Clinical team training & site certification


Functional Family Therapy Site Certification is a 3-phase process. 

Phase 1—Clinical Training:

The initial goal of the first phase of FFT implementation is to impact the service delivery context so that the local FFT program builds a lasting infrastructure that supports clinicians to take maximum advantage of FFT training/consultation.  By the end of Phase I, FFT’s objective is for local clinicians to demonstrate strong adherence and high competence in the FFT model.   Assessment of adherence and competence is based on data gathered through the FFT Clinical Service System, through FFT weekly consultations and during phase one FFT training activities.  It is expected that Phase One be completed in one year, and not last longer than 18 months.  Periodically during Phase I, FFT personnel provide the site feedback to identify progress toward Phase I implementation goals.  By the eighth month of implementation, FFT will begin discussions identify steps toward starting Phase 2 of the Site Certification process.

Phase II—Supervision Training

The goal of the second phase of FFT implementation is to assist the site in creating greater self-sufficiency in FFT, while also maintain and enhancing site adherence/competence in the FFT model.  Primary in this phase is developing competent on-site FFT supervision.   During Phase II, FFT trains a site’s extern to become the on-site supervisor.  This person attends two 2-day supervisor trainings, and then is supported by FFT through monthly phone consultation.  FFT provides one 1-day on-site training or regional training during Phase II.  In addition, FFT provides any on-going consultation as necessary and reviews the site’s FFT CSS database to measure site/therapist adherence, service delivery trends, and outcomes.   Phase II is a yearlong process.


Phase III and beyond—Practice Research Network:

The goal of the third phase of FFT implementation is to move into a partnering relationship to assure on-going model fidelity, as well as impacting issues of staff development, interagency linking, and program expansion.  FFT reviews the CSS database for site/therapist adherence, service delivery trends, and client outcomes and provides a one-day on-site training for continuing education in FFT.  


Phase 1 of 3 “Clinical Training” Activities include:


STEP 1 One-Day On Site Implementation/Assessment and CSS Training

The implementation visit lasts one day, is on-site, and includes meetings with stakeholders, information sessions, reviewing referral systems, and providing overviews to FFT training for therapists.  The goal is to confirm site readiness, identify any critical factors impacting FFT implementation, and build necessary community/stakeholder understanding of implementation challenges.

Training in the CSS is on site and requires one day. The FFT Family Assessment Protocol is a systematic approach to understanding families in a way that enhances treatment and uses the most current assessment tools.  The Clinical Services System (CSS) represents software offered by FFT to support and guide therapists in organizing and adhering to the model. 


STEP 2 – Two Day, On Site Clinical Training 1

The two day on-site introduction covers the core constructs, phases, assessment and intervention techniques of FFT.   Didactic materials include handouts and videotape examples.  


STEP 3 – Begin cases (using FFT, the Assessment protocol, and the CSS)


STEP 4 – Ongoing Telephone Supervision

Each team receives telephone supervision as a group for one hour per week.  Supervision focuses particularly on individual cases and model adherence.


STEP 5 – Externship

Each clinical team must include one team member who attends externship.  This intensive, hands on, training experience with actual clients includes supervision from behind the mirrored window.  The Externship consists of three separate training experiences over a three month period at an off site location.


STEP 6 –Two Day Follow-up Visits (3 per site during year 1)

The three on-site follow-up training sessions, each of two days in duration, represent more specific focus on implementation issues and processes.


STEP 7 – Two Day On Site Clinical Training 2

The second two day training occurs at month 8-9 during the training year at an off site location with the site’s FFT clinical team in attendance. 


ONGOING:  Implementation and Consultation

Implementation and consulting services are directed at helping sites implement FFT with respect to such issues as staff development, interagency linking, and program expansion.