family Model agency. It is absolutely clear that the certification process ensures quality programming and this recognition is becoming more prevalent and carries more weight than ever before. Thank you for continuing to support the TFM and serve communities everywhere. It makes a difference because YOU make a difference!

Below is the link for the APA along with the goal of the psychologymatters compendium supported by the APA (upon which our link is found). If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Take care,
Peggy
http://www.psychologymatters.org/teachingfamily.html

PsychologyMatters.org is a web-based compendium of psychological research that demonstrates the application and value of psychological science in our everyday lives.

Within 19 content areas, individual and interrelated studies, all of which found statistically significant effects and that have had important applications in society, are described. Some of the studies we report on started out as basic research and led to unexpected results and valuable applications. All of the studies demonstrate the important role that psychology and psychological research play in addressing societal and human needs.

This compendium is a living document. As psychological scientists continue their research, new and important discoveries and applications will be added


Peggy McElgunn, Esq.
Executive Director, TFA
PH: 804.639.9213
FX: 804.639.9212
www.teaching-family.org

 

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