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A Deeper Look at the Teaching-Family Model

Juneau Youth Services uses the internationally-recognized Teaching-Family Model as its caregiving philosophy. We’re currently working toward accreditation. Teaching-Family is an evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment model. It’s used agency-wide. This ensures that everyone at JYS is on the same page, not just caregivers but administrators as well.


“When everybody is speaking the same language it allows us to communicate more effectively,” said Joann Rieselback, JYS’ Chief Quality Officer.


The Teaching-Family Model implements measurable outcomes. Every treatment plan has measurable goals and objectives. This gives caregivers the ability to track success. The Teaching-Family Model uses levels to progress people through the system.


“We teach skills to youth, and they will be able to use these skills wherever they go,” said Susanne Coleman, JYS’ residential director. “They learn to make decisions and solve problems by considering the outcomes and circumstances. They learn how to become as independent as possible for their age.”


While the basic philosophy remains the same, it’s taught differently based on age. One of the principles of the Teaching-Family Model is describing behaviors. Caregivers describe the behavior and then teach the alternative, more appropriate behavior. It also prepares youth for making responsible choices. The ultimate goal is for youth to be able to transition to lower levels of care.


Through ongoing training and an agency-wide philosophy that allows for measurable outcomes, the Teaching-Family Model ensures that JYS is providing the best possible care for Alaskans.


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