Program Description

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 various ages. 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).


The Organization

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.


Research Conclusions

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:


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 us to learn how you can begin implementing the TFCO model.

TFCC Founders

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.