Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO)

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 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). Michigan currently offers the TFCO-C program for children 7-11.


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:
• Washington Institute of Public Policy
• Blueprints Programs
• Evidence Based Programs – Social Programs That Work
What does the Research Tell us about Services for Children in Therapeutic/Treatment Foster Care with Behavioral Health Issues? – Report of the SAMHSA, CMS and ACYF Technical Expert Panel, September 27-28, 2012.



The Guidance Center TFCO Program
26300 Outer Drive
Lincoln Park, MI 48146

Skip to content