Best Practice: Teaching-Family Model

Great Essays
Best Practice: Teaching – Family Model
University of Arkansas
Stephanie Clark

Methodist Family Health Counseling Clinic is an organization that provides healthcare services focused on various emotional and behavioral challenges individuals and families can face. Methodist provides many different services all over Arkansas that range from inpatient to school-base services. They also have eight Therapeutic Group Homes that provide a family-like setting while children are also able to receive other needed services. “Children are referred to Group Home care by the state Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), churches, parents and other Methodist Family Health programs. The length of stays are generally 9-12 months or
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In the group home, Methodist utilizes the Teaching-Family Model. Methodist briefly defines the Teaching-Family Model as follows; “The Teaching-Family Model is a controlled, fully integrated approach to providing personal, effective treatment to its individuals, families and children” (, 2016). The Teaching-Family model emphasizes self-determination, relationships, teaching systems and it takes a family-sensitive approach. This methodology was born from a need to learn effective ways to work with juvenile delinquents. There was a judge in Kansas who was looking for options for the youth exiting the juvenile court system that was not camp-based or a restrictive lock-up. This methodology came from behaviorists and this is the reason it is very person-centered intervention model. As well, the approach is strength and relationship-based. One reason the behaviorists focused on behavior is that behavior is learned and in theory can be unlearned and replaced by something new(McElgunn, …show more content…
There are some major benefits to this aspect of the model. For example, “… there is no worry about scheduling counseling hours with an overburdened caregiver; informal private discussions take place whenever there is need. Response to problems is immediate, and the youths learn to trust the teaching-parent couple” (Maloney, Timbers, & Maloney, 2001).
This is just one aspect of the methodology. Kathryn Kirigin (2001) explains that skill teaching, motivation, relationship development, and self-government/problem-solving are the vital aspects of the Teaching-Family Model.
Skill Teaching is how the in-home parents work with the clients on learning new skills and behaviors. This happens through “descriptive praise, preventative teaching, and corrective-teaching” (Kirigin, 2001). She says that this is how specific social, academic and self-care skills are taught.
Motivation refers to the system that is used: A token economy. This is where incentive and structure come from for the youth. This particular system puts emphasis on point earning rather than point loss. “The teaching-parents are expected to engage the youth in at least four interactions that involve point earning activities, usually centered around teaching and rewarding the skills needed to avoid the problem that produced the original point lass” (Kirgin,

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