Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO)
Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) was developed as an alternative to institutional, residential, and group care placements for children and youth with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. Multiple randomized trials confirm a number of positive results.
The model is tailored to the unique developmental needs of children across the ages. TFCO for Preschoolers (TFCO-P) serves children aged 3-6, TFCO for middle Childhood (TFCO-C) serves children 7-11, and TFCO for Adolescents (TFCO-A) serves youth from the ages of 12-17. TFCO was formerly known as Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC).
TFCO was developed in 1983 following research trials at Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). TFC Consultants, Inc. was founded in 2002 and provides guidance, training, and technical assistance to new and existing TFCO programs and helps service providers, policy makers and community leaders resolve issues related to the implementation of evidence-based practices. TFCO is currently implemented throughout the United States, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
Objectives of TFCO
The two main goals of TFCO are to create opportunities for youth to successfully live in a family setting and to simultaneously help parents (or other long-term family resource) provide effective parenting.
TFCO focuses on five key areas: (1) a consistent, reinforcing environment with mentoring and encouragement; (2) daily structure with clear expectations and specific consequences; (3) a high level of youth supervision; (4) limited access to problem peers along with access to prosocial peers; and (5) an environment that supports daily school attendance and homework completion.
Youth served in TFCO reside in the TFCO treatment home for approximately nine months. The homes receive initial and ongoing training, daily monitoring, weekly group support, and in-the-moment coaching. Youth in TFCO receive weekly support to navigate the program, practice of problem-solving and coping skills along with other skills individualized for their particular needs. Families participate in weekly services, which focus on coaching them through key techniques to regain confidence and effectiveness with their youth. The TFCO program is available 24/7 to allow for quick and effective responses to situations and behaviors.
TFCO has proven to:
- Prevent or reduce the number of days in institutional or residential settings
- Prevent the escalation of delinquency, youth violence and pregnancy
- Increase positive academic engagement
- Reduce placement disruptions
- Increase attachment
- Improve brain stress regulatory systems
The Web sites listed below contain information about TFCO and its evidence base:
• Washington Institute of Public Policy
• Blueprints Programs
• Evidence Based Programs – Social Programs That Work
• NREPP – SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Dr. Patricia Chamberlain developed and founded the TFCO model in 1983. She has conducted eight randomized clinical trials on TFCO with youth and families referred from the juvenile justice, mental health, and child welfare systems. Dr. Chamberlain has authored three books and over 60 journal articles and book chapters on evidence-based treatment approaches, treatment process, outcome research, methodology, foster care, and related topics. She is a senior research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Dr. Chamberlain is a Fellow in the Academy of Experimental Criminology, a consultant to the Andrus Family Foundation, and a grant reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health. In 2007 she received the Science to Practice Award from the Society for Prevention Research. She collaborates with researchers and the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center in San Diego, and with other researchers throughout the U.S. and Sweden who are interested in examining methods for strengthening services in the child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems. She currently is the Principal Investigator on three grants, one funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and two by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Philip A. Fisher, Ph.D.
Dr. Fisher came to Eugene, Oregon, in 1989 to attend graduate school in psychology and to work in the TFCO programs. In 1996, he developed the TFCO-P program based on the recognition that the problems seen in older children with severe behavior disorders often have roots in early childhood. Dr. Fisher has been the Principal Investigator on a number of federally funded grants to evaluate the efficacy of TFCO programs. Additionally, he is a member of an NIMH-funded network of researchers examining the effects of early stress on the developing brain, and the extent to which improved environmental conditions can improve neurobiological and behavioral functioning. He has conducted research on prevention in Native American communities. Dr. Fisher is on a number of national advisory groups, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse workgroup of Native American Researchers and Scholars. He serves on a National Institutes of Health review committee to evaluate research proposals focusing on community-level health promotion. He is currently a Professor at the University of Oregon and a senior research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center.
Gerard J. Bouwman
Gerry Bouwman has worked with Drs. Chamberlain and Reid since 1980. Mr. Bouwman has a long history of supporting and collaborating with scientists and service providers in the mental health field. Since receiving his degree in International Business, Business Administration, and Sociology in 1972, Mr. Bouwman’s career has been focused on facilitating the work of organizations dedicated to research and intervention with youth and families. He served as the Chief Administrator for Oregon Social Learning Center for 17 years.
Treatment Foster Care Consultants (TFCC)
Founded in 2002, TFC Consultants, Inc. specializes in implementing evidence-based, model-adherent Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) programs.
TFC Consultants, Inc., also provides consultation and technical assistance to existing TFCO programs and helps service providers, policy makers, and community leaders resolve issues related to the implementation of evidence-based practices. Contact TFCC President John Aarons (JohnA@TFCOregon.com) to learn how you can begin implementing the TFCO model.
The founders of TFC Consultants, Inc., include the TFCO program founder, Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D., John Reid, Ph.D., Philip A. Fisher, Ph.D., and Gerard Bouwman.