A Family-Based Intervention Program to Keep Families Together

Functional family therapy (FFT) is an evidence-based, short-term, in-home intervention service focused on helping families build healthier, more stable relationships by motivating, encouraging change and reducing negativity. Designed to keep adolescents out of juvenile detention and residential facilities, we currently offer FFT in 31 counties throughout Kansas and Missouri.

The high-level goals of functional family therapy are to:

  • Improve family communication and supportiveness.
  • Help the family adopt positive solutions to family problems.
  • Develop positive behavior changes and parenting strategies.
  • Keep the family safely together.

Each family in the program will receive an outline of goals based on their unique situation and areas for growth.

  • Youth ages 11 to 18 and their families who have been referred by the juvenile justice, mental health, school or child welfare system for behavioral or emotional problems.

  • You reside in any of the following Kansas or Missouri counties:
    • Kansas Counties: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Saline, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, Woodson, and Wyandotte(referral source and criteria may vary by location)
    • Missouri Counties: Jackson and some areas of Clay and Platte(depending on location)

During FFT, families participate in sessions for 12-14 weeks (the frequency per week and length of each session varies based on each individual family's needs). Once completed, families can request FFT "booster sessions" for additional support.

FFT consists of three major phases: engagement and motivation, behavior change and generalization. Each of these phases has its own goals, focus and intervention strategies.

  • Phase 1: Engagement and Motivation
    During this phase each family member will complete an initial assessment.  We will work with you toward the goal of enhancing family members’ perception of therapy, and creating a positive motivational context to decrease family hostility, conflict and blame. During this time your therapist will demonstrate their sincere desire to listen, help and respect the full family. During therapy, your therapist will work with the whole family to identify negative interaction patterns, and introduce positive interactions to replace the original interaction patterns.
  • Phase 2: Behavior Change
    During this phase the family will work together to develop and implement individualized change plans. Change plans are created with the family’s weaknesses and opportunities, as well as each individual’s skills and strengths kept in mind.  Your therapist will work with your whole family on communication training and how to use aids and resources that will provide positive reinforcement to align with your family’s goals.
  • Phase 3: Generalization
    The primary goals in this phase are to extend the improvements made during Behavior Change into multiple areas and to plan for future challenges. This can include focusing on specific interventions that your family should continue to practice even after completing the FFT program, and developing a plan for relapse prevention. They will also provide resources for on-going support, such as narcotics anonymous or alcoholics anonymous, as determined by each family’s unique situation.

Upon completion, your family will have stronger communication skills, effective parenting responses to inappropriate behaviors and a strategy for managing other challenges that may occur in the future. Additionally, you can expect to receive a follow-up within 60 days of being discharged from the FFT program.

Make a Referral

Our team eliminates barriers to receiving therapy, such as transportation and childcare, by offering in-home sessions during the day, evening or weekend. If you have any barriers to care, please let your therapist know. Otherwise, please contact us to learn more or make a referral:

Contact Us

Latino family

Funding for Functional Family Therapy is brought to you in part by