Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a short-term, intensive, evidence-based model. FFT works with 11 to 17-year-old adolescents who have been referred for behavioral or emotional problems by the juvenile justice, mental health, and school or child welfare systems. Services are conducted in the client’s home with his or her family. This program operates in several counties in Southern Illinois as well as Lake County.

Description of FFT Model

FFT is an empirically grounded, well-documented and highly successful family intervention for at-risk youth and juvenile justice-involved youth.

FFT moves through three phases with the family with an average of 8 to 12 sessions over three to five months.  In the Engagement/Motivation phase, the FFT therapist first increases family members’ motivation to change by disrupting their dysfunctional attributions about themselves and each other and replacing them with more positive and adaptive perceptions. During the Behavior Change phase, the therapist then works with the family to eliminate the problem behaviors and build in new skills to achieve their goals.  During the final phase, Generalization, they generalize the skills to areas outside their family and work towards independence from the therapist and relapse prevention.

Services Offered

  • Short-term intensive family therapy.
  • Case management and linkage to community services.
  • Community service linkages.

Who is Eligible?

Families with youth ages 11 – 17, who are experiencing severe behavioral problems and/or criminal behavior, are eligible to participate in this program.

Who is NOT Eligible?

Not eligible for this program are youth who:

  • Live independently or whose caregiver cannot be identified.
  • Need crisis stabilization because of active suicidal, homicidal or psychotic behavior.
  • Are sex offenders (or any family member in the home is a sex offender) and have not successfully completed a sexual abuse treatment program.
  • Are autistic.
  • Do not have the cognitive capacity to utilize therapy or have a parent without such capacity.
  • Are younger than age 11.
  • Are living in temporary placements, such as foster care.

Making a Referral

Referrals are accepted through the Conscience Community Network.  Families enrolled in the CCBYS program may also be eligible for FFT services.  Download your referral form here.