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Model Program Seal

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Blueprints Program Rating: Model

A short-term family therapy intervention and juvenile diversion program helping at-risk children and delinquent youth to overcome adolescent behavior problems, conduct disorder, substance abuse and delinquency. Therapists work with families to assess family behaviors that maintain delinquent behavior, modify dysfunctional family communication, train family members to negotiate effectively, set clear rules about privileges and responsibilities, and generalize changes to community contexts and relationships.

Initial Training and Technical Assistance

FFT brings a program to full functionality over three phases which generally last one year each. Start-up costs are incorporated in phase one of program development. Training is team based with an optimal team size of 5-6 therapists. The cost of phase one training and technical assistance is $36,000, plus an estimated $16,000 for travel for a total of $52,000. Some of these costs will be incurred after the program staff are trained and seeing clients.

Curriculum and Materials

All costs included in training and technical assistance costs above.

Licensing

All costs included in training and technical assistance costs above.

Other Start-Up Costs

Staff salaries during the training period and the cost of developing office space (more space will be needed if implementation is to be office-based).

Ongoing Curriculum and Materials

None.

Staffing

Qualifications: Therapists should have a master’s degree in psychology, social work or a related field. Supervisors must be licensed therapists.

Ratios: Trained supervisors can support up to eight clinicians. Full-time clinicians work with caseloads normally averaging 10-12 “active” cases at any given time.

Time to Deliver Intervention: Requires an average of 12 sessions over a three to four month period. Clinicians spend an average of 2. 5 – 3 hours per family per week for face to face contact, collateral services, travel, case planning and documentation.

Other Implementation Costs

Administrative overhead can be projected at 10-30%, again depending on program size and on where the intervention will occur (home vs. office).

Ongoing Training and Technical Assistance

All costs to support an FFT team are included in the annual fees charged by the purveyor. In addition to the first year cost of $36,000 (plus $16,000 for travel) discussed under Start-Up Costs, year 2 cost is $18,000 (plus $3,500 for travel), and the cost for year 3 and beyond is $7,000 (plus $1,000 for travel) per year.

Fidelity Monitoring and Evaluation

The annual fee includes support for the Clinical Services System (CSS), a web-based application for tracking progress notes, completing assessments, and reporting outcomes in accordance with the model design.

Ongoing License Fees

See above.

Other Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

None.

The scale of an FFT program can affect costs, with multiple teams being able to take advantage of combined trainings and other required events for implementation. Some states have developed a statewide training process that can also reduce costs.

Year One Cost Example

First year operation of a program with 2 units of eight therapists and two supervisors with FFT conducted in the family home.

Start-up purveyor cost
$52,000
Staff - supervisors (2 FTE Masters Clinician)
$150,000
Staff – therapists (16 FTE)
$960,000
Fringe at 30%
$333,000
Overhead at 10% of Staff Cost
$144,000
Travel
$20,000
Equipment
$20,000

Total Year One Cost
$1,679,000

With therapist caseloads of 12 and supervisors seeing 5 youth/families and an average service length of 12 weeks, the program could serve approximately 600 youth/families. Average youth/family cost in this example would be $2,800.