Family Centered Treatment

Family Centered Treatment

Supporting Families in Crisis as they Heal Together

Family Centered Treatment FCT © is a home-based therapy that works with the entire family unit. This home-based treatment approach keeps families together and reduces the need for out of home placements. SouthLight is one of only a few agencies in North Carolina that is qualified to provide this national program, which is based on research, experience and evidence of effectiveness.

What does FCT include?

  • Comprehensive Clinical Assessment
  • In-Home sessions
  • 24-hour crisis intervention
  • Trauma treatment
  • Engages the entire family

What is Family-Centered Treatment?

Family-Centered Treatment is a home-based therapy model designed to find simple, practical, and common-sense solutions for families faced with disruption or dissolution of their family. This can be due to external and/or internal stressors, circumstances, or forced removal of their children from the home due to the youth’s undesirable behavior or parent’s harmful behaviors.

The program is provided with families of special populations of all ages involved with agencies that specialize in child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, and crossover youth. More information about FCT is available at the Family-Centered Treatment Foundation website.

Refer a Client

Are you a practitioner and want to make a referral to the FCT program at SouthLight?

Meet Atia and learn about FCT!

“The child is our client, but family involvement is key.”

Atia Wise, FCT Supervisor 

Family-Centered Treatment – FAQ

+ What are FCT Program goals?

  • Enable family stability
  • Enable changes in critical areas of family functioning that are the underlying causes
  • Bring a reduction in hurtful and harmful behaviors affecting family functioning
  • Develop an emotional and functioning balance in the family so that the family can cope effectively with any individual member’s intrinsic or unresolvable challenges
  • Enable changes in referred client behavior to include family system involvement so that changes are not dependent upon the therapist

+ How does it work?

  • With the whole family as defined by the family
  • Meet in their home at days of the week and times of day that are convenient for the family.
  • Session schedules during the most troublesome and difficult times and as they occur.
  • Provides 24/7 on-call crisis support for the family with their known clinical staff. (not a universal on-call system)
  • Provides opportunities for the family to practice functioning differently. These weekly “enactments” are integral to the process. (not just talk therapy)
  • A minimum of 2 multiple-hour sessions per week excluding the ramping up period (1st month) and the slowing down period (last month of treatment). Lengthier and more frequent sessions are available based on assessed need. On-call support is available 24 hours a day every day of the year.
  • While the length of treatment is driven by family need and progress, the average length of treatment is 6 months.

+ Who qualifies for FCT services at SouthLight?

SouthLight provides Family Centered Treatment (FCT©) in Wake and Durham counties at this time. The child (3 to 20 years old) in the family must have Medicaid. SouthLight has two Spanish-speaking FCT clinicians and a diverse team of licensed professionals who genuinely care about the families that come under our care.

+ What family issues do we address?

Families experiencing legal charges, substance use, alcohol use, mental health concerns, trauma, domestic violence in the home, loss of a family member, recent suspensions from school, psychiatric hospitalizations, jail time, autism spectrum disorder that interferes with the child’s quality of life, aggressive behavior, oppositional defiance, unemployment, homelessness, and/or an unstable home environment, and more.

+ Who is the Family Centered Treatment program geared toward, and how do families quality?

FCT is for families that find themselves in a difficult space with how they are functioning. This could be due to involvement from outside agencies such as school, Child Protective Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice.  

It is also for families that are experiencing grief due to a loss of a caretaker through death, incarceration or being removed from the home. Children that are between 3 – 19 and receiving Medicaid in Wake, Durham, and Johnston County, can request assessment to find out which program will best support their family. 

+ At what stage does a family need more intensive in-home treatment? How would I know that a family/patient needs elevated services beyond traditional therapy?

​If there has been hospitalization, removal from home or school, DJJ or Judicial (parents) involvement families would most likely qualify.  However, the best way to know for sure is to allow SouthLight to complete a thorough comprehensive clinical assessment to determine the appropriate level of care. 

+ How is Family Centered Treatment different from family therapy?

FCT is an evidence-based treatment that follows a proven model that will work.  The family does not meet and discuss issues only.  FCT requires hands-on practice to actively change the behaviors that are hindering the family unit from succeeding together.

+ How do you refer a family?

To make a referral you can fill out the referral form and send it directly to the email address on the top. 

+ How long does the treatment last?

Treatment is 6 – 9 months 

+ How quickly can you get an appointment & meet with a therapist?

An initial comprehensive assessment can be scheduled within 24 hours of receiving the referral.  If FCT is an appropriate level of care then services would begin within 48 hours from the  completion of the assessment. 

+ Where do you meet (post-COVID)? In homes, in a office or virtually?

Due to the changes with COVID we meet virtually or in our Poplarwood office off Highwoods Blvd.

+ What kind of therapists or clinicians treat the family?

Every family receives a licensed therapist that is certified to provide Family Centered Treatment. 

+ What happens after the program ends? Is additional support available?

After FCT is complete most families begin receiving Outpatient plus. This is also provided through our clinicians at Southlight.  This service provides the family with a lower level of care, but very supportive as they learn to maintain their new skills.