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Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Functional Family Therapy is an intensive, short term intervention/prevention program that offers in-home family counseling designed specifically to address status-offending behaviors (i.e curfew violations, running away, and truancy) and juvenile delinquency from a relational/family based perspective. FFT Therapists utilize a national FFT evidence-based model to work with the referred youth and their family. This model assesses the family dynamics that have contributed to the youth’s behavior, modifies strained family communication, improves parenting skills, and supports positive reinforcement within community contexts and relationships.

FFT services target adolescents who are experiencing a high level of conflict in the home, exposure to domestic violence, substance abuse, or status offending behaviors. Eligibility: FFT is a voluntary program for DC residents with youth 10 -17 years of age. Private medical insurance is preferred but not required.

The FFT model includes five phases:



Engagement Phase

Develop positive perception of therapist and program; Facilitate family’s willingness to participate in counseling.

Motivation Phase

Increase hope and motivation for change; Reduce family negativity and blaming; address risk factors associated with treatment drop-out.

Relational Assessment

Identify relational functions, needs, and hierarchy within the family.

Behavior Change

Build youth and family member skills related to specific referral issues; Reduce family conflict and address family patterns that maintain the presenting problems.


Increase family resources and extra-familial support; Maintain and generalize changes; Prevent relapse.

Sessions are held at least once per week for 3-6 months; every session includes all key players in the family.

Referrals can be made by email, fax, or phone.
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: (202) 698-4334
Contact Fax: (202) 478-5747
Contact TTY: 711 Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm