Functional Family Therapy (Sedgwick County)

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an Evidence-Based family therapy model that demonstrates success in reducing recidivism among juvenile offenders. The attention is on increasing parental supervision and involvement in a way that matches the individual family and its structure. This occurs by use of a highly structured family therapy model addressing risk and protective factors of the family; builds on family strengths; and uses specific intervention methods to engage the family in therapy in order to motivate and maintain change. The model focuses on enhancing protective factors within the family and community and reducing risk factors, including the risk of premature treatment termination, substance use, delinquent behaviors, peer influence, school behavior problems and antisocial cognitions. Efforts are made to make FFT affordable for all qualifying families. Funding for FFT is made possible through Sedgwick County Crime Prevention funds, insurance payments, and client fees. Most major insurances are accepted including Medicaid. Private insurance may have a deductible or co-pay. A sliding fee scale is available.

FFT Therapists Work Towards:

  • Engaging the family in treatment and motivating family members to work toward a common goal
  • Matching intervention to the specific family and their relationships
  • Helping the family transfer their new skills and changes into other settings like school, work and with extended family
  • Addressing issues with communication, problem-solving, negotiation skills, and family relationships


The target population will include families, of moderate and high risk juvenile offenders (11-18 years old) who may be: at risk for out of home placement without the FFT services, clients at risk of violating the terms of their supervision, or clients experiencing a high level of family management problems. The client must be living with their families. If it is determined that the client needs both individual and family therapy, a referral for individual therapy will be made after FFT has been completed. Most mental health issues can be addressed utilizing this model. Clients will not be eligible if currently receiving family therapy.

Frequency and Duration

Families will attend 12-15 weekly sessions for 3-4 months. Frequency is determined by risk and need. Services are offered in locations conducive to the client and family. EmberHope Youthville strives to eliminate barriers to treatment including where services are provided, being mindful of transportation needs, hours of service, consideration of school or employment. Services may be conducted in the home, community or office.

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