Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an outcome-driven prevention/intervention program for youth who have demonstrated the entire range of maladaptive, acting-out behaviors and related syndromes. FFT is named to reflect the core unit which represents the primary focus ( family ), and an overriding allegiance to positive outcome (functional).
Program Targets: Youth, aged 11-18, at risk for and/or presenting with delinquency, violence, substance use, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Disruptive Behavior Disorder.
Program Content: FFT requires as few as 8-12 hours of direct service time for commonly referred youth and their families, and generally no more than 26 hours of direct service time even for the most severe problem situations.
Delivery Modes: Flexible delivery of services by one and two person teams to clients in-home, clinic, Juvenile Court, and at time of reentry from institutional placement.
Implementation: Wide range of interventionists, including para-professionals under supervision, trained probation officers, mental health technicians, degreed mental health professionals (e.g., MSW, Ph.D., MD, RN, MFT).
This program provides youth and their families with an average of twelve sessions of family therapy. Youth who participate score moderate to high risk on the juvenile court risk assessment tool. The therapy is intended to reduce negativity and blaming within the family and to increase the family's hope that change can be accomplished. The therapy focuses on identifying obtainable goals for the family and developing a behavior change program. The therapy also encourages a generalization stage that helps the family find external support for ongoing change. The program expects to improve the family functioning and to change the youth's attitudes and skills.