Florida Dept of Children and Families – OLD

Florida Dept of Children and Families Project (Began Jan. 2020)

EBA and Life Management Center of NW Florida (LMC) have partnered in advance of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) to implement this pilot project in Bay County.  FFPSA is providing funding and resources to implement child welfare reforms. FFPSA reforms are to incentive evidence-based prevention services and curtail the use of congregate care in the foster care system.

In this project, an adaptation of Functional Family Therapy (FFT) for families involved in the child welfare system (FFT-CW®) is to be provided to identified families. FFT is a top-tier, evidence-based, Blueprints-certified “Model” program meeting the highest evidentiary standards and most recently listed on the Title IV E Clearing House website as “well supported”. FFT-CW® is an in-home, evidence-based adaptation of standard FFT that works with the families of at-risk children and youth involved with the Child Welfare system.
LMC is providing FFT-CW® employing three FTE clinicians, half time program administrator and half time administrative assistant. LMC is contracting with Evidence-Based Associates to manage the implementation.

The goals of FFT-CW® are to improve family functioning, communication, and supportiveness while decreasing negativity and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. Parenting skills are targeted for change based on specific risk and protective factors of each family, with particular emphasis on more effective family and parental functioning. Needs will be periodically re-evaluated throughout the episode of care by the clinical team working with the family through feedback on homework tasks; observation of individual and family functioning (in the home and in the clinic). Services will be matched to individuals and families at the outset with services commencing February 2020.

Age and Delivery

    • 0 - 18 years old
    • Typically conducted in home either birth, foster or adoptive

Inclusionary Criteria Parents/Caregivers who have:

    • Violence/abuse history
    • Parental mood / anxiety disorders
    • Parental substance abuse
    • External system pressure on parents; economic, etc

Youth who have:

    • Mood Disorders (Depression, Anxiety)
    • Suicidal ideation or history
    • Pattern of self harm (cutting)
    • Substance Use
    • Involvement in Juvenile Justice System

Exclusionary Criteria

    • Youth without formal caretaker
    • Youth in temporary placement & no reunification plan

Treatment Duration

    • 4 to 6 months

Caseload Per Therapist

    • 8 to 10 families

Ways in Which EBA Makes the Difference

EBA ensures high-quality evidence-based programs through our Eight Point Implementation system:


    • System Assessment: Evaluating community needs and identifying appropriate EBPs to address them.
    • Community Support: Helping to prepare community leaders to effectively implement the identified EBPs.


    • Building Provider Capacity: Using EBAssets™, partner with community-based providers "Hiring Toolkits" to recruit, screen, hireand onboard staff.
    • Training Coordination: Contracting with the appropriate EBP training and licensing organizations and coordinating training logistics.


    • Managing Utilization: Building a robust referral pathway and coordinating outreach to ensure high utilization of new EBPs.
    • Fiscal Management: Providing a realistic appraisal of the ‘real-world’ cost of implementing EBPs and managing financial and operational transactions.
    • Quality Assurance and Fidelity Monitoring: Using the EBAccountability™ process, ensure implementation quality through rigorous fidelity monitoring.


    • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Building data tracking systems to identify implementation issues (early warning systems) and ensuring long-term positive outcomes with EBP Data Dashboards (using our EBAnalytics™ model).

EBA’s successful implementation is due in large part to our experience in working with a variety of diverse communities and our commitment to providing tailored attention to each of their unique needs.

Prior to services beginning, EBA meets with community stakeholders and referral source providers to introduce the model and referral criteria in order to collaboratively create the referral process that can best meet that community’s needs.  Communication flows from the service provider to the referral case managers and supervisors on the progress of the referral process, and then the progress of the family once services have begun, and throughout the treatment phases.  The case manager is a part of the discharge planning and provided with the sustainability plan that the therapist and family have created to ensure continuity once services are completed.

For the FFT-CW program in hurricane ravaged Bay County, EBA came in to listen to the specific needs of that community and then creatively addressed the unique issues of staff recruitment, housing shortages, family displacement and the trauma endured by all as they recovered from a catastrophic natural disaster.


Below is a partial list of requirements and expectations of the clinical team members who deliver FFT-CW in Bay County:


    • Being available for your clients- You will be expected to adjust your working hours to family’s availability which could mean working evenings, sometimes very early mornings, and sometimes weekends.
    • Frequency of contact with each family will vary; frequency is more intense in the initial phases of treatment.
    • Frequency of contact will depend on the family’s risk factors.
    • You will most likely be the first person your families will call should they need help handling a situation. You will be expected to follow model policy, and any mandated agency policies.


    • You will be driving to and working in neighborhoods with low economic resources and high crime. You will be working in homes that range in conditions of cleanliness and upkeep to disorganization, untidiness, and debris, depending on the family resources and level of functioning.
    • Working independently. Co-worker and supervisor interaction is often via telephone; face to face typically 2-3 times per week. Increased face to face available to address support needs.
    • Travelling to surrounding cities depending on where the referral has been received and where your assigned families are.
    • Working with and delivering successful therapy to clients who have been court-ordered to treatment and/or are highly resistant. This requires engaging all family members even when some are not motivated to participate. Consistency and persistency are vital.


    • Completing paperwork and filing reports accurately and on time.
    • You will be expected to keep complete thorough clinical notes into specific data systems in a timely manner, as determined by agency and model policy.
    • You will be expected to keep client charts updated.
    • You will be expected to file other required reports on a weekly or monthly basis, or as needed.
    • You will send detailed weekly and monthly reports to the Dept. of Juvenile Justice via email.
    • You will need to be able to take clinical processes and language and communicate it clearly, in lay person’s terms.


    • Attending the team’s weekly case supervision, individual development meetings, weekly consultations, and office meetings as required.
    • Conducting post case analyses on cases that recidivated, as needed. Active participation and support of co-workers are crucial components of a successful team.
    • Actively participate in weekly consultations.


    • Attending and participating in weekly individual Supervisions that can include audio taping or video taping of sessions.
    • You can expect intense case oversight by Supervisor and FFT-CW consultant. You can expect direct and critical feedback on strengths and weaknesses, and direct support for case progress.
    • You will be expected to use the feedback to better provide services and to better develop professionally.
    • Conducting sessions with your clients under live supervision could be required.


    • Being involved at many levels; having constant communication with community.
    • You will be involved at a high level with extended family, church, neighbors, schools, courts, and social services.
    • You will have frequent contact with Child Protective workers, Dept. of Juvenile Justice Probation Officers, and their supervisors-via phone, email, and in person.